This past Sunday was Homecoming at Calvary Baptist, the church I grew up in as did my Mother before me. My Mother and her parents were charter members so my roots are deep. It is the church where I first learned about Jesus, went to Vacation Bible School, and learned about missions.
Homecoming is a day set aside, usually in the spring or fall, where families and past members come back to their home church for a special church service and a covered dish lunch. There is also usually a special offering taken for cemetery upkeep that day as well. It is a reunion of families and friends.
At Calvary, it is also Decoration Day so we place flowers on the graves of my grandparents, aunt, and cousin who are buried there and we visit with other families who’ve come to place flowers. Usually, my cousin and I walk around the cemetery remembering those precious souls who’ve passed on: Lee and Maytle Jones, Albert and Jeanette Baldwin, Wilbur and Millie Jones, Dovie Crane, Bill and Britt Nethery, and Charles Walker. They taught us in Sunday School and Training Union but most importantly, they loved us.
It’s always so good to see old friends, many of whom I've known since we were small children. Some are still at Calvary but most of us go to other churches or live too far away to come to church there regularly. But most try to make it back every year for Homecoming. Other than funerals, this is usually the only time we see each other nowadays.
There’s always a covered dish lunch afterwards but since our family is scattered now, we opt to do a mini-family reunion at my cousin's house instead. There’s always plenty of food, fun, good conversation, fried chicken, and banana pudding. Nowadays though, we have store bought fried chicken. My Mother’s fried chicken is just a fond memory. But the banana pudding? There's always a huge bowl of it on the table. No other dessert is needed or wanted.
Mom’s Fried ChickenChicken pieces, bone in
Soak chicken in buttermilk overnight. Add a little salt if you think about it. Heat 1-1 1/2: of oil in skillet. Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Coat chicken in flour mixture. Drop a little water in hot oil to see if it's hot enough before adding chicken. If it pops, it's hot enough.
Put chicken in skillet with bone facing up. Put lid on skillet and cook chicken until done. Turn over when browned and leave lid off to finish cooking.
If cooking a whole chicken, cook breasts first.
(Note: these instructions were given to me during a lesson on frying chicken)
Aunt Carolyn’s Banana Pudding1 big box Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
3 cups milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large bowl Cool Whip
Mix pudding and milk together until slightly thick. Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and Cool Whip. In a bowl, layer wafers, bananas, and pudding in that order. Top with vanilla wafers.
As long as you have fried chicken, banana pudding, and a big jug of iced sweet tea on the table, you don’t really need anything else.