Gardening and grandmothers are two things that I often feel that I know little about. My grandmothers both passed away before I was born, leaving a yearning in my heart for as long as I can remember. When I married my husband 8 years ago, I inherited two grandmothers. These two women have loved me as if I was their own, and in turn my heart has felt overjoyed to call them mine.
Over the years, I have found myself sitting around their tables, enjoying food and recipes like angel biscuits and jam, homemade pies, noodles from scratch, fresh green beans, golden corn, and homegrown tomatoes. Every time we visit, these are the foods that fill the tables. These foods remind me of the meals and stories that I have shared with them as we sat together and created. More importantly though, they remind me of the women who have filled my heart with memories and pictures of what it looks like to be loved by a grandmother.
Gardening in the Midwest is more common than in South Texas, and I have appreciated many fruits and vegetables from Grandma’s garden over the years. This summer, while visiting our local farmer’s market, I picked up some container-grown tomatoes and decided that I was ready to try a little taste of gardening for myself. My cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and basil survived but the remainder of my tomatoes failed miserably. Fortunately, during a recent trip to Indiana for Grandma’s birthday, my father-in-law stocked me up on tomatoes. I was so excited that I began looking for creative ways to eat them. When it came down to it though, I realized that all I wanted to make with my tomatoes was Caprese Salad. The combination of bold colors, textures and flavors drizzled with olive oil is one of my favorite meals. In the midst of a hectic and chaotic day, Caprese Salad feels like kindness to my hungry soul.
Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys. A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here.