Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Making Old Traditions New Again July 7, 2014

Available July 20. 2014

Available July 20. 2014

With Jessie finally written, edited, formatted, and awaiting launch on July 20, I have started research on my next book in the Seasons of Faith series. A new character began tickling my brain a few weeks ago. He’s a blues singer and I know virtually nothing about blues music so to the library I went.

I didn’t know what exactly to look for, but managed to find a couple of books to get me started. When I was working on Jessie I found simple biographies in the children’s section on Neil Armstrong and Gus Grissom that provided a quick snapshot of information. I found a children’s book on blues and jazz on this trip to the library and again, it gave me a good basic understanding of the roots of both genres and ideas on where to go from there. The next book I started reading was by George Mitchell, Blow my Blues Away. Mitchell’s book is a collection of interviews with African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta region compiled during the 1960s.

I only had time to read one interview before I had to return the book to the library, but I was struck by the discussion of working in the fields, mostly cotton, as well as the home garden, which provided most of the family’s food. As I read, I thought about how the settlers of America had to rely on their home gardens until towns grew and markets could be established. Through the years home gardens continued to fall by the way side and many traditions were lost.

Over the past ten years or so there has been a movement to organic foods and more people are tying to grow their own vegetables. Large cities have started community gardens and those with tiny balconies as well as those with small yards are doing container gardening. Do a search on urban gardening and you will find pages of websites with educational videos and how-to articles.

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992


My grandparents had a garden that grew a bit every year. Even when my grandfather’s health was failing, he still spent time in his garden, perhaps remembering his youth in the fields of North Carolina.I’ve been trying my hand at gardening the past couple of years. I don’t quite have the green thumb by grandparents did, but I am learning.


Last weekend I took some of my fresh tomatoes to a friends’ house and taught them how to make and can salsa. It made me feel closer to my roots, sharing an old practice that is being made new again.

Salsa in the making

Salsa in the making

Sharing old traditions

Sharing old traditions


6 Responses to “Making Old Traditions New Again”

  1. LisaJeyDavis Says:

    I love that you can grow your own tomatoes! I do not have a green thumb and tend to kill most plants, but I love to eat fresh and organic as much as possible. I rely on people and markets like you for my produce (buying much of it at the local grower’s market in Santa Monica). Great post Rebekah! Also – you may be able to get that blues book on loan via kindle or online libraries… fyi!

    • It is so good to pick a tomato after the rain and make a juicy sandwich. This plant is just about played out so I will start a new plant in the next week or so. I’m going to try something different with it this time.

  2. I grow a garden every year and it’s sort of fun to see what “takes and what doesn’t” each year. This year the one green bean and zucchini plant are doing great! I think my family might be getting a little bored so early in the season eating these all the time now! LOL! I grab a ton of the fresh herbs, mix it with a bit of garlic, a little coconut oil or olive oil and cook them all together – very yum!

  3. I usually plant a garden every year but didn’t this season due to an abundance of deer raiding everything I planted. Love eating vegetables freshly picked!

  4. James Prescott Says:

    I’m not a gardner myself, but can definitely see the value in growing your own veg! Something about home grown organic food, definitely. Thanks for sharing!

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