Welcome to Errattic! We encourage you to customize the type of information you see here by clicking the Preferences link on the top of this page.
The idea of sharing neighborly grief and sentimentality with food is a common tradition that our family never followed. Dished food was constantly being brought to our home with gestures of warmth and or greetings yet remained untasted. At funeral gatherings my mother would throw out the stranger's food and keep only the family's. When the strangers inquired about their food my mother showed them the empty dishes. "It was so good the people gobbled it up." There was always an excuse. She didn't like what they said, they appeared unclean, smelled, had cats, were old, of another race or white. Mrs. Brady would have no chance at delivering "other food" to our mouths.
Our mother turned eating out into shopping for a restaurant. She wanted to make sure it was clean and comfortable and that more than two people were eating there. She didn't want to appear uncool.
Before she died, my stepfather's mother made some of his favorite dishes. We drove to pick them up. They were neatly packed in containers and my stepfather was excited to bring the food home to share with us but mother smelled something foul in the car towards our way home. I smelled nothing. Is it coming from those containers?! Throw them out! Those containers are not coming inside my house! They're poison. Throw them out or you're not getting back in the car! My stepdad deflated as he dumped the last taste of home and I felt so bad for him. It's his mother's food and he's the only one obligated to eat it and if he wants to relive a fond memory, he should goddam be able to. Mother! Go into another room while he gobbles it down. I'll clean it up. I told her that and she yells at me "yeah, but you don't know these people." (Spells and shit.)
I've never held to her philosophy and as an adult enjoyed much food by hospitable strangers and neighbors and obviously never died. My mother was afraid someone else would usurp her talent. 01-May-2021