The older I get, the less I know

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

When you're a teenager, of course, you know everything, or you at least know enough when it comes to your limited world. As you graduate from high school and leave for college, a whole new world opens for you. Once you enter the workforce and begin your career, your life begins to revolve around a new group of people, a new schedule, and, yes, maybe even new eating habits, whether they are good for you or not.

I started working at McDonald's on the Greenville Bypass as soon as I turned 16. Needless to say, between school, work, basketball and friends, I had no time to learn how to cook. I'm talking about watching my mother cook from &#8220scratch,” the full-course meals, the homemade pound cakes and pies, cornbread dressing, even fried chicken. Before I started working, I was too busy playing softball with the recreation department, along with Pattie Luckie Presley, Susan Croley, Dee Hickman, Christy Herring, Leigh Anne Black, and a whole bunch more. But, we'll travel down that memory lane another day.

My point is that I was either too busy or too lazy to learn how to cook. Now, I'm paying for it.

Once again, so much for women's rights. We went to college, went to work, made money, bought cars and houses, learned to invest, and got fat eating fast food because we didn't know how to cook from scratch. Of course, I can only speak for myself.

There's a wealth of knowledge and an entire education to be learned which no scholarship could ever pay for, and it's quickly slipping away with every passing day.

This past Saturday, I picked up some of that fantastic camp stew that they make at the Masonic Lodge on South Pine Street for $5 a quart. If you haven't had any before, you don't know what you're missing.

But, as I walked into the lodge, I realized that if some younger people don't come along and learn how to do this and help to keep this activity going, that will be one more tradition lost.

Also, on Saturday morning, I was given my orders to find local farmer Jimmy Schofield and buy a bunch of mustard greens for my mom. Okay. I put mustard on my hamburgers, and that's the extent of that. Anyway, what if we didn't have these small farmers who grow fresh produce to sell out of the back of their trucks, and secondly, what if no one knew how to properly cook and prepare them? I wouldn't have the slightest idea about what to do with a &#8220mess of greens.” It took all Saturday afternoon and into the evening for my mother to wash and wash and wash and then blanch and blanch and blanch all of these greens. The only time I blanch is when I've just ordered a nice steak and baked potato and then realize I left my wallet at home.

On Sunday, my mom and I traveled to Samson, Ala., to a Sacred Harp singing at Travelers Rest Church, a wooden structure that makes the sound ring.

At dinnertime, the tables were spread with items such as homemade lemon and coconut pies, a big pot of chicken and dumplings, fresh field peas with ham cooked in them, homemade fried apple turnovers and a big platter of fried salt pork. I'm ashamed to say that I wouldn't have a clue how to cook a platter of fried salt pork, but I do know how to eat it.

Beep, beep, beep, beep,………

What in the world?……..

Oh, Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, is heating his artificially flavored salmon dinner in the microwave. Oh, well, he's learned from the master.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at