Monday, July 26, 2010

Decoration (plus a recipe)

New Hope Cemetery - the 1969 on the arch refers, I think, to when the gate was built. The cemetery itself was around long before then. The white table-like structure just inside the gate is the pulpit from which some outdoor sermons have been preached. Don't you just love the oak tree?

My grandparents.

Yesterday was decoration at the cemetery in which my mother’s father and his wife - Pa Vernon and Mama Beatrice - are buried. In case you are not from the south, “decoration“ is the day set aside each year at a particular cemetery when family members of folks buried there come out to adorn the graves with fresh flowers and spend time visiting with others who have come out to do the same. And usually on these days there is a meal.

Now some decorations include dinner on the ground, in which there is a potluck meal served on the grounds of the cemetery. This is not to say that the food is actually placed on the ground. Usually there are folding tables and chairs. My brother-n-law thinks this is waayyy too creepy and refuses to participate in such meals held at cemeteries. He’s a New Yorker by birth, so we'll forgive him this stubborness.

My mother’s family traditionally gets together at someone’s house for just such a meal after church. These past several years it has been held at my Aunt Carol’s. She recently remodeled and has a very nice garage and sun room in which to set up tables. In fact, her garage seems nicer than some of the rooms in my house.

Everyone brings a little something to contribute to the meal. But most of the cooking (the good cooking, at least) is done by the ladies from the more, umm how should I say this, mature generation. Someone remarked yesterday that when these ladies are gone our meal will most likely consist of Kentucky Fried Chicken and side dishes from some deli. And, it’s sad to say, this is probably true. Does anyone from my generation cook like my mom’s generation? I know I don’t.

It was a yummy meal and I know I was not the only one who was stuffed to the point of being miserable. We had turkey and dressing, ham, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, pinto beans, green beans, corn, deviled eggs, and about 13 different casseroles. Then to top it all off there was chocolate pie, coconut cake, banana pudding, fudge pie, pecan pie, and ice cream. We were taking bets on who would fall into a diabetic shock afterwards.

I think I might try to start compiling some of my mom’s, sister’s, and aunts’ recipes one here. I guess I should start with what I took to yesterday’s lunch. This is a little recipe that my sister gave me a long time ago. It’s super easy and is a nice dessert alternative for those who want something a little less rich than chocolate pies or oooey gooey caramel brownies.

Easy Fruit Salad

You will need:

2 29 oz. cans light fruit cocktail
1 15 oz. can mandarin oranges
Apples (red and green)
Fresh grapes, if desired
Instant vanilla pudding
Chopped walnuts, if desired

Cut up apples (leaving the skins on). Peel and slice the bananas. Dip the apples and bananas in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit cocktail with the DRAINED can of mandarin oranges. Sprinkle on as much of the instant vanilla pudding as you need to make it the consistency you prefer (If you want it really thick and “puddiny” you will want to add a lot. My family doesn’t like it that way so I add just a light coating of the pudding mix). Stir.

Add the desired amount of apples and bananas to the mix.


Just before serving sprinkle on a few chopped walnuts.

From this... this in less than 15 minutes.

P.S. Don't forget...we'll be having a little giveaway on our 100th post. Be sure to stop back by. Just so you'll know today's post is #97.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Tyla, I am impressed. You have grown from "paper plates and cups" to preparing a dish. I am proud of you!:) Susie

Tyla said...

Well, I thought when I turned 40 it might be time to learn. lol

Ahhh, the good ole days...

Someone, Anyone: So, what does everyone want to bring?
Susie: BBQ
Tyla (as my hand goes up): Buns!

Kate (Southern-Belle-Simple) said...

there is nothing like decoration day in the sweet south! and dinner on the ground...i'm cracking up over your bro-in-law. ppl who aren't from here just don't get it, do they! i love you wonderful blog! xoxo

Tyla said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kate. My brother-n-law has lived most of his life in the south but still possesses some of his Yankeeness. We can't all be blessed to be southern born.

According to your July 21 post it seems we are in the same boat with our tomato plants this summer. Mine are shamefully thin and fruitless.

Stop by and see me again.

ucmama said...

I know about grave visiting. Now that we're in the Midwest for awhile, when I mention that I'm taking the kids to play at the cemetery and to have a picnic lunch, I get weird looks. I think gravestone rubbing while peacefully walking and reading names is kind of a nice way to pass the time.

Tyla said...


I grew up the daughter of a preacher so funeral homes and cemeteries just came with the territory. I think it's funny the way some adults get all freakish about visiting either of the two - and it amazes me when I meet someone who says they've NEVER been to a funeral home.

Thanks for visiting with me. I hope you'll come back again.