Mustard and Turnip Greens Cooking

Anybody in a family of southern or “down home” cooks know that the smell of greens cooking is NOT one of the greatest “aromas” in the world. It stinks like someone is literally baking a mud pie with the leaves thrown in for color. It is awful, but it reminds me of home. It makes me think of my Grandma and the comfort of her home and love.

My grandparents helped raise me and I lived with them from birth to the age of 12. Their house is the only place that I have ever really felt at home – without judgment, without disappointment, without the world and it’s gazing stare. I felt that someone understood me and loved me in spite of all my shortcomings. Don’t get me wrong, my parents loved me and were there throughout my life, but I didn’t really know them and they didn’t really know me.

Therefore, as you can imagine, the transfer from Grandma’s house to full time with my Mama, was very difficult. It had its ups and downs. I had my own room and got an allowance and was treated like a mature individual. On the opposite end, I didn’t really get to be the baby there. I had chores and responsibilities and was fully expected to know the rules and follow them – always! Mama was a teenager when she had me, so it was a learning experience for both of us. I understand that.

Then, when Grandma died, I felt lost. I was grown and on my own, but it still felt like I lost the only real person in the world that “got” me. So, it is bittersweet when I smell greens cooking. I have the greatest memories and I am reminded of the saddest time in my life. I love the smell, though, because the good far outweigh the bad.


One thought on “Mustard and Turnip Greens Cooking

  1. For me, this is a excellent, well written piece, it reminds me of being in the kitchen when my mom and Grandma were cooking some of those famous southern dishes, I experienced a memory when you wrote about, the lost of your grandma, and how the Smells of the Greens brought back past memories from your life….just Great!!!!!


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