Another Family Reunion Laid to Rest

Whew! I made it through another one! I thought I might explode from all the carb-y goodness, but thanks to the game of H-O-R-S-E I played with the kids and a couple of short walks, I think I escaped any lasting damage.

We didn’t have a large crowd this year, which is sad. Even sadder, other than the kids, I was the youngest person there. It made me realize that as our elders leave us, we probably won’t have these gatherings anymore.  People have job pressures and kids have baseball and families have vacations.  When the older folks were growing up and even after they started their families, the family reunions WERE the summer vacations.

Fewer people meant less food, which was good. Unfortunately, it didn’t mean fewer calories. The menu included  fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs  (a.k.a. The Trinity of Family Reunion Foods in the South), barbecued ribs, boiled  shrimp, corn (two ways), baked beans,  some kind of chicken casserole things, and rolls.  Oh, and one of my contributions: Belgian Salad, which I made using EVOO, apple cider vinegar, and only 1/3 cup of sugar. (You’ll have to follow the recipe link for that to make sense.) People seemed to like it, but I think when I make it again, I’ll substitute black beans for the peas. And honestly, I think it could have used just a titch more sweetener. (If you go the artificial sweetener route,  I’ve also had it made with Sweet&Low at a friend’s house, and there was no aftertaste.)

Our dessert table was crowded this year: Cousin Carol’s traditional Caramel Cake(yummy!), Mississippi Mud Cake, Pecan Pie, Blonde Brownies, and my two contributions: Red Velvet Cake Balls & Pineapple Upside Down Mini-Cupcakes

Family Reunion Desserts

Pineapple Upside Down Mini-Cupcakes and Red Velvet Cake Balls

And yes, one of those cake balls does have a bite missing. I did that strictly for demonstration purposes. :)

The cake balls were the hit of the dessert table!  In fact, I had to go out to the car, get my computer, and email all my cousins the recipe right then! I’m glad they enjoyed these babies, though, because I destroyed my kitchen in making them.  White chocoloate bark everywhere! I used Red Velvet cake mix, but I substituted applesauce for the oil called for on the package. It tasted fine.  I doubt I’ll make these again in the Red Velvet version (I didn’t think about the red dye chemicals–duh!), but I’ve got some other variations in mind for Christmas. (Okay, I won’t make you wait–I’m thinking chocolate cake with crushed peppermint or crushed peppermint Kisses!)

The pineapple cupcake recipe was written for the full-sized cupcakes, and I tried to minimize them into 2-bite treats, which didn’t translate well using pineapple tidbits. The tidbits take up valuable cup real estate that I needed for cupcake batter. As a result, I over-filled the cups which meant they puffed up too much to sit flat.  Oh well, if I make these again, I’ll switch to crushed pineapple or I’ll just make them full-sized.

One of the reasons I chose the desserts I did was because I was searching for 1-2 bite servings. Some years we have lots of desserts and some years not. In the abundant years, most folks take a sliver of several desserts. I figured I’d do the slivering for them. :)

I managed to sliver my way through the dessert table (skipping my own dishes since I’d tasted them waaaay too much the night before), taking a little taste of each. They were all good, but a little bite was all I wanted. (Disclosure: after the basketball game, I went back for a bite of Carol’s cake, at which time I also ate a broken corner of a brownie.)

One of my cousins asked me if I wasn’t afraid I would gain weight eating these kinds of foods. She hadn’t been there the year I skipped everything, so I explained to her how I had hurt some of the older folks’ feelings by not enjoying what they had created, and how that experience re-shaped how I view events like this.  To see my 90-years-old-next-week grandmother blush with pride over everyone’s compliments on her corn and baked beans, or to see Carol do her modest oh-stop hand flip when I brag on her cake is worth every single calorie.

Plus, as I told my cousin, the gym and the turkey-tuna-chicken routine will still be there tomorrow. Which is today, which means I need to get busy. :)

So to sum up: good food, mostly good conversation (I’m pretty much the only liberal in the family, so I had to do quite a bit of table hopping to avoid some discussions), and memories shared. That’s the whole point, to me, of going through it. These older folks have some great stories to tell, and they deserve to tell them.  And I deserve caramel cake once a year. :)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I’ll be catching up on my reader this evening!

18 thoughts on “Another Family Reunion Laid to Rest

  1. Sounds fabulous! What a great idea – to make little bites. I have been known to sample every dessert by cutting off slivers. That does not always go over well.

  2. Cammy,
    Sounds like you had a great time! I love that you chose not to skip desserts this year. I’ve never had a family reunion, with my family, uh, that’s probably a good thing, but with the right mix of people, it sounds like a fun time!

  3. That salad sounds really good but wow! 1 cup of sugar!! is a favourite site of mine.

    Glad that the reunion was fun and that you enjoyed yourself with your family :)
    .-= Manuela´s last blog ..Roses and Lemon Squares =-.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time and what a great idea to bring bite sized treats…you are not just a pretty face.
    .-= Kimberley´s last blog ..My Week Update # 12 and Week #23 Goals =-.

  5. Good job, Cammy! What a great attitude! Way to take it all in, participate, do what you can, not go overboard, honor and respect both yourself and the elders/other family members. Being the only libral at a conservative family reunion must pose lots of challenges. It would be easy to hide in a corner and eat rather than face them… so bravo!
    .-= Peacefulbird´s last blog ..Dance ~ Part 2 =-.

  6. Ahh…gotta love family reunions! I love getting together with family, unfortunately I seem to be the only one my age that likes to do it so like yours ours will probably fizzle out with my generation.

    The cake balls look delish! Smart idea to think of one bit servings.

  7. I’m so glad you really embraced your family reunion this year. It sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for the recipes, I must do the red velvet balls for Christmas this year.

  8. Love your approach to the whole reunion thing. It is all about our family for however long we have them, isn’t it? You are a genuine sweetie, Cammy. And what a brilliant idea to make cake balls! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    .-= Tena´s last blog ..Low Carb – Not Low Enough? =-.

  9. Wow – I am so impressed at your baking skills, Cammy!!! I would have had one of each dessert for sure – it’s definitely my weakness.

  10. I love the table hopping comment. I can totally picture you doing that! I love to make desserts and cake balls is one of my most requested dessert. I like them because they are small and don’t hang around for long!

  11. You had me at “red velvet cake balls”……. When is the next family reunion? I’ll put it on my calendar.

  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! And you approached it so well. You prove to all of us you can indulge, be prepared and not over do it.

    I know what you mean about being the only liberal in the family. We often have to button our lips around certain family members too. LOL
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Corn is NOT a vegetable & The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson =-.

  13. Pingback: The Happy Baker

  14. Pingback: Hot in Any Language

Comments are closed.