The summer’s found me traveling from Queens, New York to Macon, Georgia to visit my Aunt Nora Kirksey Byrd. There were no cousins in New York but there were five us during the summers in Georgia. On certain days, we would pile into the car and head to the Farmers’ Market. Aunt Nora would select bushels of ears of corn, snap beans, butter beans, and black eyed peas.
That’s when vacation ended and work began. She would get us seated in a circle, give us bowls and brown paper bags. We would begin snapping the beans and putting them in a bowl and the tips and strings would end up in the bag. If it wasn’t beans, we did the same with butter beans and black eyed peas by popping the open and dropping the beans or peas into the bowl and the pods into the bag.
The corn was a different story. She would husk the corn. Some of the ears of corn would be prepared for freezing and some of the ears she would scrape and make cream corn.
Nora would blanch the vegetables and then chill them in ice water and put them in pint or quart bags and she would put them in the big chest freezer to be used during the year.
What fond memories I have of hanging out with my cousins, Connie, Dicky, and Mike and my brother Joe, preparing vegetables for freezing. Today, I still enjoy scraping corn and shelling and snapping beans to use during the winter.