In the American South a death in the family means food begins to arrive almost immediately in an unending outpouring of support. Soon there is no more room in the kitchen. The refrigerator and freezer are full; and friends stay from early morning until after dinner for days to answer the phone, greet visitors at the door, list who brought which dish, and make sure the crowds of mourners are fed.
“funeral food” favorites bury the dining room table
The pound cakes, pecan pies, peach cobblers, pimento cheese, sweet potato casseroles, and tomato pies accompany platters of deviled eggs, country ham biscuits, brownies, and fried chicken. All are cherished, not only for the kindness, but because they are home-made from recipes handed down through generations; and though the rare “new dish” is introduced we all have our favorites.
yellowed papers a celebration of former lives
Each giver of lovingly-made food must receive a hand-written “thank you” note extolling the virtues of their special dish.
extra credit . . . naming the original recipe writer
The note-writing can take weeks to accomplish, but in the task of thanking others there is solace—thus the food feeds both body and soul.
is a former school principal. She and her husband planned extensive travel. Instead, she has the opportunity to meet people from across the world as a leader of the ME/CFS Self-Help Program. A group member introduced her to haibun and haiku.