The proof is in the rutabagas

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My mother loves my husband more than she loves me, and the proof is in the rutabagas.

Now, if you were to ask my brother, he would say that she loves me more than him because I always get my favorite kind of cornbread at dinner; however, the truth of it is, we’ve both been uprooted in Mother’s favor.

When our children are gone to their other parents’ house, Wes and I rarely cook. So, when the offer of Sunday lunch at Mother’s came up, we seized on it. After all, only an idiot would turn down a home-cooked meal, right?

We arrived just after noon, armed with a fierce appetite and hugs to the delicious aroma of Southern cooking. There is nothing like the smell of Sunday lunch to make you feel at home.

The day’s menu consisted of smoked Boston butt, courtesy of a Florala Masonic Lodge fundraiser, wild rice, baby lima beans, cornbread and, of course, rutabagas. A dessert of fresh fruit and coffee was scheduled to follow.

“I have been looking forward to this real food all weekend,” I told my mom.

My girls always joke that they never get “real food” unless they go to Nana’s house. Apparently, what I cook at home isn’t up to their standard of good eating. Never mind, it’s the menu they pick each week.

“Are those rutabagas?” I asked.

“Of course,” she said. “You know I’m going to cook them if Wes is coming for dinner.”

I saw his slight smile smothered by the fork full rushing toward his mouth, and I looked back at my mom.

When the “What about me? What did I get?” came out, I cringed inside slightly at the pouty 4-year-old version of myself.  But, it got a laugh out of my husband.

“Hush. I told you she likes you better than me, and these rutabagas prove it,” I told him, pointing toward the quickly emptying pot.

“You got your cornbread; what more could you want?” he said, and it caused me to take stock. I knew then I was at least even on the favorite scale again. I can’t wait to call my brother and tell him I got cornbread Sunday.