Friday, November 28, 2014

A moment of silence in honor of shrimp merliton casserole.

This year a series of unfortunate events changed our Thanksgiving plans. Instead of a family holiday in the mountains, we found ourselves at home with a gutted kitchen unable to host the annual family gathering. Thankfully my brother and sister-in-law had her family and ours for Thanksgiving at their waterfront home on Lake Pontchartrain.
Thank goodness I shopped on line earlier in the week because the Honeybaked ham store was packed. Once I went through the cattleline I had the preordered ham with a bone in hand.
A ham with a bone is a southern tradition. A necessity in and of itself. It is meant to be used for cooking after the holiday. It offers a reminder of times with family. Like a kiss to take with you as you go out the door.
My family's Thanksgiving follows a fairly regular menu. All that changes are the names of the cooks who prepare cherished Southern recipes with their own tradition and care.
Honey Baked Ham and turkey with giblet gravy. Baked maccaroni and cheese and my grandma's sweet potato casserole. Momma's cornbread dressing and my sister-in-law's mom's oyster dressing.  Shrimp merliton cassrole.  ~A moment of silence in honor of shrimp merliton casserole. ~
The kids were sweet. The hugs were tight the  words were deep and meaningful.
A good time was passed by all. Laughs, photographs, memories.
I couldn't ask for more.
My Mom and I discussed it and we both agree; The fact that my 24 year old nephew asked to have the ham bone to bring home for later cooking was significant as a sign of his newly found level of maturity.
That's when it hit me... This would not happen outside of the south.
If it did, it certainly wouldn't be an indication of a young man's entry into adulthood.
The South where recipes and traditions are handed down by many family members who have long since passed on. It is inevitable that so many of life's descriptions, adjectives and analogys surround food.

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