Family reunions are, for many, an untapped reservoir of fun, love, happy memories and great food. My extended family in Arkansas has had a family reunion for the past 25 years, usually the weekend after the 4th of July. This year was no exception, with a sunny day, aunts and uncles who hold the family lore, cousins with new jobs and new babies, and camera’s clicking everywhere.
Aunt Bobbie’s fried chicken and Aunt Shirley’s coconut cake were, as usual, stars of the amazing display of great dishes. A few years ago they made a decision not to cook for the family reunion but to have easy food instead – sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, etc. And, of course, it made sense. With the temperature well over 90 degrees and humidity to match, who wants to stand over a hot skillet of fried chicken? But, thankfully, they gave in to the begging and pleading and whining and I, for one, was overjoyed. I look forward to their good cooking all year because there’s just nothing like it.
A few years ago I tried to replicate Aunt Shirley’s chicken and dumplings because my son loved it so much. “Jack, this is just like Aunt Shirley’s.” I told him proudly. He was about 8 years old and terribly honest.
“Mom, this is nothing like Aunt Shirley’s.” he said truthfully. And he was right. There’s just something about their food that can’t be replicated – at least by me! And eating their good food is one of the highlights of my year.
This year I took the opportunity to video the two of them after the Family Reunion. I hope you enjoy meeting them and hearing what they say their children could do to make them happy.
And I hope you will consider organizing your own family reunion to tap your own reservoir of fun, love, happy memories and great food!
Be well and bring joy!