Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

September 19, 2012

Southernisms from my (Southern) family: Presentation is everything

 Southern women are wonderful at entertaining.  The women in my family are no exception.  Through the years, they have spied in the Revolutionary War, run plantations and defied various enemies during and after the Civil War, raised ten or twelve or fourteen children on their own, flown planes, taught school, run organizations large and small, written books, and been crowned beauty queens. And in the midst of it all, they always take pains to set a handsome table.

This is a discussion my cousin Gay and I once had that covered everything from entertaining to serving pieces to Sara Lee cakes.

Mama is already trying to say if everyone brings an appetizer they should bring it on a silver or crystal platter or a paper plate, and I can put it on one of my nice serving pieces because she cannot stand how the table looks with a mixed assortment of casual serving platters.

My own mother can’t sleep on mismatched sheets. She can’t even sleep if there are mismatched sheets anywhere in the room, no matter if they’re just stacked up in a pile on the dresser.

Grandmama Helen used to love to get out a Sara Lee cake. Those little boxed Sara Lee cakes are so reliable. Always perfect and delicious. In her later years sometimes they wouldn’t be all-the-way thawed but they would ALWAYS be on a sterling platter with a doily and some powdered sugar sprinkled on top. And if someone would compliment the store-bought cake, Grandmama would say, “Didn’t it turn out nice?”

I used to love those Sara Lee cakes. I’m forever using paper towels as napkins and that drives my mama crazy. She always has the prettiest napkins! She sets a beautiful table, everything matching just like the sheets.

Have you ever attempted to bring a canned drink to the table!? It totally freaks my mother out. Sometimes Glo and I set a 2 liter soft drink bottle on the table just to watch her come unhinged.

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