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This past summer I taught my daughter and her newly married friend
how to cook. We called it "Cooking School with Ashley and Ashley".
I would theme our menus like Mexican, Italian, or Home Cooking.
On the night I taught Home Cooking we prepared :

Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Breaded Okra, Black-eyed Peas,
Cornbread and Banana Pudding.

Yum Yum . . . . . . it was so good. I would always write down my
recipes on cards so they would be able to make the dishes on their
own. I started to write down my recipe for my cornbread. I am
not bragging, but I make wonderful, melt in your mouth cornbread.
But . . . . I don't have a recipe . . . . and I didn't make good cornbread
until I asked my Grandmother if I could have her recipe.

My Grandmother looked shocked when I asked her for her recipe . . .
she claimed she didn't have a recipe, that she just threw it together.
I asked her if I could watch her make it . . . . if she wouldn't mind.
She put an iron skillet on the burner with a little butter and oil in
it and claimed that it was to be very hot when you pour the batter
in. Then she pulled an old aluminum bowl from the cupboard
and took her little wrinkled hand and measured out a little flour
and a little cornmeal and threw it in the bowl. I asked her how
much she used in cups . . . . she held her little hand out . . . and
said "Oh, about this much" referring to her cupped hand. I
tried cupping my hand . . . trying to imagine 1/3 or 1/2 cup?
I kept watching as she added baking powder, salt, beaten egg,
buttermilk and water and she stirred until it looked about as
runny as "So" and then she poured it in the hot iron skillet.
I still remember thinking she was about to burn down the house
with that skillet smoking . . . I don't believe her home had a
working smoke detector or I'm sure it would have sounded by
now. She put that hot skillet into a hot oven and said "That's
my cornbread" and added, "but, you must watch it in the oven
and turn it on broil the last minute to brown the top til it's
crispy." She didn't know how long to cook it . . . . she told me
to wait til the center was level with the sides . . . . and it would
be about 20 minutes or so.

That was about 25 years ago I enjoyed that afternoon with my
MaMa Chamlee . . . . and I can still make the best cornbread
in the south. I only learned from watching her and standing
right beside her the entire time to learn her secrets. I tried to
teach Ashley and Ashley her techniques, and I did fine tune
the recipe to about so much of this or that to try to make it
easier for them.

Have you ever tried to do something that was impossible . . .
that it never ever turned out like you had planned. You try
and try and just end up frustrated. It may be gardening,
sewing, painting, cleaning, or mothering. You may need
to find someone to stand along side to learn the secrets.
It may be as simple as asking someone for help. I'm sure
there is someone out there more than willing to help you
in whatever area you are experiencing failure. God has
placed other women in your life to be there to guide you
through whatever you are facing. It may be your mother,
sister, friend, or neighbor there to help you with your

We need to be willing to share our gifts with others
and guide those who need a helping hand. Our gifts
are not meant to be kept to ourselves . . . we are not
truly blessed until we give them away.

Posted by Meagan Walley at 8:34 PM