My 15 year old step-son was coming to supper. His dad and I had been married for only 3 months, and I wanted his son to know his dad's mealtime was in very capable hands. I pondered aloud supper's possibilities when my husband, having overheard my private conversation, offered, "He loves black-eyed peas and cornbread."
"And so do you!" I retorted, laughing on the inside.
The black-eyed peas were cooked and flavored to perfection with savory, bite-size chunks of ham . The tossed salad of shades of green, red, and purple was nestled in a bowl like a dainty flower garden. Scrumptious pan-fried potatoes were sizzling their way to satisfying our mouth watering appetites. Fluffy cornbread, light as a feather with a crunchy brown crust would complete the menu.
My eyes grew wide with horror and my breath caught in my throat when I realized I was out of my faultless cornbread mix. Flashbacks of former attempts at scratch cornbread terrorized me. The batch I called the "sinkhole." Then the "crummy crumbs." Other unmentionables I cannot mention. I tried recalling my mother's own fabulous never fail recipe that she would mindlessly toss together while watching Gunsmoke and helping my sister with Algebra. No luck! My eyes narrowed enough to settle on the recipe flashing at me from the cornmeal box. So, I began.
After meticulously stirring together the ingredients, gently pouring the mixture into the pan, and oh so carefully placing it in the oven, I awaited the outcome like a mamma bird waiting for her babies to hatch.
Twenty minutes dragged by before I expectantly peered into the oven and removed my prize. What is this?! Hopes dashed! Fears realized! My cornbread was flatbread and heavy as lead! But it did have a crunchy, brown crust. Paper weights came to mind as I sadly cut it into squares.
My husband and his son ate with relish and praise all I placed before them; the black-eyed peas flavored to perfection, the flower garden salad, the scrumptious pan-fried potatoes. And yes, the lovingly prepared flatbread, cornbread was eaten as if Aunt Jemima herself had smilingly served it up.
Never underestimate the power of love, and always check the expiration date on the baking powder can!
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable...." 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT)
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