Last week I did not get a chance to post. My wife and I were devastated by the death of our 17 yr old grandson. It was a long and difficult week and we are still learning to live with the loss and the hole left in the entire family. Posting on my little blog seemed rather trivial at the time and took a back seat to other more important thoughts.
Death is a subject not easily dealt with no matter where you live but I won't go into the subject of death today. During our long stay with family, I noted an interesting twist on an old custom and I'd like to share it with you.
In days of old, like back when I was a kid, when there was a loss such as this, the family would be visited by neighbors and friends each carrying a covered dish. The single covered dish was the standard in 'neighbor' comfort food gift as it took little time to heat, and serve. It was a way for the family to not have to think of cooking and the fridge was usually filled to overflowing with these gifts of love. The gift usually came with the tag "Just return it when you're through."
I fully expected this to be the case and was a bit surprised at the new twist. The first person to show up with food, left several bags of Sub Sandwiches from a chain Sandwich shop. They also left large bags of chips. They were all huge sandwiches and enough variety that everyone was fed and fed well. A little while later, someone showed up with a huge bucket of chicken again from a national chain. Accompanying this was, of course, cole slaw and mashed 'taters. This happened all week long, each time a chain fast food and always enough to feed an army. I don't think anyone brought a covered dish.
It's also not clear to me whether this is a new Southern take on an old tradition, or a modern change that is nation wide. I may have to do some research on this. Perhaps I can get some posters to tell stories on what happens in their neck of the woods.