5 Reasons Why Your Food Doesn’t Taste As Good As Your Mama’s

…Or your grandma’s or granddaddy’s or whoever your culinary hero happens to be—personally, I have several!

Anyway, now that we’ve got that settled, please feel free to accept or decline the following holiday cooking Public Service Announcement, from me to you.

LadyG: Seekthebestblog.com

Flat out, your food will never taste as good as mama’s.

Come on now, somebody must tell you why your apple pie is pallid and your fried chicken is fretful. 

Apparently, I am that ‘somebody.’

Yes, my love, I know… It hurts.

But be of good cheer, there is joyful news!

Yes!

I’m here to call out your mistakes and to help you figure out how to fix them.

As such, you may refer to me as your culinary ‘good fairy’ or ‘kitchen witch.’

Allow me to thank you, in advance, for welcoming me into your home.

And so…

Let us commence!

There are at least 5 reasons why you’ll never reach ‘legendary’ cooking status within the realm of mama–and they are as follows:

You chose to use different brands. In the words of my brother, Tack, if you want your food to taste like Mama’s, you gotta buy what Mama buys. So, if Mama used ‘Dixie Crystal,’ do not get ‘Thriftymaid.’

You make unnecessary modifications. Substituting margarine for butter, using the ‘lite’/’light’ version of things, using canola for shortening in the can, Splenda for sugar, or, God forbid, canned fruits and/or vegetables for fresh. Of course, you must follow your doctor’s dietary guidance if you have certain medical conditions.

You fail to time your cooking. Simply put, you cannot start cooking all of your food at the same time. Start slow cooking things first, then gradually cook other items as you go by cooking fast cooking foods last.

You’re doing too much with seasonings and spices. Stop experimenting with everything you ever thought you heard about how to season things. As for my mother, she typically only used about 2 or 3 seasonings. Baking is the only real exception to that rule; however, my mom was decidedly not a baker.

You’re not cooking your food long enough (or vice versa) or not blending, stirring, or mixing long enough for certain items. ‘Nuff said!

Now that you know better, do better! LOL! By the way, there are plenty of other reasons why you can’t beat Mama’s cooking! LOL!

LadyG loves YOU!

*This post is NOT sponsored, brand names shown are for illustrative purposes only. It’s all in fun!


Video:

Evening Porch Talk Podcast With LadyG | Southern Churchgoing Rules Back In The Day

In this video, I’m on my porch talking about rules oldhead Southerners had to follow regarding churchgoing back in the day.

I also share a nice bowl of redbeans with rice and a good old cold can of coke.

Don’t forget the Texas Pete hot sauce!

I also show you what I did with the prepped mushrooms that I shared in a previous video about meal prepping.

I made a nice Alfredo pasta dish with langostino, scallions, and spinach.

Okay, enough about that, let’s go out on the porch and sit a spell.


So let me go ahead and lay out these old school churchgoing rules:

Church was pretty much non-negotiable!

No church?

  • No TV
  • No radio or record playing–what was a computer or a smartphone?
  • No playing outside
  • No alternate spiritual activities like meditating or lighting candles – that was considered to be devilish! Me chatting about the moon would have been considered damn near satanic–in fact, in many places in the South, it still is! LOL!
  • BTW, we hedged our bets on hoodoo and rootwork though–do your thang, just don’t tell nobody!
  • If you went out Saturday night, you best be in church on Sunday. If you’re well enough to go out in the street, you’d better GET well enough to go to church the next morning.

Let’s not forget the good part–Sunday dinner, no fast food!


Clearly, times have changed, but personally, I think we should all consider doing something to either acknowledge our creator or at least soothe our body, mind, heart and spirit chile!

I’m serious bout that thing!

So many folks are way off track.

Many of us have lost any type of moral compass–that’s assuming there was one there to start.

Ah, but it ain’t nothing new bout what we’re seeing nowadays, hell three baby girls were blown up while at church in Birmingham over 50 years ago and what’s more, if you’d asked the bombers about their beliefs, they would have sworn themselves to be good Christian folks.

Look at what happended to those folks praying in Charleston.

There are countless acts of terrorism against churches, schools and other places of worship.

Recently, a lovely 69-year-old lady was brutally killed at church in Maryland.

What’s wrong y’all?

I just don’t know –so I pray and try to keep on the sunny side!

How were your beans and rice?

Anyway, I’m LadyG out here in the Southern skies, north of the sunset, east of the moonrise.

Remember,

LadyG loves YOU!


Enjoy the video:

Real Good Food: Let’s Chat While I Make Lasagna: I Apologize in Advance To My Lovely Italian Friends!

‘Homemade Lasagna’

Come on in the kitchen with me while I cook this lasagna!

