Food. All The Food. Let’s Appreciate It Together!

Shhhh! Don’t talk too loudly! This is going to be a blog about all the foods I can think of that deserve space for appreciation. First, let’s address the elephant in the room – why are we whispering? Well, haven’t you heard that fat people can’t publicly admit to eating, much less enjoying eating? Can you imagine the world might end if a fat person talks about……. food? Well, you know what I say to that! 

Doughnuts are amazing and I’ll scream it from the mountain tops. If I could only choose one food for the rest of my life though, it would be pizza. Oh, and I’m addicted to chocolate like I need to go away and go to rehab. I start having a jumping/twitching eye if I go a long time without chocolate.  Being a fat girl most of my life I, just like the rest of the fat beauties, have been conditioned to not talk about these loves and addictions. I guess in a way I got lucky, I was raised in the south where if you didn’t finish your food and get seconds people were going to worry you were sick. 

Talking about where I grew up, let me tell you about “Eating Meetings”. Who out there knows what this is? Well, in case you don’t let me set the scene for you. Sunday after church a normal congregation of like 30  grew to  60 or more. Every woman and some men in the church used this day to impress and show off their skills. Each family would bring two to six “dishes”. 

These dishes were every casserole that you could ever imagine in every flavor and texture there is.  Mac and cheese (various varieties), tater tot casseroles, vegetable casseroles, potato casseroles, and rice dishes of great variety.   There was always a bread section: cornbread, yeast rolls, and biscuits. No matter where you went or what eating meeting you attended, there would be yeast rolls. These were one of my personal favorites. I was a really picky eater but I could always depend on the rolls.  Then there was a meat section. You would normally have fried chicken, roast, ham, and/or pork chops. Never less than three meat selections. Of course, you would have vegetables, collard greens, cabbage, green beans, corn, etc. Then a salad section… What you did not find in the salad section was traditional lettuce salad. There would be potato salad, deviled eggs, coleslaw, english pea salad, noodle salad, carrot salad… the list was long there too. 

This Eating Meeting would not mean anything in Louisiana if there was not a pot of gumbo, and/or jambalaya. There would also be a section on finger foods. When I was little, I thought this section was just for me because that’s how picky I was. There would be my favorite: meatballs, tamales, pimento cheese sandwiches, BBQ little sausages, etc. Of course, in the drink section, there would be a huge chest of every kind of soda in every flavor imaginable, sweet tea, unsweetened tea, pink lemonade, and the blackest coffee you have ever seen. Last but not least… a dessert table that just kept going. Every kind of cookie, cake, pie and pastries you could ever think of. This was at least twice a month plus any holiday etc. 

Now can you imagine my horror when I went to the once-a-year eating meeting at my church on Long Island and there was so little food I actually feared they would not have enough to feed the entire group staying? LOL, I rolled up with two plates of deviled eggs (they had never had them), pink salad (my friends called it pink crack), tater tot casserole, and cornbread. The pastor asked me if I thought I was going to have to single handedly feed the church. I laughed and said oh Pastor I was ashamed this was all I brought. I learned to not cook so much but one thing I know is I did not take home one single crumb. It was quite a culture shock for me. The sheer lack of eating meetings and the fact families were just bringing one dish, and then some didn’t bring anything. I mean if you didn’t bring food to a Louisiana eating meeting you didn’t stay. Funny how food can be so much a part of how you grow up. 

Some of my favorite foods from home are tamales, real BBQ, catfish, hush puppies, chicken fried steak, turnips, collards, crawfish, pecan pie, Coke cake, black-eyed peas, onions, yeast rolls, food from Canes, shrimp po’boys, and so many jellies that are particular to the area. 

Now that I live in MA, I miss New York food. I miss real pizza, Afghan lamb rice with white sauce, Burger Shack, the Italian ice place in South Ozone Park, and multiple other fast-food restaurants. 

Food can take you back in time to a place you never thought you would not be. Now I can’t imagine a life that did not bring me here. I loved Long Island and hopefully one day I’ll love MA as well. I know food-wise I already love the clam chowder, lobster rolls and of course doughnuts. 

What are some of your favorite foods? If you’re a fat beauty reading this, just realize that we are people too. Can you imagine how much I was smiling remembering these things? Don’t let anyone steal your joy and that includes enjoying what you eat. xoxo, Evie

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