The Great Send-Off
Posted 08 September 2003 - 06:49 PM
A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine, writer Cyndi Lamb, collected recipes from dishes traditionally served at wakes ("funeral receptions") in the midwest, specifically Kentucky. The working title of the cookbook was "Wake Grub" (I'm not sure if it was ever formally published). In addition, my heritage, which is Irish, includes a strong tradition of lengthy, fond, send-offs, especially for those friends that depart this world after a long and fruitful life. These wakes always include elaborate feasts or buffets, and in the case of the Irish, lots of drinking and reminiscing. As a result, I'm always interested in the traditions (especially culinary) of other cultures during those bittersweet times. I'm curious if there are any soul food traditions related to mourning, and, if so, would love to hear a description.
Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?
Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.
Posted 09 September 2003 - 04:02 PM
In the African-American community that "going home" dinner is often referred to rather regally as a funeral repast. And it ranges from a few dishes to an elaborate feast.
I can remember when my mother passed a few years back. I returned home to Alabama for the funeral, which was held at our local church. After the burial ceremony we returned to the church for a bountiful feast: cakes, pies, fried chicken, greens and fresh butter beans, hot biscuits and corn bread, fruit cobblers, all prepared by neighbors and friends. My spirit soared.
Later, more close friends and family gathered at our old country home, and we passed the rest of the day, eating, drinking, talking, reveling in our love and friendship. And let's face facts, with the drinking and eating, sometimes these gathering can slid right into a "party." But it is the thought that counts.