Growing up I observed a custom where my mum would more often than not give gifts to visitors. The gifts would always be of a food nature. I remember thinking how strange it was, quite frankly my child’s mind thought of gifts in the nature of money. In my early twenties I observed that I was downright embarrassed by her practice thinking ‘do they really need these types of gifts’.
Having become a lot more rounded in my thinking, I see that it is a perfectly wonderful action to bring foods gifts to the host or vice versa. Good intentions are never out of fashion. So whether it is a bottle of wine, a live chicken, cooked food, vegetable seeds, fruit trees, fresh crab or whatever the size your purse will allow the goodwill of showing love through the giving of food items is something of a necessity. I, for one, am glad my grandmother passed this culture down to our mother and in turn to us. Kids exchange the sweets and goodies on the playing field, so why not grownups. I give fruit from my orchard.
In an economic climate such as ours, it becomes urgent to extend courtesy to people who you are visiting or those you are hosting to carry food parcels and not dent their budgets. In our custom it is not unusual for uninvited guests to turn up in astounding numbers all in the name of love. This is fine but, our custom insists on feeding all guests whether they accept or refuse, without regard for the availability of enough food in the home. I assume, where we come from, that when asked if you are hungry around 2pm that all is well if you insist that you are not. I will proceed to cackle with the best story revelers until I am told otherwise or the clock turns to 6pm. I do think that cooking and wasting food is criminal and that we can all save each other monies by being candid as opposed to offended… to not get food when we are satiated… and there is a word for that; it’s called greedy.
Understanding people and being a good host comes with being earnest to be free to cook, feed, eat and talk. So when we visit, whether we are eating or not maybe carrying something, like I said, it could be just fresh vegetables could bring a little good cheer. I am partial to anyone who can bring me pumkin leaves when they are out of season. You might be blown away when given prawns or crabs when you visit me and not know what to make of it when I tell you that they only cost 2usd… just give whatever, how little, however big give, you will get better at it and it will make you feel good. And you may note to RSVP and not turn up in crowds when it is just the couple of you invited.