When we were kids in the 1950s, Mama had lots of ideas to keep us busy. We loved to make popcorn, shaking the popcorn in a heavy club aluminum saucepan with real butter. In that same saucepan, we made old-fashioned cocoa fudge, and divinity from scratch. We made sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and cookies cut out in different shapes.
Mom had a cookbook we loved to read through. I don’t remember the actual name of it, but it had the words on the front, “the way to a man’s heart.” Years later I found that cookbook with the cover ruined by the flood of 1999, but you could still read the words, “the way to a man’s heart.”
Mama sure knew the way to a man’s heart. Her bachelor brothers came to supper many nights, where we ate brown beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread. In the summer, it was always accompanied by sliced home-grown tomatoes, fried okra, and maybe some green beans in with the brown beans. Dad usually wanted a yellow cake instead of cornbread with his brown beans.
Mama made the best chicken and dumplings, but sometimes she made chicken and noodles, with egg noodles made from scratch. She made the best fried chicken with white gravy, which I never ate, because white gravy gagged me. There were many things I had to eat that I didn’t like, but she never made me eat gravy. (As an adult I learned to like chicken gravy—my own.)
In all her 25 years of cooking at the school cafeteria, she earned the love and admiration of all the kids who ate with her, not just the young men. Mama really learned “the way to a man’s heart” which is apparently good cooking, but much more. She put love into her cooking and everyone who ate with her felt that love.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 New King James Version
God knows the way to a man’s or woman’s heart—His love.