I remember so many Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house and just knowing that we were eating at my her house was the highlight of my week. Actually, I had two grandmother’s houses that I got to go to when I was growing up. My Grandma Cordie who is my maternal grandmother, and my Grandma Jean, my paternal grandmother. Now let me tell you that each Sunday dinner was a totally different experience at each of their homes.
First off, Grandma Cordie is as southern as they come. I would always look forward to fried pork chops, fried potatoes, pinto beans and cornbread, fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden and green onions all chopped up for the cornbread and beans. There was almost always either a banana pudding or fresh baked pie that mom or aunt Carol would bring.
Then there was Grandma Jeans. I so looked forward to heading out to the “farm” to have a Sunday dinner. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob or other fresh veggies straight from her garden and the best cakes and pies I think I could ever dream of. With 6 boys, grandma was quite adept to making massive quantities of food, and she did so on a regular basis. I think it was her joy to have her whole family in her kitchen each Sunday to be together and enjoy her food. And enjoy her food we did.
Now I was actually raised in Ohio, but could never get the feeling out of me that I belonged in the south. I loved everything about southern cooking and thought our yearly visit to my great grandmothers and even her mother, my great great grandmothers was the most exciting thing in the world. I can remember packing a small cigar box with baseball cards, jacks, bubble gum and other things to have on the 4 hour trip to my mamaw’s house in Kentucky. I was so excited to be there and get to fish in the pond behind their house with my “Pa Potter” (my great grandfather). To get to run all over the yard at night under the stars catching lightning bugs, and of course our big Sunday dinners that were usually held outside at the picnic table. These dinners would include so many home made southern delights followed by either home made ice cream or fresh watermelon right out of her garden.
Now this is nothing out of the ordinary in the South. It is quite a tradition to have this large family meal following a morning at church with your family and friend. Although, on occasion it was a tradition to have large meals right there on the grounds of the church and each family would bring covered dishes and desserts to contribute to this “Southern Sunday Social”. There would be hams, fried chicken, pork chops, chicken and dumplings, collard greens, slow cooked green beans, lima beans, macaroni and cheese and many other vegetables or casseroles included. Then there was no end to the desserts that you could find at these socials as well. Everything from cakes, pies, banana pudding, brownies, Jell-O’s and cookies too. But it was more than just a meal. It was a joining of the community to be together and visit. Something we don’t do to much of anymore.
It seems today we all have such busy lives that we don’t’ have time to take an afternoon and come together with friends or even family anymore. To talk about our families, to share stories and just be together. Today it seems the only time we do is at a funeral or wedding. I’m sorry, but this is a tragedy. You don’t know how many family reunions I remember to this day from my childhood. Not ones that took place at Disney World, or some other amusement park. I’m talking about at a church social, or in a park, or even at one of my grandmothers homes. Y’all, take some time and revisit the past. Have a Southern Sunday Social with your family, friends and neighbors. Make memories for yourself and your children. Trust me, you will treasure them in years to come.
CLICK HERE for a list of my favorite southern recipes.
Sunday Family Reunion of my Grandma Jeans parents. The Maulston Family reunion.
The last Sunday Family reunion with my Mamaw and our family.
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