A Story about Broccoli – and My Grandmother

Which brings me to my South Carolina grandmother. She was born in 1890, married at 16, and had her first child a month before her 17th birthday. She lived most of her life on a farm out in the country, but by the time I came along she was long widowed and living in town. But her way of cooking had not changed from the farm days, and neither had her vocabulary. One day a friend brought her what he thought would be a real treat: fresh broccoli. Little did he know, my grandmother had never seen broccoli, and she would have considered it quite rude to ask any questions. So she carefully picked off the tiny vestigial leaves from the stalks and threw the rest away.             Some time later, when the friend asked how she liked the broccoli, she replied, “Well, the greens were quite tasty, but there wasn’t much of them.”

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