Covered Dish

Every family has some well-meaning aunt or distant cousin that extolls the virtues of their “famous” congealed salad, peanut butter pie, or whose-idea-was-this casserole.  I never understood why you couldn’t name the dish without putting the word “famous” in front of it.  How did aunt so-and so’s pecan-infested, green Jello mold become famous?

My formative years were spent around the elderly.  Consequently, I went to a lot of funerals.  I wish I had a two-dollar bill every time my mother said, “If Papa had lived until now, he would be 131 years old.”  Huh? That’s like saying if George Washington were alive today…well you get the picture. 

Now, we can debate whether or not there is life after death, but we can rest assured that there is definitely food after death.  As a kid, I may not have understood all the intricacies of laying someone to rest, but I knew my way around a table full of covered dishes.  My motto is, the only thing better than a covered dish is an uncovered dish.  Once after my aunt’s funeral service, we all gathered at the church to eat.  (Because somehow eating takes away all the agony of losing a loved one).  The preacher stood up and said, “A lot of people have come together today to feed us in this time of sorrow.  The ones that can’t cook brought chicken.” 

Bueberry Pie

Life is short.  Food is important.  More important is having died knowing what it iis like to eat rich chocolate pie, southern fried chicken and put-your-foot-in-it mashed potatoes and gravy.  Even more important is living long enough to understand what the words “comfort food” really mean.  I’ve always been fascinated by how we treat food as a solace to our grief.  “I’m so sorry for your loss; now try this blueberry pie, it’s delicious.”

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