I know many of you will relate to what I’m doing! I’m trying to cook food that tastes like my mamma’s used to. Ever since she passed away in 1996 I’ve been trying to duplicate her cornbread. It’s never worked…until today!
I can still see her sitting at her kitchen table stirring the cornmeal batter in her white mixing bowl, telling me to add a little of this and that, and to always use enough buttermilk to make the mixture “soupy.” But just what was the “this and that” she used?? Ah, that’s the secret…long lost. I know she used eggs…but did she add flour to the cornmeal? No one remembers.
Today I was on a mission. Unlock the secret recipe. I thought to myself, “OK. Let’s first start with the recipe on back of the cornmeal bag. I do remember what kind she used. Then we can go from there.” I prepared my big, iron skillet the way I remember Mom doing. I heated it good and hot with vegetable oil in the oven like she always did before putting the mixture in it. I waited, and looked. Waited and looked. It looked like what Mom made, but would it taste like hers when it was all hot and buttery?
The timer rang and the big, black skillet came out of the oven with golden brown cornbread in tow. My sister came fast. We anxiously waited for it to cool enough to invert on a large plate. We carefully sliced the hot, crispy bread, applied butter, and let it melt/soak in before taking the plunge!
Lo and behold, this was doggone close to Mom’s recipe! Not “it” but close enough for jazz. We relished the flavor, thinking back on what might have made Mom’s better. Could it be that it was just the fact that it was Mom who made it? Could it be that we were so hungry (and sometimes cold in winter) that her big pot of beans and cornbread or pot roast and cornbread just ‘hit the spot?’
Who would have thought it? For the past ten years all we needed to do was read the back of the cornmeal bag to find Mom’s ‘secret’ recipe! We had a good chuckle out of that one.
It made me think of how we tend to do things in a spiritual realm. We try and try to do things our way, and figure life out all on our own. Our Heavenly Father has no “secret recipe” for living! He’s provided everything we need to know to follow a recipe of joy, happiness, peace, and security. When all else fails, then we tend to “read the instructions!” We sure could save some time and energy if we’d simply read them in the first place.
His Words sooth a hungry soul and warm a cold heart. Feast on His Words. Every one will just “hit the spot.” There is no secret to what God can do…
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. NIV
My mom is also from a long line of wonderful cooks. Cooking anything from a box in my family is a no-no! I will never forget the one time a made a boiled frosting and it turned out beautiful- my mom stated "I have never been able to make that frosting- it never turns out right"- I felt so proud that day, that I could do something that a great cook like my mother could not do! Of course there are many things that I can't do as well as her!
You bring heart warming memories back in your article, and the analogy is great! Love Danette
Lucy, this is a very good article, and I am very impressed with the analogy. Have a Merry Christmas. Thomas
14 Dec 2007
Wonderful story! Wonderful analogy! I know just what you mean by things not being QUITE like Mama made. I have tried to duplicate Mom's date loaf recipe for 50 years. Mine is good, but just NOT QUITE like hers. And scones. I try to duplicate my mother-in-law's scones to please my husband. Mine are good, but NOT QUITE like hers. I have come to the conclusion that it is, like you said, connotation, memories, that make the difference. And you brought out a good point about following the simple directions God has laid down for us. But we forget to follow the "recipe", which is right before us all the time. Thanks, Lucy, for this very good lesson....Helen