Journal of a Living Lady #298
Nancy White Kelly
Now that the weather is pretty, we are getting our annual influx of visitors, mostly old friends and family. Unless I am sick or extremely busy, I enjoy company. My only request is that I have enough time between guests to wash the sheets. Clean linens are still in style, at least in the Kelly household.
Buddy enjoys having company because it means a wider variety of food on the table. I have my staple meals for large gatherings, Barbeque and Brunswick stew, Lo-Country Boil, Chicken and Dumplings. I keep a tray of sandwich fixings in the refrigerator for lunch or in-between meals.
You know the old saying, “after three days, fish and company begin to stink.” Not always, but frequently so. If the company stays beyond an etiquettely-correct length of stay, I start announcing future meals of chitlins and stewed possum. Nobody has ever stayed long enough for me to actually follow-through with such thinly-veiled threats. That’s a good thing as I was a city girl and know little about cooking such victuals.
I do recognize a possum when I see one. The first thing I learned when I moved to Georgia was that they sleep in the middle of the road with four feet in the air.
Chitlins. I have never seen one of those critters, but I got the displeasure of smelling some once. When I was a primary-age child, my Sunday school teacher took me along to visit her former maid who was very sick. My prim and proper teacher bent double in laughter when she determined that I thought the old woman said chill’en were cooking on the stove. I think she wet her pants.
The smell of those stinking chitlins wafting from that wood stove is something I never forgot. When the frail little woman died a few days later, my childish mind wondered if those smelly critters didn’t poison her insides.
Now I am adult with lots of memories and a bit of senile humor. Come to the mountains. I promise not to threaten possum or chitlins. Just don’t over-stay your welcome. I might serve you a scrumptious pseudo-blackberry cobbler… if I can find that can of caviar.