I come from a family of feeders. A long line of feeders. I've always known that I was a part of a group of women who tend to help people mourn and celebrate different circumstances of life with food but I never really had a name to put on what we do. Until I read a blog post by one of my favorite southern bloggers, Sean Dietrich of Sean of the South. Let me explain...
In my family, if someone is sick you feed them. Someone died? You feed their family. Someone just had a baby? You feed them. Food is the answer for any emotion. Sad? Feed 'em. Happy? Feed 'em!
Now I know that this isn't just an Appalachian thing or even just an American thing, but it's a part of MY Appalachia so I decided to write about it.
I grew up going to church and being around ladies who were all feeders but I really didn't notice it until my mom passed away. After my Dad had told my brother and I that she had died, my Great Aunt Lois arrived at our house to take us to my Granny & Pa's house (I was 14 and my brother was 17) . It took about 20 minutes for her to get us there. When we walked in the door there was food everywhere. Not only do they cook, they're also quick. News travels fast in small towns and even faster in a Baptist church.
When someone is hurting I believe that most people realize that they can't take away the hurt but they find a million different ways to help ease the burden and pain.
The women I know do that through food.
I don't know if you've noticed but it always tends to be what we call "comfort food." Why? Because they aren't just bringing you a casserole. They're hoping to deliver comfort as well.
These meals aren't just for deaths though. Women in my part of Appalachia will plan a meal for people who have been sick, baptisms, and many other occasions.
My church has a tradition where we always have a meal after a baptizing as a way of celebrating the occasion. Last Sunday, after a scheduling mix up, we realized that a family had all shown up to see their grandson be baptized and we didn't have a thing to feed 100+ people.
I ain't going to lie...I panicked for a minute. Then after talking to my stepmom, we agreed that we could call in a pizza order after Sunday school. We called as soon as they opened (11AM).
"Sorry, ma'am. We need at least a 2 day notice for anything over 20 pizzas." PANIC. My stepmom and I flew down the highway heading for town and called a local sandwich shop. "Sorry, there's no way we can have that many sandwiches ready by 12:30." PANIC. We called a local grocery store deli to see if they could help us out. NOPE.
After collecting myself and praying to the good Lord that He'd disable any hardworking law enforcement's speed tracking devices, I shouted, "We can make soup and sandwiches!!" At this point, it's 11:30ish and we still have to run into Walmart to buy the food and drinks, drive the 15-20 minutes back to the church, and get it all set up. Fix it, Jesus.
I called my husband and prayed that the Lord would forgive him for answering his phone during preaching. He plays the banjo in the church band so I told him that we couldn't get the pizzas but we were figuring it out and to play lots of music...and STALL!
We tore through Walmart like our pants were on fire. We ended up buying pre-made subs from the deli, condiments, soup mix, chips, cookies, and drinks. Beggars can't be choosers. By some miraculous heavenly intervention, we didn't have to wait long in line to check out.
We arrived back at the church at around 12, unloaded my car, sliced up sandwiches and filled up trays, made two huge pots of soup, put out the chips and cookies, filled up cups with ice, and had it all done by 12:30. I asked the Lord to bless our humble meal like he did the loaves and fishes and that's about the time we heard music and people started to trickle in.
Like I said, I come from a long line of feeders. And that's a good thing because I also like to eat.
I married into a family of feeders. Just about every Saturday evening my little family & my brother-in-law and his family have supper at my husband's parent's house. My mother-in-law does it so we can all spend time together. I look forward to it every week.
|A typical Saturday spread. My mother in-law is a professional feeder.|
|As if all of that food wasn't enough, she went and made a nanner puddin'!|
Are you a feeder or happen to come from a family of feeders too? I'd love to hear from you! You can either leave a comment below or in the comment section on this post on Facebook. I really do read them all!
I realize that it's been several months since my last blog post. I enjoy writing but I'm not always able to find the time. Life is hard sometimes. I'd like to thank all you faithful readers for sticking around and continuing to follow the Appalachian Mountain Roots Facebook page. I do try to post a quick snapshot of what is going on in my world at the moment or an interesting article over there to keep it active. It ain't much but the page continues to grow. Thank you.
I hope to sit aside time each week to write now that the garden is petering out and we're back in our homeschooling routine. I enjoy writing and sharing a bit of my life and love of Appalachia and I thank y'all for being kind enough to read it!