Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lima Beans And Love

Mother and Daughter
Lucien-Philippe Moretti (French)
1960

When I was a little girl, I hated lima beans. My mother would cook them, and everyone else would eat them except me. I couldn't stand the texture of them, and I would leave them on my plate. One summer evening my mother got very angry, and she made me sit at the table until I had eaten every bean. The other kids were outside playing and I was sitting at the table, glumly looking at the unappealing little pile of pale green legumes that were staring back at me.

"Go ahead... eat us... we dare ya...!"

My mother and I finally came to a compromise, and I was allowed to go outside and play if I ate half the beans. But, the only way I could bear to eat them was to peel them, so I very carefully peeled every bean, ate the insides, and left the little pile of bean skins on the corner of my plate. The only problem is, this process took so long that by the time I was finished, the sun had set. My mother was determined and I was stubborn. Neither one of us won the stand-off, and from that day forward, the very sight of lima beans would make me gag.

Yesterday while I was grocery shopping, I found myself putting a bag of lima beans into my cart. What's this? What am I doing? Well, I thought, what harm could there be in trying them? So this evening I decided to cook the lima beans. I took them out of the refrigerator, and I heard myself saying, "Well, Mom, will you take a look at this. I'm cooking lima beans -- voluntarily -- and I'm going to eat them..." At that moment I could smell my mother's Chanel No. 5 perfume, and I heard her distinctive laugh. "Noooooo...!" she said as she laughed.

I don't believe in ghosts, but at that moment my mother was right there in my kitchen with me, as though she were in corporal form, and I laughed with her. It was as if we were both remembering that summer evening years ago, and the lima beans, and for a few minutes we shared that moment again.

As we zip back and forth through time, I wonder if we realize the small events in our lives that will bind us to the people we love. I think I will always have a fondness for lima beans now. And yes, I ate the lima beans, and they were delicious.

Cheers,

27 comments:

Essie said...

Hi Jo, I have made some changes to my blog, and I would love for you to stop by and see them. I have also changed my name...Formally Mean Mama, I now have worked up the guts to go by my name, Essie. I work in City Politics (in an appointed volunteer capacity)and I am trying to get myself less afraid of technology and communication with...well, everyone. I was a victim of domestic violence about 16 years ago, and have always let my fear keep me from doing things like, facebook or twitter, and I really feel like I'm missing out on a lot of fun! So..here goes.
Anyway, your post reminded me of my little 3 year old, Xan who will not eat anything that is good for him. I just bought this book called "The Sneaky Chef" and it has all sorts of sneaky recipes so that I can sneak veggies and all sorts of good stuff into his food! I'm going to pick up the one for husbands too, because he is not much better! :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lovely story! I hated them too as a child, and on one occasion when dinner consisted of calves liver, boiled potatoes and lima beans, I was forced to sit at table until long after everyone had gone to bed because I wouldn't eat any of it, OR the 9-foot glass of milk in front of me.

I can stand limas now but they'll never be a favorite vegetable. As for liver -- NEVER.

Aimee said...

That was a beautiful story, Jo! And isn't it lovely that the ghosts come back and haunt us? :)

A human kind of human said...

I want to go "Aaaw Sweet" but I realise that that would be shallow for what you describe in your post. I also find that sometimes just a sound or a song or a smell or even the sound in somebody's voice, takes me back to a specific time, event and/or person.

Deb said...

Jo...thanks for stopping by to visit...I hated lima beans as a kid to and had several of those stand offs with my step dad...he wasn't quiet as nice as your Mom...still won't eat Lima beans...glad you gave them a try again...I think Lima beans will always be on my NOT list...

KathyB. said...

I had the very same experiences with potatoes. Many, many episodes of this very same experience with potatoes. I hate potatoes. I absolutely hate mashed potatoes and have not even the slightest desire to overcome my revulsion for mashed potatoes, but I do understand and love my Mom...but really, NO POTATOES!You are a far better person for this than I because even with my understanding of my Mom and Dad regarding the many nights of sitting at the table and staring at a plate of mashed potatoes until I was sent to bed hungry I still hate potatoes.I do believe that unless forced to eat potatoes because of extreme starvation and potatoes being the only available source of nutrition, I will never voluntarily eat them. Did I mention I hate potatoes?

