In the South, we have big families, big hearts, and lots of casseroles. We have many variations of family.  We group our birth family with extended loved ones all together. Sometimes the line between who is family or friends is blurred and that’s the way we like it. 

My sisters and I are like so many in our community, we can come together within a minute’s notice of a crisis. I must explain a “crisis” in the South has many meanings, especially with the Bryant sisters.  It can range from a hospital stay to having the wrong dress for prom. Some of our crises are averted through phone calls, texts, prayer, and lots of tears. Some require more attention. 

Picture of woman dishing out a casserole onto a plate

My sisters and I have our own different skills when a crisis hits, and it runs like a well-oiled machine. It normally starts with Sherry, who I must say is a rockstar during this time. She has an incredible talent for finding out all the necessary information within minutes of the crisis. Her undercover skills and fast action start the ball rolling. 

My sister Gayle, who we affectionately call “Alpha Dog” starts the process of crisis cleaning. Gayle has strict rules that are to be followed. I’m not sure if cleaning is a Southern thing or our thing. I once asked if it was necessary to clean the china cabinet.

I learned my lesson.

As we all know, a casserole is always essential in a crisis. Sister Stephanie and I love to cook. We have our pantries stocked, freezers organized, disposable pans ready, and the most important ingredient in the South… an assortment of “cream of soups”.  Give us an hour, and we’ll give you a casserole! 

The youngest sister, Laura, has been bossed around, and given what we call the “dirty/nobody else wants to do jobs” during this process. She never complains and always smiles. Her loving heart is always ready for any action needed.

Some may say a casserole is just a pan of food. In my sweet town of Clinton, it’s so much more. It’s a small gesture with a big meaning. The “crisis casserole” is our way of showing we’re there for you, we’re thinking of you, and mostly we love you.