Hannie was my mother’s grandmother, my grandmother’s mother, my great grandmother. She lived to be nearly 100. I saw her almost every day of my life until I was about 13 years old when we moved from Missouri to California. Hannie lived directly across the street from my grandmother. My grandmother had the great big old stone house and Hannie lived at the end of the driveway in her own little cottage. She walked to my grandmother’s fancy house every day in her perfect dress with her perfect shoes, hair perfectly coiffed with her perfect manners… With a beer. I swear to God. Hold on, it gets worse, the beer was always in a beer coozy. Hannie didn’t care, she was her own woman.
My grandparents house circa 1980s. That is Hannie in the front.
Hannie had a story… A story we never spoke of. That’s how my family rolls… We never speak of anything uncolorful or painful. I do though… as evident in this blog. I don’t see the point of keeping secrets, bottling emotions up, hiding skeletons in the closet, pushing stories under the rug. I think the more you hide something, the more obvious it is. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has disappointments, failures, scars and regrets. It’s called life and that’s how you grow and learn and… evolve. #NoteToFamily.
I think that everyone should praise Hannie for her bravado instead of shaming her. Her big secret? She got a divorce. That’s it! But back then, it was fucking unheard-of. Granted, she did get a divorce from a super bad guy… A bank robber, but who are we to judge. I’ve dated my fair share of psychos. Don’t pretend like you haven’t either. Trust me, my sweet little great-grandmother had no idea she married a bank robber. However, she knew enough to divorce him. This was a huge ordeal and never spoken of. We were all supposed to just pretend that Hannie had always been single and her children were born by immaculate conception.
Never wanting feel sorry for herself, Hannie just went about her business raising her daughters and… Getting a job! Yep, she worked her entire life. She was Beyoncé’s Independent Woman circa 1940s. She never remarried, lived on her own and supported herself. What I love about her also is that she always looked like a million bucks. Every day her hair was done, her manicure done, she always wore a dress and shoes with a little heel. The adorable part and the oxymoron for her bold character was that she was teeny tiny… Under 5 feet tall. I think that makes her legally an elf. The funny part is that this little elf drove a giant town car.
As reliable as a postman, Hannie walked over to my grandmother’s house rain sleet or snow every single day. She sunk herself into the big couch, legs crossed… with her beer. She loved her family and was always there for us. I think the moral to her story is to never feel sorry for yourself, be brave and that independence is a very womanly trait. Hannie lived her life on her terms, put her past behind her and evolved.
All of that, and she could cook! So, in honor of Hannie’s gusto, I present to you her Barbecue Fixin’s Side Dish: Corn Casserole.
The recipe is from my mother so I cannot be held accountable for misspellings, grammatical errors, erroneous punctuation, evidence of dyslexia, and overall confusion. The end result is fabulous, so just accept it.
Here is the recipe brought to you by my mother:
Hannie’s Corn Casserole
This was my Grandmother Hannie's (Ellie’s great-grandmothers) one dish that she always made in the summer for our summer dinners. We didn't go outside to eat like most people did for a BBQ. My dad did not cook out. We always had dinner in the Dining Room. No matter what time of year or what occasion. Hannie always made this at her house which was across the street from my Mom's (Ellie’s grandmother.) So I would go over and watch her make it....
Hannie's Corn Recipe
6 or 7 ears of yellow corn
1/2 and 1/2 cream
1 onion cut up in small pieces
1 green bell pepper cut up in small pieces
bacon cooked crisp about 7 or 8 slices crumbed
salt and pepper
First take the corn off of the cob.
Put the corn in a iron skillet or one that is heavy along with about 1/2 stick of butter and a little vegetable oil. Add the onions, green bell pepper and cook for about 20 minutes. You want the corn to be soft but not too soft. Just a little bit to it. Now add about 1/2 cup of the cream. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the cream is rich and getting thick. Creates a little sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point it can wait and keep warn until everything else is ready. When time to serve put the bacon on top.
This recipe has not ever been written down. So you can make it yours by adding or taking away. Maybe a little more cream...more butter! It is all up to you and what you like.
Hope you try it . Enjoy.... Anne
Voilà! The second installment of our Barbecue Fixin’s Series. Stay tuned for more…