Reunion season, that is. Between now and the end of September I have a family reunion (my husband's), a church reunion, and a class reunion (my husband's) to attend.
The concept is old school. Get together with friends and family. Catch up on the news of their lives. See how much the children have grown. Pack a picnic basket with a dish overflowing with food to share. Come hungry. Leave full of good food and good feelings.
The church reunion is actually termed a "homecoming."
|Church homecoming from the early fifties|
We worship together. We set up a huge tent with tables and chairs from the Sunday School classrooms. The food tables are in the fellowship hall with the air conditioning...food safety. That's now. These photographs were taken well before air conditioning was even considered, back when it was a luxury that few congregants enjoyed.
|Another church homecoming, this from the late fifties|
After the last amen had been proclaimed, the wives and mothers hurried to their baskets and started the spread. And my what a spread I'm talking about. It was August, when fresh vegetables were plentiful. These were country housewives where recipes didn't count, only handed down knowledge.
By the sixties, recipes with a jello base started creeping onto the table. And then green bean casseroles, squash casseroles, sweet potato casseroles. Then came more elaborated cakes and pies, well, sort of, because first came the cake mix cakes, then the dump cakes, followed by the bundt cakes with their odd shapes. The plain jane apple pies sat uncut. So did the southern favorite, pound cakes.
|Photograph by Brett Nelson, Lenoir News Topic|
Family reunion time in the south
Different family, different times
Now we're in a new century and guess what, the food trend is coming full circle. We're back to basics with much prized home grown tomatoes, corn on and off the cob, pound cake, pecan pie. Not even a green bean casserole in sight.
As for me, today at the Griffith family reunion, (not the one in the photograph above) I'm taking a salad with lettuce and tomatoes straight from our garden. But on the way down, we're stopping at Ted's Kickin Chicken in Wilkesboro and picking up a bucket of wings. I just can't compete with the family cooks.
|Ted's Kickin Chicken, best chicken in western North Carolina|
Photograph by Johnny Turner
Happy reunions, everyone.
Catch of the day,