We’ll go out on the porch and chat while we wait for it to bake.

Now, before I go any further let me formally apologize to my Italian friends for the ‘abomination’ that I am presenting today.

Let’s be real, the lasagna that I made is the ugly step-sister to the real thing.

Bella, I am sorry!

Though I would love to…

  • Grow and can my own tomatoes
  • Make the pasta from scratch
  • Spend at least 8 hours making the ‘gravy’

Alas, I just ain’t able!

So, again, I apologize!

I only wish that I will someday be blessed to enjoy an authentic lasagna made with such love and care!

Until then, this one will have to do.

But, you know what?

Cooking with love and patience is not just an Italian thing!

(Though I will admit that they have taken the concept to grand heights.)

No!

Cooking with love and patience is worldwide!

Flat out, in every country in the world you will find people of every make and model who are extremely meticulous about the foods that they procure–not to mention how they prepare them.

In fact, as you read this post, there are magickal concoctions being lovingly planned and served by folks everywhere!

And now, I ask, what concoction is your country known for?

Let’s discuss in comments.

Meanwhile, enjoy the video!

Evening Porch Talk Podcast With LadyG: Ancestors, Deceased Family And Friends | Just Because You Died Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Communicate, Right?

In this episode I talk about communicating and acknowledging our ancestors, deceased family and friends.

I also share a true story that I believe shows that my ancestors and deceased family and friends were listening when I decided to acknowledge them.

Enjoy the video!

Thanksgiving Dinner: Wanna Save Money? You Betta Get Up EARLY!

Some things are well worth getting up early for, and these days, a $0.49/pound turkey is well worth it!


You might as well know that I am not above dragging my baby out of bed a couple of hours before school just so we can run like HELL to the grocery store to buy a cheap turkey.

Nope, it’s not above me at all!

To be honest, this past Saturday, I was just about to go ahead and purchase a turkey for a horrifically high price!

Child, that damned thang was $25!

Alas, the manager of the meat department noticed my tomfoolery and stopped me in my tracks!

“You might wanna wait until the 10th,” he said with a devilish grin.

He went on to say that the supply will be low and that some people went ahead and paid the regular price just to be sure that they’d have turkey for Thanksgiving.

The hell you say!

I decided to take the chance and wait to see what would be available for the future sale.

So I stepped back from the freezer and said, “I’ll see you Wednesday!”

Now…

Am I a victim of a capitalist machine that has convinced me that I must celebrate Thanksgiving and that I’m required to buy a turkey?

Probably.

Did I get that damned turkey?

Hell yeah!

The first step to getting well is admitting the problem!

LOL!!!

Enjoy this video of me running my ass off to get that TURKEY!

Thanksgiving Dinner: Stay Ready So You Don’t Have To GET Ready

If I’m being honest, you probably should have already purchased everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner.

No tea, no shade…just facts!

And…you should know by now that LadyG runs a very strict ‘no judgement zone’ on this blog; however, I will let you know when you are flirting with catastrophe.

Hence, this post.

Seriously, what with all these supply chain issues, food is getting harder to come by so extra planning is a MUST!

As for me, I have been buying things for Thanksgiving since September!

In other words, I’ve been watching sales and picking up stocks, soups, flour, pastas and pretty much anything else that I know I’ll want for Thanksgiving dinner.

The other day I purchased some tylenol, cough drops, cotton swabs and a can of cranberry sauce–’cause it was on sale.

A strange combination of purchases?

Yes.

Crazy?

Hell naw!

I stay ready so I don’t have to GET ready.

So should you!

LOL!

Now, here’s how I prep my Thanksgiving meal part 1 and part 2.

Let’s GO!

The Best Breakfast!

 

IMG_2422

When I was a kid, the best breakfast was cooked and served by my Aunt Nell!

International House of Pancakes didn’t have ANYTHING on her!

She cooked those grits to perfection…

Her country ham and biscuits were unsurpassed…

And the fact that she let us kids drink Pepsi with our meal was freaking ingenious!

Clearly, she was a woman ahead of her time!

But, the thing that I remember most of all about breakfast with my Aunt Nell was her unrivaled ability to spin a good yarn!

I’m talking about good ole Southern Mama storytelling!

Baby, “captivating” ain’t the word for it!

From the moment Aunt Nell began to tell a tale, everybody in the room was completely mezmerized!

She’d intonate…

She’d gesticulate…

She’d immediately grab your attention and hold you in complete suspense!

A masterful comedienne, Aunt Nell’s timing was IMPECCABLE!

By the end of each story, EVERYBODY would be in tears laughing as she calmly sashayed away to tend to her dishes….completely unbothered!

