Photo of a handwritten recipe for sweet cucumber relish.
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Story by Melissa Smyth

Marshall, AR

I can see, feel, and smell this recipe.

I walk into my Granny’s house. It’s summertime, she doesn’t have air conditioning, and her gas range is roaring. The garden produce has been gathered and chopped, and is now cooking down. You open the front door and push through the invisible curtain of aromatic heat.

Granny is busy in the tiny kitchen. She moves here and there – eager to show off what she’s working on and asking us if it smells good. The pint jars have been washed and are ready to pack.

Tomorrow, she’ll be showing us the fruits of countless hours of her labor in the form of relish. She’ll send a jar home with us and store the rest in her basement for later. A place we fondly called “Granny’s Grocery Store.”


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