Lots of food and a chair

July 18, 2016


Family reunion food - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogI’m eating way too much this summer, but it keeps getting put in front of me!


photos and Family reunion food - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogAt my family’s 75th annual reunion, we had about 70 cousins, aunts and uncles show up (which is actually a small crowd for this event that usually has over 100 in attendance) and everyone brought something good to eat. You may remember my lamenting over the fact that people don’t know how to “do” dinner on the grounds anymore (HERE), but our family does it right.


watermelons and Family reunion food - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogHere are the watermelons my uncle grew that we ate after a full lunch and many desserts. You’ll notice he wrote on the first one,”46.5 lbs.” With a giant melon like that, you’d think we were from Texas!


This side of the family is actually from the area of Kinston, AL and Darlington, FL. Great grandaddy moved his family of 13 children across the state line into Florida in 1916. You may also remember one of our direct ancestors is an “official” ghost of Alabama (HERE). Since the family is thick with ministers, deacons, and faithful choir members, we don’t talk about the haints in the family much and consider Kathryn Tucker Windham to be somewhat of a busy-body, stirring up naughtiness. (But oh, what a storyteller she was!).


After we sang, “Blessed be the tie that binds” in perfect four part harmony, we jumped into this . . .

Family reunion food - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogOkay . . . here we go. The deviled eggs were gone before I got down the line, but my cousin Lona had made another plate I jumped into. She had gathered the eggs from the coop that morning and said freshly gathered eggs were hard to peel. Just when I thought, “How many people know that fact?” another cousin walked by and said, “Fresh eggs? Oh, I’ll bet they were hard to peel.” These people know everything.


chair being reupholstered - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogIn non-food news, I’m having my dining room chairs reupholstered. This is a photo from when I stopped by the shop to pick out trim. They were sagging so badly,  you could only sit on the rims. I totally forgot I didn’t have chairs, and invited people over for dinner (more food), so we had to squish around the kitchen table, which is fine, because they are kitchen-table-kind-of-friends. On the menu? Tangy apple and walnut salad, shrimp and grits, and lemon pound cake with fresh berries. No photo for proof.  Only calories.


Good thing the chairs are being reinforced!


oysters - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogOysters from a local restaurant that were delicious, but more cheese and toppings than oyster.


Tim Kant and Tucker Dorsey - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogAnd yet another great meal was served by Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant and County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey at the Republican Women’s Annual Fish Fry which raises money for the Veteran’s Court. Fried fish is the best food ever!


Family reunion food - Leslie Anne Tarabella blogLocal farms are swimming in corn this time of year, so I had some ears picked that very day and made a corn and bell pepper salad. With a little bit of crumbled bacon . . . mmmm.


So that’s it for now. Tonight I’ll be out with the ladies eating seafood again. Life’s rough around here.



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  1. We haven’t quite gotten the hang of Southern cooking yet. For instance, there isn’t any Jello…in Minnesota, you never would have a potluck without Lutheran Church Basement Lime Jello Salad and hot dishes (rule: they must contain cream of mushroom soup). Everything does look wonderful though, especially the desserts. We have learned to love grits and kind of like collard greens. Does that help make us Southern?

    1. Here’s secret . . . my northern husband likes collard greens more than I do! But no jell-o in Minnesota? No wonder the winters seem so long! Keep up the good efforts and all will be well soon.

  2. Well, all that made me very hungry. My family can still put together a spread too. I feel sorry for all those people who miss out on all of that, but they are probably a lot healthier and skinnier.

    1. I don’t know. I’ve heard of non-cooking families having get-togethers where they buy everything, which I always think isn’t as healthy. Almost all of the produce used at our reunion was home grown, so that’s a good start. At least it makes me feel a little less guilty.

  3. That is hilarious that you invited people over for dinner forgetting you don’t have chairs! Shrimp and grits makes everything better! Amazing watermelons, what a reunion!!

  4. Mercy — I think I gained five pounds just reading this.

    Cool chairs. I hope you get them home where they belong very soon. However, kitchen table friends are the best.

    I have that same deviled egg dish — it was my mother’s.

    1. P.S. I am still irritated that I didn’t get KTW’s cookbook from my late cousin’s estate sale. It had a recipe for orange marmalade that I should have written down but didn’t.

  5. Leslie Anne, your people are my kind of people…they know how put out a spread! Amazing food that had to be delicious! I really laughed when you said you invited “company” over to eat and forgot you didn’t have dining room chairs, I like kitchen friends! Blessings~

    1. When my husband and I were first married, we had no chairs for company, so we all held our plates on our laps to eat. The next day, we found our dining room set!

  6. My sister is the designated deviled egg maker in our family, and she always says she needs old eggs to make ’em cause they are so much easier to peel!

    I haven’t had really good fried fish since I was a kid in Florida. My uncle fried the fish for the men’s fish fry at church every month and my Grandaddy would always bring me a piece home. What I wouldn’t give to taste that fish, and my Aunt’s hush puppies again!

    1. Good fried fish is hard to come by and when you have it done right, you know it — and you’re right, the hushpuppies can’t be forgotten!

  7. I always enjoy your blog Lesie Anne!

    Still new to the area and your pic of the Republican Women’s fish fry reminded me that I need to join up-especially now.
    Would you let me know the best way to get in touch with them.

    By the way, I did find a great hairdresser. Step by step I’m finding my way around!

    1. Good for you Sandy! I’m not a member of the club, just a fish eater, but they probably have a web site if you poke around on Google. I know Judge Michelle Thomason is very involved and organized the Veteran’s Court this event sponsored, so her office could probably help steer you in the right direction.

      And everyone in town is talking about the “new girl” with the pretty hair. It must be you!

  8. Hi Little Bitty Pretty! Oh, family reunions are wonderful and yours sounds like it was fantastic! Now that is one big watermelon and was it good? I love deviled eggs! My grandparents raised chickens and always had fresh eggs but I didn’t know they were harder to peel either! Can’t wait to see your newly upholstered chairs. I love how scrolly the legs are! Thanks for popping in.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  9. My sister once commented that I sure do make a lot of casseroles. She almost said it as a snub, but she sure does gobble up my “casseroles”. This looked like a fun and delicious reunion.

  10. Oh my gosh…the food looks amazing. I went to a seafood festival today, thought I could not eat another bite until I saw those oysters…YUMMY!

    1. A seafood festival within 2,000 miles of me? How did I not know about this? Hope you had fun!

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