Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Banana Politics

I've been reading about the politics being played out in some organizations in the modern world.
Even churches have their internal power struggles and vying for position.
It reminds me of our church suppers.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In the sixties, we had Church Socials.
Big pot luck dinners.
For any and all occasions.
Christmas.
Easter.
New Years.
Fall.
Thursday.
They were fun.
Everyone would show up with their large families and a huge dish – or dishes - of something delicious to share.
The food would be arranged on a long series of tables. Everyone would load a plate. And the visiting would begin.
Good food.
Good friends.
It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening.
Invariably, there would be someone’s Grandma’s recipe for home-fried chicken.
And many, many incarnations of potato/meat casseroles.
Salads by the creative and colourful dozens.
Home-made rolls just begging for a large dollop of freshly churned butter.
And desserts of enough variety and inevitable tastiness, to make decision-making difficult to impossible.
But there was one draw back.
As with all pot lucks, the first in line got the most choices.
Made quickly to avoid ‘pot luck crush’. 
What is ‘Pot Luck Crush’? Imagine a river, dammed by a small obstruction. Pressure builds. Finally, the obstruction is yelled at by some starving individual and threatened with oblivion.
Pot Luck Crush.
My cousin, Reed was usually the first in line.
He had made an art of choosing – and heaping - quickly.
His favourites were the salads.
I should mention here, that two of the most popular salad dishes were the green jello salad.
With shredded carrots.
And the yellow jello salad.
With sliced bananas.
The carrots in the carrot salad tended to be suspended throughout.
The bananas, however, inevitably rose to the top.
And that’s where Reed came in. He could deftly and expertly – and quickly - scrape the entire layer of bananas from the salad.
Then move happily on to the rest of the offered dishes.
His actions weren’t popular. Usually, from further back in the line, there would be a howl of protest.
Reed would just grin. The you-should-have-tried-harder-to-be-first-in-line grin.
The rest of the assembly would be stuck with banana-less salad.
Or what amounted to plain lemon jello.
But the sheer volume of other dishes soon silenced any further protest.
And before long, everyone was happily munching.
Until the next time.
When Reed would again slip deftly and expertly to the front of the line.
Yes. Even in the sixties, we had church politics.
The difference was that they were fought over bananas.
Hmm . . . 
Maybe not so different after all.

17 comments:

  1. Seems like Reed had his "survival of the fittest" strategy well in place. Or, if you prefer, the "the early bird gets the bananas"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could have learned a lot. From way back in the line . . .

      Delete
  2. Ooh I remember those salads! Your cousin Reed and my uncle Larry would get along well...or maybe not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Your Uncle Larry could slip into the head of the line, too, could he? I'd like to have witnessed the contest . . .

      Delete
  3. They made one with mashmallows too...disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . marshmallows. I guess our group wasn't ready for those new-fangled things! :)

      Delete
  4. Church politics - annoying maybe, but I do think these were the better kind!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This reminds me of a conversation I had recently with the hubby. He is always amazed how fast I eat. I had to explain once AGAIN that I am the only girl with 4 brothers. If I didn't eat fast I didn't eat at all. May explain the ulcer though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm exactly the same! I gobble! And for exactly the same reason - brothers. Oddly enough, My Husby was one of five brothers, and he eats slowly. Weird.

      Delete
  6. OMG church politics and reminders, and the argument I had with my MIL about gay people. Reminders. Different. But maybe not so much. I think I'm right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Kristi! It all comes down to tolerance and loving each other! And family! :)

      Delete
  7. I've never understood how a jello dish can be called salad, out here jelly is dessert, I don't know anyone who puts vegetables into jelly and sets it.
    I should have thought that after a couple of socials someone would think to keep Reed outside until others have had a chance at the bananas. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. That occurs to us . . . now. :)

      Delete
  8. Ohhh ... pot luck suppers were/are the best. I went to one with my mom just last fall. It was just as good as I remembered!

    Yech to those jello dishes with grated carrots and celery in them, though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were always such an adventure! And SO MUCH FOOD!!! Mmmm . . .

      Delete

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