Friday, June 10, 2011

Family Gatherings

By Diane Forrest

June is the month when many celebrations take place. 
  • Graduations,
  • Weddings,
  • Family reunions and
  • Vacations.

The common denominator in these events is Family. 

To me, family is the most important thing there is.  No matter where you go, are what you are going through, you always have your family there to support you.  Now there may be some exceptions, like the saying goes. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family...and we all have the crazy Aunt or the strange cousin, but June is a great time to get together with your family, relive old memories, and make new ones.


Graduating high school is a major milestone in everyone's life.  You are officially an adult, ready to face the world be it going to college, joining the military, getting a job or getting married and starting a family.  This time is made even more special when you can share the joy with your family.  My cousin and her family will be traveling for 22 hours, from Mississippi to Rhode Island to attend her nephew's graduation next week.  While that is a very long trip it just shows how important family is to her and no matter what else is going on in her life, it is important to put family first.


Weddings are a wonderful joyous occasion that brings the whole family together.  Not only for your family, but to also join in celebrating an addition to the family.  June has long been a favorite month for weddings.  I’ve heard the reason for that is because people didn't bathe they were still smelling good in June.  While I’m not too sure about that I am sure it's a great time for families to get together. 

 My daddy tells a story about a feud he had with his aunt for many years because he didn't attend his cousin's wedding, her son.  She would comment on this every time they got together.  She held this grudge for many years until finally my daddy had to remind her that SHE didn't attend his wedding!   Having forgotten this fact, she quickly got over her anger with my dad and they got along famously after that.  So if you have a family member tying the knot this June, please make every effort to be there to show your love and support.


Family reunions are also another great time to spend with family.   I remember growing up and taking trips to north Mississippi to attend the family reunions at the lake.   Everyone always brought a dish, their own "specialty" and all us kids would run around and play while the grown- up reminisced about the past.  We have also had a couple of enterprising family members who comprised a book about the generations starting with the first member in the United States.  Later this month we will talk more about family history, but for now I want to concentrate on the family future and to stress the importance in keeping strong family ties and know you will always have someone there for you.

The following is a recipe a family member brought to one of our reunions, and it has been a favorite ever since.  Its quick and easy, and a delicious meal that you can take to your next family reunion.

Family Reunion Chicken Casserole:
2-3 boiled boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup broth from chicken
1 can condense cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz container sour cream
1 stack of saltine crackers
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl mix soup, broth and sour cream and set aside.  Next melt butter.  Crush the crackers and pour in a bowl, then mix melted butter over them.   In a 8 x 11 casserole dish sprinkle some of the crackers on the bottom.  Then layer with the boiled chicken.  Pour the soup mixture over the chicken, then the remaining crackers on top.  Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it bubbles.  Enjoy!

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