Nezzy said...

i'm lovin' your little lima bean story. I would make my children sit in the dining room until their lima beans were gone. Farm kids can be the most creative creatures than ever walked the earth! They would stick the dang things up one nostril and hold the other and blow shootin' lima~ammo at each other. After I had to scrape the dried little boogers off the wallpaper I gave up and choose other 'green' vegetables!

Have a fun day girl!!!

Alissa said...

I don't know what it is about lima beans, but I've never liked them, and neither have several other members of my family. Thankfully, I was never forced to eat lima beans as a kid, but I do remember a very similar spinach incident, when my sister and I were not allowed to leave the table until we finished the spinach on our supper plates. Spinach is one of those foods with a funny texture for me. I don't mind it cooked with something, but to this day eating plain spinach grosses me out.

Blonde Bookworm! said...

Hi there, I love this post :) It is so true. I was just telling my mom yesterday how a guy friend of mine came up behind me and pulled my shoulders back to "straighten" my posture out. It was like deja-vu, I instantly thought of my grandfather, Da, and how he constantly did this in a fun silly kind of way. Loved ones who have passed always have a funny way of popping up in our lives...I can't help but think twice about this "guy friend" now and maybe it was some sort of sign from Da :)

Paula Slade said...

Lima beans and Channel # 5 - that brought back some very similar memories Jo!! :) I firmly believe the bonds of love stretch from this plane to the next.

Katy said...

Love the picture of the mother and daughter. Its strange what we remember from childhood isn't it? I remember one night we our family was eating corn on the cobb. I put too much salt on mine and couldn't eat it. It was years before I put salt on anything.

Thank you for visiting my blog this weekend and leaving that wonderful comment. Your gift brought a nice smile to my Monday morning.

Jo said...

Essie, I love your new name, and the changes to your blog. "The Sneaky Chef" is a great book. I think it was written by Seinfeld's wife, wasn't it?

Susan, I cannot understand anyone sadistic enough to serve lima beans and liver in the same meal. Oh my Gawd...! What parents do to us, hey???

Aimee, yes, and the ghosts pop up at the most unexpected moments, don't they? Never the big moments, but the little moments.

Anna, yes, or a song on the radio, or the sound of a bird singing. I have experienced all of those things. It's wonderful, isn't it?

Deb, I was very surprised to find I liked them, with a little butter and salt and pepper. I don't think I would make a regular habit of them though. :-)

Kathy, that made me laugh out loud. I used to hate mashed potatoes too, and put gravy on them, and I felt instant revulsion. I like potatoes now, oddly enough. I once felt the same way about carrots too. Gag. *heh*

Nezzy, omigawd...! That is too funny...! Oooohhhh, I think that story just put me off lima beans again. *heh, heh*

Alissa, my daughter felt the same way about spinach, and I remember making her sit at the table and finish her spinach. Why do we do such things to our kids??? Argh. :-)

Blonde Bookworm, omigoodness, it almost makes one believe in reincarnation doesn't it? You have had two people in your life who have done that. Doesn't it make you wonder??? :-)

Paula, oh yes. It's very true that love never dies with the individual. I still feel my father's presence very often as well.

Katy, yes, it doesn't take much to put us off some food or other, does it? And yes, I was amazed at how good your blog is, and the whole world should find you. Keep blogging, and they will...!

The Bug said...

Mmm - I LOVE lima beans! Mom would cook them with lots of salt & pork. They had to be cooked to death too.

Dr. M & I made a crock-pot dish last week with chicken, potatoes, carrots & lima beans - yummy!

My moments of feeling my mom in the room come when I'm ironing (which is once in a blue moon)...

Whitney Lee said...

I know just what you mean about never knowing what will tie us to people...
I had a difficult relationship with my grandmother. This doesn't mean I didn't spend enormous amounts of time with her. Every year she would take my sister and me to pick peaches and as a reward at the end she would let us eat one of them. Of course, it was never the best looking ones but the ones that were less appealing. And fuzzy. Peaches are really fuzzy. I would gag mine down each year. I don't mind peach flavors or peach cobbler or any of that, but I still won't eat fresh peaches.
Fortunately for all involved my grandmother and I came to terms some years before her death. We never had an easy relationship, but we could talk and she was very excited when I got pregnant the first time. She passed away 2 weeks after the birth of my daughter. For the first few months after this I would go to check on my baby and strongly smell fresh peaches. It doesn't occur now with any regularity, but she does stop in on occasion and check up on us. It's quite comforting.

