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From the Mouth of the River

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Soup's On!

Soup’s on! How many times have you heard that? Only to find out it wasn’t soup at all. Just a regular meal. I don’t know how many verbal methods there are in calling someone to dinner but here are the ones I respond to. (Call me anything as long as you don’t call me late for dinner!)

Dinner’s ready; Come and get it; Soup’s on; Chow time; Let’s eat; Dinner is being served. I personally haven’t heard that one too often, as I try not to eat where a tuxedo is required. 

The rental place always charges extra cleaning fees when I take it back. So I bought my own.

That’s right, I do own a tux. Okay, maybe I got it at a yard sale, and it was while we were traveling in the South. It belonged to some old southern gentleman who believed the South was going to rise again and saved it, as he was in the War Between the States. Did I mention it’s a gray tux?

Not all southern belles are women, some are made of brass and hang just off the porch. These, of course, are for ringing to call the field hands to dinner. They are also used as alarms for house fires and to signal when the Yankees are coming. 

Southern belles got their name from being bell ringers. As in, “She’s a real bell ringer!” Or, in some cases, just a dingaling!

My grandmother would hang a dishtowel on the clothesline or on the top wire of the fence to let Dad know when she had dinner on the table. A white dishtowel can be seen for a long ways. 

For the younger women who may be confused as to what a dishtowel is, it’s a cotton cloth about two and a half feet square, used primarily to dry dishes that have been washed in a dishpan full of soapy water.

Now there’s a novel idea, washing dishes by hand! When one is done drying dishes, the dish cloth is usually spread out to dry by covering  the condiments left on the table. This also keeps the flies off.

Condiments being homemade (canned) jellies, jams, ketchup, hot sauce, chowchow, pepper sauce, salt,  pepper, and other cooked food that wouldn’t spoil before the next meal.

Food like, Mexican cornbread,  cornbread, biscuits, corn, taters, turnips, boiled cabbage, any kind of cooked greens plus cut up tomatoes and onions and some cooked meats!

The term dinner in the South means the noon meal. Supper is the last meal of the day, thus, “the last Supper.” Duh.

Come and get it. Grits is ready. Let’s eat it or I’ll throw it out. It’s you or the dogs! Pot lickers up!

My one funny uncle was fond of saying, “grab a tit an growl,” until one day my little cousin was showing off in front of company and bit his mother. For weeks the kids in school thought he had a birthmark the shape of a hand on the side of his face! 

“Chuck’s ready,” the chuck wagon cook would yell. Biscuits, butter ‘em and bawl! Beans! 

“Wash fer dinner,” granny would say, “and not just the hand you eat with! Wash both of ‘em!” Last one at the table has gotta say grace! 

Ah yes, I remember the good old days. The border house reach, the elbow in the eye, the fork in the back of the hand. Yep, there’s nothing like home cookin!

BOOTS

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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food, supper, dinner

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