Dinner on the Grounds


The communal dinner is a tradition that sits on the good side of the duality of the Southern thing. The covered-dish supper. Dinner on the grounds. The Wednesday-night potluck.

Here's what we remember: Five kinds of fried chicken. Fried squash. Fried everything. Putting green beans on our plate, if only because Mom would see them and approve. Praying that Miss Alice would bring her chocolate cream pie. Stealing away from the adults so we didn't get cornered by a chatty aunt. Mac and cheese in Pyrex dishes. Biscuits. Jell-O salad. Watermelon. Being young enough to go back for seconds on banana pudding without a single worry about the waistline. Somebody eventually picking up a fiddle, or a guitar, or even a hymnbook. Needing a nap after it was over.


What do you remember? Tell us how the communal dinners still happen where you are. Share a recipe or two. We're holding our own little ecumenical camp meeting over on Instagram. Share your memories — recent or distant — with the hashtag #BSDinnerOnTheGrounds.