Recipes of life include loving God and your family, never learning how to clean catfish, to tithe, and to pray. The person who taught me these valuable lessons and changed my life was Beulah Johnson. I am proud to say that this amazing woman was my grandmother, she was born April 29, 1900. She married George Hubbard and had four children, her third child was my mother, Betty Lou. Her first husband divorced her leaving her with two of the four children still at home. My biological grandfather lied to welfare, he said he was paying child support. To provide for her children, she worked as a housekeeper for Mr. Johnson helping raise four of his twelve children after his wife died after having child number twelve. Because the town was small there was talk about her helping Mr. Johnson. Grandma was sensitive to the gossip so she took her children and moved to another small town to work in a dry cleaners. She suffered a severe burn in a dry cleaners. While healing from the burn Mr. Johnson asked Grandma to come back and take care of his children, she said, “I will come back if you will marry me.” They were married blending the Hubbard and the Johnson family.
Grandma loved God and her family. She demonstrated her love in tangible ways. She read God’s word and prayed. Grandma was known in her small town for her cooking. She could wring a chicken’s neck and make the best fried chicken by dinner. She made homemade jelly, cakes, and pies, her chocolate pie had healing powers. As a child, I remember her cleaning and frying catfish for the family gatherings. Probably she cleaned thousands of catfish because Grandpa was an avid fisherman. As I grew up she imparted this lesson, “Honey, cook catfish but Never learn how to clean them.” As a young married, I was struggling to learn how to make gravy, she mailed me the amount of flour to make perfect gravy. As I struggled with my step mother hurt my feelings, she would quote the recipe verse Proverbs 25: 21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, if he is thirsty give him water to drink, in doing this you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you”. She was never bitter, instead Grandma was filled with hope the kind of hope that only God gives. She lived for ninety seven years and I am the woman I am today because of her investment called love. Grandma had a hard life but her joy and laughter were the real recipe to life, and you thought it was choc0late pie.