A family reunion can be fun, festive and exciting event. Especially if you have relatives visiting that you have not seen in years!
One of the grandest things about attending a reunion, is the FOOD! There will be so many delicious dishes of tasty, yummy food to be shared.
Down here in the south, women from all over take great pride in the dishes that they cook. It’s as if every compliment for a dish is another point towards becoming the best cook in the family!
It’s a serious event for those whom cook for southern family reunions, and some southerners really do get feisty about the cooking!
What Kind Of Food Is Good For A Family Reunion?
The best kind of food to cook or bring to a family reunion is meat, or dessert. Meats and desserts generally get eaten the most, simply because practically anyone would rather have a nice slice of pie over a green bean. Finger foods are also a favorite, considering they are easier for young children to eat.
A Few Easy Family Reunion Food Ideas
I would love to share with you a story about a family reunion I once attended. As with any true southern reunion, the dish that was to be brought just HAD to be one of the best!
I had a particular cousin attending that reunion, whom I have never gotten along with. She and I were always at odds with each other about one thing or another.
Well, at this reunion, I had decided to bring a dessert. Since every southerner loves banana pudding, the I decided to bring that to the family reunion. Now, as any true southerner cook knows, instant pudding does not make a true banana pudding no more than whipped marshmallow makes true fudge!
Considering this, I put my heart into making my fabulously grand banana pudding.
I Do Not Use Boxed Pudding To Make My Banana Pudding!
Hours were spent making my banana pudding. The timing had to be just right so that it would be the prefect temperature when I arrived at the reunion. I used flour, milk and eggs to make the most delicious pudding ever. A golden brown meringue was whipped up, with some of the most perfect peaks you’d ever witness!
Upon my arrival to the family reunion, I noticed that my cousin had brought a peach pie. Now I am not one to judge food based too much on how it looks, especially pie. But her pie, sadly, looked horrific!
I sat my perfectly baked banana pudding, a distance from her pie, and proceeded to enjoy the reunion.
The Family Reunion Was A Blast!
As everyone knows, the gossiping does not begin until after everyone has ate. So although I was not too anxious about my dish, (because I knew my banana pudding was awesome) I did want to see how well other relatives dishes fared.
Once the cleaning commenced and the gossiping began, I noticed that my banana pudding had been eaten in it’s entirety. I knew it would be received well, but I had no idea it would be received that well!
One Aunt in particular won the cooking queen title that year, for her crock pot BBQ ribs. For as long as I can remember, she always won every year, because she always brought the exact same dish. 2 huge crock pots, full of the best tasting BBQ ribs one could ever enjoy!
My Cousin Placed Last
Sadly, my cousin was the individual who placed last. Word got out that she used pre-made pie dough for her crust (that is a big NO down here in the south).
She also did not use fresh peaches for her pie, but instead, she used dreaded canned peaches! This again, is a huge no down here in the south!
Now, when cooking for family at a typical meal, canned peaches and pre-made dough is fine. But when it comes to Sunday dinner, a family reunion or Church socials, this is just not done!
My cousin had a single slice removed from her pie, and since everyone saw her eating it, we all knew that it was not favored by anyone but herself. I found this to be sad, but she took it in great spirits as we all laughed and cut up about her not having enough time to cook a decent dish.
Make Sure That Your Dish Is Not The Worst At Your Next Family Reunion
Now that I have shared that story, I would like to share a few tips. First, if one uses canned fruit, then it is not a true Southern pie! It is a pie, and it may taste great, but it is not something that true Southern cooks consider to be a legitimate homemade pie.
This is the same for things like banana pudding, (boxed pudding is NOT homemade), fudge (marshmallow cream is not how true homemade fudge is made) or cake (boxed cake mix is not how a true homemade cake is made).
Let’s say you bake a pecan pie from scratch. You decide to use peanut butter instead of pecans, because it’s quicker, easily and cheaper. Yeah, it’s no longer deemed to be a pecan pie is it?
You may be saying “Well Maria, peanut butter is made from peanuts, not pecans, so of course it’s not a pudding”. I say you are absolutely correct!
And I say that instant pudding is made from corn starch, NOT flour, milk and eggs! Corn starch is not pudding either, so why call it that? That’s a marketing gimmick that a large corporation uses, to make one think they are eating pudding when in fact, they are eating nothing but sweetened corn starch.
Now that I have stated this, I would love to share with you 3 recipes for awesome dishes that your relative swill love if you choose to bring them to your next family reunion!
Lil Smokies With Grape Jelly
This recipe not only makes a dish that is super tasty, but it’s so easy to make that you won’t be pressed for time! Simply toss everything in the crock pot, let is simmer, enjoy!
This is a great recipe to make if there are going to be a lot of children present. It makes for the perfect finger food for small fingers!
Go ahead, make some today, and wow your family! The recipe is provided here, just click this link!
Po Mans Cobbler
Now, this is a cobbler recipe that one CAN use canned fruit on if they wish. If my cousin had made this instead of “pie” then she would have certainly ranked near the top of the best cook list!
Because you see, pie is meant to be made from scratch down here in the south. But cobbler is meant to be made when you have to make do with “the best that you got”.
Therefore, it’s perfectly ok to use canned fruit to make a cobbler! This recipe for any fruit cobbler is amazing, go ahead and give it a try!
Honey BBQ Wings
The previous 2 recipes are so easy to make, that you won’t have to spend much time creating those dishes. Yet, here is a recipe that takes a bit more time to cook. Even tho it takes longer to cook, and requires more effort, it makes for a dish that will have your relatives hug you till your ribs ache!
Every family has a Bubba. Bubba means very close friend, like a brother. I’d like to point that out for you. Just in case you’re not from the south and don’t understand the terminology.
Now his name may not actually be Bubba, but you know who I am talking about. That one man who will do anything he can for anybody! The guy that will give you the shirt off his back. He will change your tire, paint your porch and come catch that snake to get it out of your yard.
This is the recipe that will make Bubba so dang happy! He will not only get rid of that there 10 foot rattler from your yard, but he will also wrassle some gators for you if needed!
Every southern family knows that although the women cook to make everyone happy, they really enjoy cooking for Bubba the most. And their husbands love it too, because Bubba is the one man that is always there every time they need him most. Perfect these honey BBQ wings recipe and take this to your next family reunion! These are sure to make bubba smile! He may even ask you to cook him up a batch for him to take to the next tailgate party!
I hope you enjoy making these three dishes. Don’t forget to come back often to check for more redneck wisdom, recipes, tips and good cheer!