The Bounty of Our Land

Dad caught a mess of bream, and mama dredged them in cornmeal and fried them with fresh okra in her gleaming, black skillet. He and my kid sisters woke up at six on Sunday and beat the crowd to St. Marks, bringing home (at the expense of bright red sunburns) and shucking sweet scallops, enough for us all to have our fill once mama married them to butter and garlic. Tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers grown right there in their Lloyd yard filled the salad with Florida sunshine. Fresh squash, chopped and molded into croquettes, and grits more cheese than corn filled the plate to overflowing. The whole meal started out with freshly made salsa (mason jars full, lined up on the kitchen counter from canning the day before) and ripe cherries and finished up with sliced fruit poured over angelfood cake and lemon squares from a friend.

All of us on a Sunday night, in and out of the bright kitchen, sisters dancing in the high-ceiling hall, my best friend and his wife telling stories and smoking cigarettes on the back porch while trains boom past, dad half asleep and smiling from all the hunting and gathering, mama slinging pans and doling out hugs and advice and gossip. So many blessings.


Food and Brew Love said...

You are one lucky kiddo, you know?

The food and the company couldn't sound better. Gracious and rich, rich, rich, and even out of so much historical disfunction. Your blog is great. Your mama's blog is great. And the subtext between the two is priceless.

Wish I'd been there for the feast!

Ms. Moon said...

Oh darlin'! You beat me to the blog...
Yeah, last night was the best, wasn't it? Just a perfectly lovely meal. Far more Thanksgiving than many Thanksgivings.
What blessings in the food, in the family, in the gathering of it all.
Thanks for the beautiful words.

juancho said...

It is settled then. The first annual Tallahassee Bloggers Cotillion and White Elephant Swap Meet will be held in Lloyd.

I'll bring cornbread and butter beans.

downtown guy said...

food and brew: I know, I'm one of the luckiest guys in town. Great family, great food.

mama: I'm so glad I made it out there last night - couldn't have been better.

juancho: I wish I had some corn bread and butter beans right now.

Ms. Moon said...

I have a feeling it wouldn't be the first Cotillion held in this house. Not so sure about the swap meet, though.
Give me a head's up so I can dust the chandeliers, wax the ballroom and pick the mint (for the juleps, of course).

juancho said...

mmm, juleps.

texino said...

Yeah, it's scary better. Figured it would be. Watch out! People get paid money for this kind of thing.


downtown guy said...

Heck, mom's is better than mine.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh, son. It is not. You make a mama blush...

It's funny how many of our family are really decent writers. Even your youngest sib is far better than she will ever realize. I mean seriously.
We do love the words, don't we? Almost as much as we love to eat and have a fine time.

Miss Trashahassee said...


'scuze me.

Miss T

deb said...

This post made me cry in a good way.
As a mother, as a child who craved this , still craves it I suppose.
Thanks for sharing this. Wow is all.