Suffering Succotash!

Suffering Succotash

Adapted from "The Looney Tunes"


We’re hot, exhausted, dirty. Neither of us feels like cooking. It’s about 8:30 p.m. after a long day in garden and field. A quick shower brings a second wind and some inspiration. For a split second, I remember something I used to eat from vegetable plates across the Carolinas during my early newspaper days down South. I have no butter beans, but I do have corn, butter, water, salt, pepper and a whole lot more. I pour a little olive oil into a cast iron skillet, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. I slice up a summer squash, half an eggplant, too, and get them going on medium heat. Next come diced green beans, a handful from the more than 100 lbs. of them I picked during the long day. I add a couple pads of butter. Next comes a very small shredded cabbage, diced onion and garlic cloves. I stand an ear of corn on end in the middle of the pan and start shaving off all its kernels into the pan. Dela joins me after her shower, adding kernels from two more ears of corn. She starts chopping several tomatoes into the simmering mix, and I contribute bright lights chard, again slicing from a washed bunch in my hand. She sprinkles in dried herbs. We sit for a minute, savoring a little wine with local cheeses and organic crackers from the co-op. We laugh a little about “suffering succotash” cartoons, puzzling over something Indians first served to white settlers in America. Just a couple of aging organic farmers, making it up as we go along on a hot August night. Your turn. Be creative. Make it fun. Make it healthful. Make it good.