JeannetteLS said...

I still hate lima beans... BUT that's not the point of your story even a little! For me I think it's beef stew on a winter's day. That was our winter meal for raw February and March days particularly. I did not love my mom's stew, but I loved the smell of it and the way it made things feel better. When I make MY version of stew I talk to her and say, "SEE mom? I use SEASONINGS." And I laugh. So many little and big things to tie us to people who are no longer with us... or, as your wonderful entry suggests, perhaps they ARE.

Cloudia said...

lovely real post, Jo!



Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Alicia said...

Jo,
What a wonderful post. It's wonderful that in that moment your mom was truly with you. This post touched my heart :-)

Pauline said...

I love lima beans, and my Mama and my dad both "talk" to me on occasion though they've both been gone for more than 20 years. Mama used to say there were enough good things in the world to eat that fighting over one of them seemed silly. As a result, I was never afraid to try something, knowing that if I didn't like it, I would not have to eat it.

PhilipH said...

A really touching story Jo. Well told, as usual of course.

Cedar said...

I had the same experience with liver...and to this day I would eat a sneaker before I would eat Mac and Cheese...even if I had wore the sneaker for 10 days prior...as long as there was catsup.

TC said...

I think everyone's mother wore Chanel #5 and had a lima bean vegetable, in my case several, I restricted my diet to no meat, no chocolate, and nothing green including lime jello. My mother never made me take anything I didn't want but I had the not eating down to a science, I was malnourished because I wouldn't eat when I was about 5, no fault of my parents, I just didn't like food that much, that has changed now.

Blue Ridge Mountains said...

Jo, thanks you brought back lots of memories for me. P

Smalltown RN said...

Funny how you should mention lima beans...my hubby and I were talking about them today. I have a cupboard full of a variety of legumes...he laughs...he tells me how he hates them...especially after his father made a lentil soup....my mom was the worlds worst cook, but she did make a mean bean salad. I loved the garbonzo beans, lima beans, kidney beans...all of them...do you remember Mai ling beans?

Anyhow....what memories you brought back for me...thank you...I hope you enjoyed your time in the kitchen with your memories whilst cooking...

Brenda said...

I enjoyed this story of memories and the spirit of your Mother. I do believe in ghosts or spirits to some degree. I am starting to worry about you though Jo. Lima beans and brussel sprouts in the same week?! You sure are a healthy eater! (I like both of them, by the way....just joking with you).

Jo said...

Bug, you know, the smell of ironing reminds me of my mother too. P.S. I would love your crock pot recipe...!

Whitney, omigoodness, what a beautiful story! I am not surprised you smell peaches, because I do believe she is with you. Difficult relationships can be the ones that leave the loudest echo. P.S. I could never eat a peach with the fuzzy skin still on it. Ack...!

Jeanette, no one knows for sure if they are with us or not, do they? I mean, the jury is still out on that one. The mysteries of life -- and the afterlife...! Makes you wonder, though, doesn't it?

Cloudia, thank you. :-)

Alicia, aw, thank you. You know, I could actually hear my mother's voice and her laugh. That's funny, hey?

Pauline, your mama seemed very wise. Perhaps she realized there is no point in forcing someone to eat something they don't like. It really defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Phillip, my goodness, thank you. :-)

Ris, that is how I feel about sliced deli meats. Ack...! They always seem to have this unidentified slick on them, that doesn't exist on "real" meat. :-)

TC, no chocolate??? Omigosh, chocolate was created by the Gods. :-) Green jello, however, I completely agree with. It always tasted to -- green. *shudder*

Blue Ridge Mountains, oh, good...! I'm glad. I think we can all relate to having this happen to us. *heh*

Mary Anne, I don't think I have ever had Mai ling beans. But my father absolutely loved kidney beans, and he knew all sorts of different ways to cook them. I went for a while where I didn't like them, but now I do again.

Brenda, LOL. I could eat brussel sprouts seven days a week, and never get tired of them. That's actually kind of scarey, isn't it? :-)

Carol E. said...

Great story! I have always hated lima beans, too.But maybe now I should try them again. I have learned to like many things that I hated as a child. And I know what you mean about feeling your mom's presence. I felt my dad once, shortly after he died, letting me know he was OK.

日月神教-向左使 said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,性感影片,正妹,聊天室,
情色論壇