Southerners love to cook. Â Especially we love those community gatherings where everyone brings their favorite dish and we all sample “just a bite” of everyone’s. Â My earliest memories of this were “Dinner on the Ground,” and it literally wasÂ on the ground. Â Thinking about it now, I’m amazed we kept the kids from stumbling into the spread – and maybe we didn’t..
I have such Â wonderful memories of that food – and no matter how many times I try recreating their recipes, they just don’t come out the same. Â Uncle Henry’s fried chicken, Â Miss Nina’s coconut cake,
Miss Ethel’s peach cobbler, Aunt Minnie’s chicken and dumplings, Â Miss Edna’s buttermilk biscuits, and of course, Aunt Annie’s fabled deviled eggs.
Eventually we graduated to folding tables and chairs and finally to a real Fellowship Hall equipped with all the modern conveniences. Â Much more comfortable but in nostalgic moods, I wonder if we were better off in those days. Â We were blissfully unaware of the dangers of sugar, gluten, lactose, saturated fat, cholesterol, and vegetarians were, well, just weird. Â There was no guilt associated with a hamburger and a coke for lunch.
We had no idea the trouble we were in.
My rational self remembers Â how it was Â to lose relatives to diet-related disease, especially Â heart disease and Â diabetes. Â These could be Â devastating for a family, since health insurance Â was essentially non-existent in those days; health care Â was pay-as-you-go.
Southerners will always Â love our Â community food get-togethers, although today we make at least a token effort to prepare healthful food . Â However, if Â the occasional slice of coconut cake happened Â to sneak in, well.. just a bite couldn’t hurt.