When I first started this blog, I tried to strictly stick with etiquette. My goal was to simplify etiquette so that everyone felt comfortable knowing and using it. However, as I’ve learned over the past several months, etiquette, particularly in the South, isn’t as “Emily Post” as I originally thought. So much of what we do and how we act hinges on the traditions that have been passed down to us from our parents and grandparents. Personally, I love this. It connects us with those we may have known only briefly before they passed away, as well as with those we may never have had a chance to meet.
In a world of political correctness that has stifled diversity, I crave uniqueness. I want traditions and cultures that make areas of the wonderful USA different and special. My goal for Etiquette by Emily in 2016 has been to incorporate traditions, tying them to etiquette and, in some cases, pointing out the differences. This is not stuffy etiquette. This is everyday etiquette – etiquette for everyone.
That being said, I want to showcase a tradition I have noticed dying off, save for within churches: bringing food for those who have had a significant life event take place.
Growing up, I think my mom took casseroles, breads, pies and more to people who had recently suffered a death in their family or celebrated a birth. In the South, we closely tie food to comfort (possibly too much so, but it’s not an area I’m willing to give up). A way to show love or appreciation is through food. Bringing food to someone eases some of the everyday burdens, allowing the recipient to focus on their new baby or on grieving. To be quite honest, it blesses the giver as much as the recipient.
This week I had the privilege of taking a casserole (recipe below) to a friend who had a baby a few weeks ago. It’s not the healthiest of casseroles, but it’s an easy, kid-friendly one that heats up well. Priorities. I remember after the births of my kids, the people who brought by food were eligible for sainthood, in my opinion. After nursing, burping, being spit up on and surviving on little-to-no sleep, cooking was the absolute last thing on my to-do list.
I want to make sure this tradition is continued, so I rounded up my kids, Katherine and Grant, and allowed them to “help” cook. Katherine stirred the cream of different things soups together, and Grant helped sprinkle in the garlic powder. It’s important they understand the importance behind this tradition. The recipe, which is not my own, also connects them with their grandmother. In a world where busyness is glorified, it’s good to step back and breathe to remember it’s not all about us. I hope you’ll consider continuing this tradition with me. It’s the perfect opportunity to get out that box of old recipes and cook up something delicious.
Chicken Noodle casserole:
12 ounce egg noodles, cooked per package
2 cans cream of anything soup (I usually use one cream of chicken and one cream of mushroom)
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
Dash of salt
3 cups cook, diced chicken
Mix everything up
24 Ritz crackers
½ stick of butter, melted
Crush crackers on top. Drizzle butter over it all. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover, and bake for 10 minutes more.