Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If Baptists Ain't Eatin'....

There's a saying in our church that if Baptists ain't eatin', they're plannin' the next time they will be. We seem to find that a truism. We have Baptist Women's meetings once a month during which one woman will host and provide a meal while another gives us food for the soul, in the form of a devotional. After that we sit together, sharing our prayer concerns and we pray together for those needs. We discuss what we can do in the form of a missions project, and we have a time of fellowship. The men's group does a similar monthly meeting.

The Social committee sponsers meals quite often. Sometimes it's a well-planned meal with a sign- up sheet, so that it's 'well-balanced'. Sometimes the meat is provided and we're invited to bring whatever 'sides' we think would go with the meat. Sometimes it's an home-made ice cream social or a dessert party after the evening service. The Old-Timers group does the same sort of thing. There is a prayer breakfast held each month, and grits are absolutely essential on the plate with eggs and home fries or hash browns.

We've always been enthusiastic about 'pot luck' meals. It's fun to see what someone will carry to the table, and here in the south, we're discovering a plethora of new palate pleasers. Banana pudding, fried okra, black eyed peas, English pea salad, collard greens and barbecued meats are some of what we've not seen on the tables of northern friends and churches. Oh...and be not deceived, northerners. Barbecued meats are not 'grilled' ones, they are things like pulled pork or chicken which are slathered in a good, spicey sauce, either tomato or mustard based. A few things I quickly found out: macaroni and cheese might be called just that, or it could be called 'cheese pie'. 'Greens' doesn't mean salad, it means collards , turnip, or beet greens boiled with a ham hock or fat back (salt pork). Biscuits MUST be served, or better yet, corn bread.

I found out the hard way that I'd better fall in with the crowd and find something that this Yankee can make that can fool them into thinking is a southern food. I once took a cherry tomato and mozzerella salad, swimming in Italian dressing, to one of the functions, and brought most of it home. I heard one woman ask her sister, 'What's up with the tomato and cheese thing?' I had to chuckle.

There may be no way to fool these connoiseurs of food. After all, they're southerners, they're Baptists. They know their table food and their spiritual food, as well. I love it...I love their food, and I love them too...even their gentle teasing about my Yankee offerings, but one of these days, I'm going to take something that just knocks their socks off!

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