Food for the immortal soul

‘It’s been a really long week. We lost a beloved member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and mourned with his equally beloved widow. If Jim had lived to 127 it would still be too soon to lose him. As it was, he was 71.

So as we always do, the Women of St. Paul’s made food for the reception. We did so with profound sorrow.

The WSP is noted diocese-wide for our receptions in the best of times. This one was different. It was bigger. It was more lavish. It was all our broken hearts on silver platters.

Reception 4

Grilled pork tenderloin, perfectly rosy in the center, with sweet spicy Jezebel sauce. Meatballs. Cucumber sandwiches. And, of course, pimento cheese finger sandwiches. It’s not a reception without them in the South.

Reception 1

Fried chicken, strawberry watermelon salad with basil and black pepper and shrimp. Shrimp don’t always make an appearance. They’re expensive. Nobody cared about the cost for this one.

Reception 3

Vine-ripened tomato sandwiches with Duke’s mayonnaise, naturally.  Ham biscuits. And amazing almond macaroons. Crisp on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside.

Reception 2

Lemon curd tarts with fresh blueberries. Baklava shipped from St. Augustine by our former rector’s wife. I know they mourned from afar. What an incredibly generous gesture. Homemade cookies and brownies.

Becky and wine

And really good wine poured by the incomparable Becky Farmer. Not an hour before that she and all of us who watched the service via camera feed in Otey Hall were armed with wads of Kleenex. The priest who gave the eulogy struck the perfect balance between funny, poignant and spiritual. So we laughed. We cried. Did I mention that laughter through tears is our favorite emotion?

So thank you for indulging me. I have struggled lately to define this blog. It’s always been about stories, but it’s also been about Southern food and recipes. Lately, I find myself drifting as life changes overtake me. The last few weeks I haven’t had much of an appetite.

I’ll get back on track. Just not today.




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