In essence, she ALWAYS dropped the mic…

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

And, as you might have guessed, I wanted to be just like her!

And so…

A lot of the sass that you “hear” from LadyG can be directly linked to my Aunt Nell.

And, as I sit here, approaching my 50th birthday, I can’t help remembering her and everyone else who poured so much into my life; especially her husband, my Uncle Leroy!

I’ve mentioned him a few times before.

At any rate, one thing’s for sure, I’ll always think fondly of Aunt Nell, and will, no doubt, burst into ugly laughter whenever I do!

In this way, she’s just as much alive today as she was in that Alabama kitchen from 1975.

Trust me, she’s here–between every line.

RIP Aunt Nell.

Love and light LadyG

😘💋💋

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Black

mama holding tack
Mama (Eva) holding Tack, that’s me on the right with my mouth wide open!

 

Random Woman:  Hey Brenda!

Brenda:  Hey girl, how are you?  I haven’t seen you in some years!

Random Woman: I know!  It’s been a long time.

Brenda:  Yes it has, by the way, let me introduce you to my friend, Eva.

Random Woman:  (Very dry, cold and nonchalant) Hey Eva.

Random Woman: (Directly addressing Brenda) Ooh Brenda, your little girl is so pretty, how old is she?

Eva: (PISSED) That’s MY child!

Random Woman: (Slightly Embarrassed but still chilly) Oh, I’m sorry, she just looks more like Brenda to me.

Eva walks off with child (ME) in tow.

Yes friends, my mother, Queen Diva Lady Eva, was tee’d off!

Why, you ask?

Because ‘Ms. Random Woman’ assumed that I was Brenda’s daughter based solely on the fact that we shared the same skin complexion.

She never thought for a moment that I could belong to my mother–who was a shade or two darker.

It simply didn’t occur to her to ask.

Sadly, this type of attitude was nothing new to Mama.  As a child, she had received whippings from a lighter skinned uncle for being “too black.”

Colorism 
col·or·ism
ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group–Oxford Dictionaries
What the Oxford folks failed to mention is that this phenomenon is a ‘carry-over’ of Slavery; having been birthed from the actions of slave owners.
In essence, slave masters created division among their chattel by treating them differently based on skin complexion.
The darker slaves were treated far worse than the lighter slaves.  Because of their color, dark skinned men and women were forced to engage in heavy labor while the lighter skinned slaves were treated better–relatively speaking.
Naturally, the lighter skinned slaves were told that they were superior to their melanin rich brothers and sisters and both groups bought into that belief.
And there we have it!
A lifelong mutual animosity between darker slaves and lighter slaves…which sadly continues with their descendants today–albeit to a much lesser degree.
Come now!
Let’s re-evaluate the scenario that I offered at the beginning of this post.
Notice how dismissive Ms. Random Woman was toward my mother.
She all but ignored her darker skinned ‘sister.’
‘Ms. Random’ never imagined that chocolate Ms. Eva could be the mother of a caramel colored daughter with long pony tails.
Of course, at the age of 3, I was too young to notice or understand the larger implications of this woman’s attitude.
I had no clue what was really going on.
Little did I know, I would continue to experience some form of this lunacy throughout my life as my father’s racial identity was, to the average onlooker, perplexing… to say the least 🙂
Lord, I got all kinds of questions like, “Is your Dad Mexican?”

Puerto Rican?

Cuban?

Arab?

West Indian?

East Indian?

Native American?

And everything in between….

Oh, and then there were the really stupid questions like:

How did your Mom get a handsome man like your Dad?

Ok, that’s when I got rowdy!

All bets were off!

Seriously?  What do you mean?

Do you not realize that you’re talking about MY MOTHER?

You better back the hell up!

I’m sorry guys but that mess really got under my skin!

Oh and if you think things got better as years passed…

Think again!

My Mama often recalled a time when an associate of my Dad’s came by to borrow a drill.

Apparently, he peeked past my Mom, who had answered the door, in order to get a better glance at me and whispered, “That must be Jim’s daughter.”

Mama said, “Yes, and she’s my daughter and we have a son too!”

What an idiotic thing to say!

“That must be Jim’s daughter.”

It rolled right off his ignorant ass tongue without a bit of thought attached to it.

The fact that he knew that my parents had been married for 100 years added insult to injury!

Ah…but here’s an even more egregious example.

One day, back in 2012, I had been sitting in the hospital room with Mama for most of the morning.

Well, this black nurse, who had been in and out, and who had seem me sitting there the whole time, asked, “Has any of her family come by yet?”

What the hell do I look like?

Chopped liver?

Of course I didn’t say THAT but I did say, “Well I’m her daugther.”

Naturally, the nurse apologized.

