"Mama made the best banana pudding in Alabama,” she said flatly. "She was such a good cook, one of her friends nicknamed her Betty—short for Betty Crocker.”
Well, since Betty is as good of a name as any, that's what I'll call her mother.
I have it on good authority that Betty was more than the miracle-worker of banana pudding. She was also a kitchen queen, with a knack for bread pudding, chicken and dumplings, Coca-Cola cake, and squash casserole.
“As kids," Betty's daughter went on. "We just loved it when folks had showers or parties, Mama'd start whipping up pimento cheese..."
She leaned in and got quiet.
"But we liked funerals
even better, because Mama was head of the funeral committee. Which meant she made fried chicken—she always made extra.”
If you've never lived in a small town, maybe you don't know about things like funeral committees. Imagine: twenty white-haired ladies, with sun hats and skirt-suits, who can cook circles around a chicken.
That's a funeral food committee.
Often, these ladies have enough sugar flowing in their veins, they practically bleed sweet tea.
The funeral committee's job is to help families of the deceased go up two pant-sizes.