I haven't really been back home for more than a quick weekend or Christmas visit in twelve years, but nobody ever forgets a name or a face. When Georgia and I went to visit my parents for a couple of weeks in early October, we attended my high school's homecoming parade and football game as well as a fall street carnival. I ran into people I hadn't thought about in years, some that I didn't remember at all until they came up to say hello. But as soon as we started chit-chatting, I recalled everything about them, their mamas, and the rest of their families.
In my hometown, even if your families have been feuding for generations, when someone dies you stop by with a casserole. That's just how things work. Because you know they will inevitably do the same for you.
In my twenties, for three years in a row, my family had a funeral the week of Thanksgiving. Although we cooked our own turkeys and ham, we had no less than three of each brought to us. With all of the traditional Southern fixings. And homemade pies! Oh, the pies!
I'm very lucky to have found a similar group of girlfriends here in Houston. When I was on bedrest with all day morning sickness, they brought soup and ginger ale. When we brought Georgia home, we had all kinds of food for the first two weeks, then one or two dinners a night for the first three months. One of my girlfriends' mothers just passed away and we already have an email chain set up about who is bringing what, so they don't have two Poppy Seed Chickens when they arrive home from the service.
Maybe it's my upbringing, but when someone is going through a rough patch, forget the wine. My first inclination is to ask them what kind of food I can bring over. Food heals a broken heart without a headache the next day.
Here are some of my favorite foods to give and receive in times of need.
- Poppy Seed Chicken
- Cold cuts from a local deli (Great since you're usually up all hours of the night anyway when there's a death in the family. Or a baby.)
- Fried Chicken (Also tastes great cold.)
- A huge jug of sweet tea
- Cornbread salad
- Deviled eggs
- Baked ham
- Hash brown casserole
- Creamy chicken & noodle casserole
If you're ever in doubt about what to do for a friend in need, whether the circumstances are happy or sad, stop by with a casserole and a smile. It will do the trick.