I thought to myself….Here we go again…after all this time.

Still dealing with issues of color.

Mama caught hell for being too dark and Daddy caught hell for being too racially ambiguous.

Good grief!

 

 

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Daddy and Mama at about age 15

 

Inspiration for this post came from comments between myself and these great bloggers:

Kelley at Gray Suede

Dr. K. E. Garland

Ron Brown 

 

 

 

 

 

Mona Lisa and Me

Me at 3
Me at 3

“No matter where you go in the room, Mona Lisa will be looking right at you.”

I remember wondering how that could be possible as I listened to my Godfather talk about a picture that was on display in his living room.

Believe me when I tell you that I was NOT convinced that the lady pictured could do that. So, I tested his assertion. I mean I went to every corner of that room to try that thing out and, sure enough, Mona Lisa continued to look at me- no matter where I went.

I should’ve known he was right.

By the way, my Godmother, who looked like a beautiful Black Betty White, loved laughing at my Godfather as he carried on this sort of ‘grown up’ conversation with three year old me.  Best believe that there was nothing that he could ask me or tell me about that I didn’t have a quick response or answer for; well except for the Mona Lisa thing.  And to be honest, when all else failed, I’d just dip into my vivid imagination and make something up!

Making stuff up is a child’s prerogative isn’t it?

Who knew that my Godfather was teaching me to become a creative communicator 😉

At any rate, during visits with my Godparents, I loved watching and listening to my Godfather play jazz tunes ‘by ear.’  From what I understand, he and his sister were raised in a household that placed a high value on education.  In fact, his sister, who was highly intelligent, went on to become a professor at a prestigious American University.  One of the things that I remember most about her was the love that she had for her dear poodle, Zora.

By the way, you are correct if you guessed that her dog was named for Zora Neale Hurston, the Black novelist, folklorist and anthropologist.

Well to me, at that time, “Zora” meant nothing more than small, yappy, white poodle-period.

Anyway, while my Godfather challenged my intellect, my Godmother, who was a nurse, but had the skills and knowledge of today’s Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant, kept close watch on my physical wellbeing. To be frank, she had been doing so prior to my Earthly debut.  In essence, she handpicked my mother’s OB/Gyn and my Pediatrician; both of whom were top-flight. All in all, she took my parents under her wing the minute they arrived in Augusta. So it was only natural that she and her husband would become my Godparents.

By now you are probably wondering why I have coerced you into accompanying me on a promenade down the streets of my memories. In other words, what is the point of this post?

Well I am glad that you asked!  So here we go!

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to pour into the lives of young children -much like my Godparents did for me. Realize that this does NOT have to cost you anything but a little bit of time.

Here are a couple of suggestions as to how you might do this:

Take a child to the public library and show them the process of finding and checking out a book.  Then, read to them.  You might also take them to free events that introduce them to different cultures.  Look for museum specials so that you can also introduce them to the arts.

Teach a child how to prepare your favorite simple dishes like salads and sandwiches. If they are older, you might show them how to use the stove to prepare a cooked meal.

Allow a child to accompany you to the bank, store or any other place where you take care of business.  While there, explain to them what a checking/ savings account is and allow them to watch you conduct a transaction like making a deposit or cashing a check.  If you are fully automated in the banking realm, show them how online transactions work.  Likewise, take them to a grocery store and show them how to select food items and how to pay for them.

Talk to them about money; specifically, about how it is earned, invested, spent, donated and saved.

Allow a child to watch you as you engage in a favorite pastime or routine activity. Help them to research activities that they may be interested in learning how to do.

To be honest, you can apply all of the suggestions above to any person that would benefit from that knowledge.  Get creative about sharing your skills, abilities and knowledge with others. Remember, you can adjust any of my suggestions in order to make them age appropriate.

Now, before I go, I’d like to have a word with anyone who has been named the Godparent of a child:

Godparents, take your job seriously!  Feel free to use my suggestions.  Please don’t think that you are functioning as a proper Godparent if your only involvement in your Godchild’s life is taking them to get a hamburger and a T-Shirt once a year. And for those of you who simply flaunt the title “Godparent” while adding NO value to the child’s life, I would like to challenge you to step up your game in a major way!

Lady G, is now stepping down from the soapbox!

Honestly, I thank God everyday for my Godparents; especially my Godmother who continued to watch over me through my high school years.  I also thank God for my daughter’s Godparents who have always been so very loving, kind and generous to her and my family.  They remind me so much of my own Godparents.

May God always bless and keep these four souls for all the days of their lives; even until the end of time.

Friends, I also urge you to take time to think about and remember the adults who poured into you when you were a child.  Challenge yourselves to pay it back and forward.