Traditions and Casseroles

imageWhen 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.

Memorial Day Etiquette and Traditions


With Memorial Day quickly approaching (aside…how is it already May?!), I thought it would be fun to incorporate tradition and etiquette into one post. I have already done a general flag etiquette post, which you can find here: However, Memorial Day is a more solemn holiday, where we show our appreciation to those who have passed away either while serving our country or after doing so. Here are a couple of traditions I would encourage you to participate in to make the day even more meaningful. As with all traditions, this helps us link generations and helps maintain the importance of the holiday.

In 2000, Congress created the National Moment to make sure our troops are honored. At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, every American is asked to pause for just one minute to honor the fallen.

Memorial Day is the perfect day to fly the USA flag. If you have a flag pole that allows the flag to be at half staff, it should remain there until noon. If you have a stationary pole, displaying it normally is perfectly fine.

If you are at a Memorial Day parade or concert where the national anthem is being played, non-military should stand and place their hand over their heart. Military, uniformed and non-uniformed alike, may salute the flag, if they so choose.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag.

A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008 (

I hope this Memorial Day you will consider some of these traditions and remember the true meaning behind the holiday. While some of us have the luxury of a day off from work, it is because of the men and women who have sacrificed for us and our country. God bless you all.


Carnations and Corsages

imageSadly, corsages honoring someone are becoming a thing of the past. In an effort to promote traditions, I’m attempting to bring this particular one back! For starters, I love seeing the women in my church proudly wearing their corsages (on their left side). Growing up, I most often saw this on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day. In an effort to showcase this tradition, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the different colored corsages in effort to highlight their meanings.

For a Mother’s Day corsage, the type of flower isn’t as important as the color of the flower. White signifies that their mother is deceased, red or pink signifies that their mother is alive. Yellow most often means that the person has lost a child. As you can see, the colors signify more about the person’s mother than themselves.

Likewise, if you are at a place (church comes to mind) where carnations are being passed out in honor of Mother’s Day, it is appropriate for all women to accept one. This is actually done in honor of your mother, not in honor of being a mother.

I would like to wish all mothers, aunts, grandmothers, step-mothers and female role models everywhere a very happy Mother’s Day! Maybe we’ll see corsages a little more this year. 😉