The Buffet Gene

My wonderfully sweet Aunt Jenny passed away last week. Mom to 7, Mammaw to 18 and Great-Grandma to an ever-increasing number (it’s past 30 and it’s still going).  She had the sweetest smile.

My cousins and I don’t see each other very often these day. Which is a shame because we used to spend a lot of time together. Like here, on my Mammaw’s back porch back in 1970 something
At the funeral home we were talking about how very different we all are, except for one thing. As my cousin Dan said, you could ask any of us what our three favorite things to do were and the answers would be completely different, except for “eat.” Which might explain why ain’t none of skinny no more like we were in that picture. We also decded that we all like to entertain in some fashion. Whether it’s music, art, writing or just excelling at hostessing or just flat-out showing off. Like my late Uncle Bill who would go to his favorite restaurant Mom Perry’s Bounty Table (with the all you can eat buffet) and say “You’re going to lose money on this Mom Perry.”  We decided to call our love of a good spread our “Buffet Gene.” This gene is not recessive. The only cure is to avoid buffets, which is, of course, ridiculous.
I would like to interrupt this blog post to insist that all of my beloved family members stop smoking right this minute! Stop it! Kick the habit and join the unhooked generation. Okay, that said, back to the Buffet Gene. We went outside for a bit. It was a beautiful day outside the funeral home nestled in the hills of Kentucky.
And my cousin asked if anyone wanted a pop or water and he opened up his trunk to reveal a cooler and a vast assortment of snacks.
Are those Combos? Give it here! Then one of my cousins pointed out that we were tailgiating a funeral and we all burst out laughing. Besides eating and showing off, we are usually pretty good at finding something to laugh at when everything in the world has gone wrong.
My cousins Bill, Larry & David Ratcliff
Word of the food spread…
My gorgeous cousin Pam comes to investigate

If you open it: they will come.

We realized we could have done this better. Chips in one trunk, Hot dips in another. Maybe some veggies. We discussed the possibility of a bar, but Aunt Jenny would not have approved. Maybe a dessert wagon.

Lke my late mother, my Aunt Joyce manages to have the Buffet Gene without the extra weight that comes with it. The nerve!  Mom always credited moderation and exercise. Whatever.

When we got to the Cedar Street Church’s Fellowship Hall after the funeral, this was waiting for us:

Pies, cakes and cookies, oh my! Oh, poor little dessert buffet. You have only moments left to live.
And also this lovely meal:

Fried Chicken, taters, maters, corn and slow cooked-green beans with pork in them. Church lady funeral food at its finest and more than enough for our large crowd. Cedar Street Church Ladies, you rock! You also cook very well. It was a shame my Aunt Jenny couldn’t be there to enjoy it. Like all of us, she loves a nice spread. As my cousin David’s boy Bud said. “The best thing about church lady food is that you get to eat something that only one person has the recipe for.” He went on to describe a very intriguing dessert bar made with Fritos that a lady at his church down in Georgia makes. Hmmmm.  I’ll have to get on that. He also said that he’d recently lost 80 pounds and then he had three desserts. Watch out for that Buffet Gene, Bud. It’ll get you.

On a side note, I have designed our family crest:
My cousins and I seriously need to get together for something that does not involve flowers & eulogies. It needs to involve Dave’s chili dogs and banana pudding and perhaps my shredded beef taco meat. And that Frito dessert thing…
And some type of buffet.
Cause that’s how we roll…

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