Potato Salad and Hamburgers With Gravy

I like to hold my entertainers accountable, so the ignorant ones I never really admit to listening to. Well, except for Algernod Lanier Washington, because he tends to lend hand to my ignorant side. He lets me know that my field nigger thoughts haven’t completely abandoned me thanks to my house nigger education. But I rarely like to admit that I’m a secret fan of Fantasia because of her literacy level and actions on her reality show and in real real life. But she’s freaking awesome sometimes.


yesterday i cursed you and told you that i was through.
but today i’m with you.
ain’t that some love.

tomorrow you might hate me and find you somebody new.
but today i’m with you.
ain’t that some love.

i ain’t gon’ lie.
boy you got me.
out of my mind in l-o-v-e.

i go crazy when you love me.
got me acting a mess.
even got the nerve to say you’re better than my mama’s collard greens and cornbread.
yeah.

-fantasia “collard greens and cornbread”

So i just discovered this song last week while “riding in the car with [fools]” and it’s been on repeat for a while. Around the 30th play I began thinking about the relationships I’ve found myself in then out, and the relationships of my friends – some who got married, others who shack up and some who couldn’t possibly care any less about their frequent bed mate. And though I sometimes think I’m too fine to be laying down in bed alone, I think I may have realized exactly what the issue is:

Growing up, I remember being at 812 G Hardy Drive, watching the soaps, eating bacon, fried eggs and biscuits, sipping coffee and laughing it up with my grandmother. She makes up a large part of that village that raised me. Off the top of my head I can count 24 people who have come in with a bag of potatoes, and dropped them on the coffee table, asking “when you think it’ll be ready, ms. irene?” She’d tell them to just keep checking in, but it wouldn’t take long.

You know how at funerals and family cookouts nobody eats the potato salad? Everybody eats my grandmother’s potato salad. She probably made potato salad for everybody in town. But she made hamburgers and gravy for nobody but me when I asked. It was my favorite thing she cooked. I hated onions, but loved them then, and my smile proved it. She didn’t cook it every time I came over, but rather infrequent. That element of surprise. I love those hamburgers with gravy.

Fantasia’s lucky. She found some dude who was bold enough to say “I’m better than your mama’s collard greens and cornbread.”

Perhaps I’m single because my life has been full of the oodles of noodles I cook for myself daily, or the bowls of cream of wheat my mom set in front of me everyday before pre-school. Though I love them very much, they weren’t worth writing this about. They did their job satisfying that temporary need, but when they were gone, that was it. There was no need for them, like I made myself believe I needed my grandmother’s cooking for strength. These noodles half-fill me and the cream of wheat “sticks to my ribs” til mid morning, but neither have been major contributors.

I don’t know if this blog makes sense. I’m writing because I’m hungry, and i miss my grandmother.

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2 thoughts on “Potato Salad and Hamburgers With Gravy

  1. So funny you say that, but I don’t like onions either but we tear up her hamburgers and gravy with the onions in them- sorry to tell you she made them for me too… and I miss my granny too….

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