All day

It takes all day

I think it’s the piney woods in me. I start thinking about it a few days before. 

Imagining the side dishes. The spices. Even the weather. In my imagination, it’s about 10 degrees cooler, but hey the ac is a good bridge to reality. 

The day comes and I soak the peas. Or are they beans? I think about all the time I could have saved if I did this overnight or if I should just chance it and cook them unsoaked. Not a chance. Not even in a pressure cooker. Ask me how I know? 

I remember my grandma grabbing her stash of fat back off the top of the fridge. Sometimes, if times were lean we would eat it for a weekend cooked breakfast. I am not using fat back or even cooking greens today but I am at the the stove. Evoking memories. 

I am thinking about all the little cooking completions my brother and I use to have. Garlic powder and seasoned salt(the old school kind)

Innocent fun in a world that felt chaotic and uncomfortable we found a way out. 

I think about—

 how good those first taste of soup beans are. And how I always wanted to be cool and eat raw chopped onions and pepper sauce on my greens. How each year the neighbor would come a till the little plot of land next to our house so a garden could be raised. How I use to dread when I saw that it was just squash in the freezer and all the other had been eaten. Maybe this is why I have such a relationship with squash.

I remember the peach tree next to the butane tank and how after years of dormancy one year it just started making peaches. 

I remember how she (my grandma) found a secret peach tree just down the back lane and grabbed my hand and put one the juicest tastiest peaches in my mouth. You couldn’t tell me I was not the luckiest girl in the world that day? 

And here I am with peaches grown by someone else. Or on this day yellow nectarines because my son and a mislabeling by the store. They taste like an almost ripe peach and a plum. I feel like I am swallowing summer past, present and future. Thankful. 

It mostly takes all day because I have three smaller children. Some of whom need so much attention.  Sometimes I don’t know what I don’t know? 

Maybe it’s the returning to stove and stirring the pot tenderly that holds it all together these days. All days. All day.