Pounding a Pastor

Pounding a pastor and the family (if there is one), is a tradition I know from growing up in Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Despite the way it sounds, it is a “love offering” of one-pound items of food. To welcome the new pastor, there is a parsonage housewarming at which congregants give a pound of a food item. There are no rules about the literalness of the weight, merely a suggestion.

It was a fun time to see what people would show up with. It was a little like Christmas. But there were two items that I vividly remember. A can of a whole chicken (almost whole), bobbing headless in a brownish liquid. I was absolutely grossed out by the sight. My mother was a fabulous cook. If she used that headless gift, I don’t know it, and I don’t want to know it.

The other item was years later when we were pounded in adulthood. My husband was appointed to a congregation in Alabama. One member gave us a cake mix. I like to bake but in the pandemonium of unpacking and figuring out where the nearest grocery store was, a cake mix was a great idea. When I opened it, I saw movement inside. Surely not! But surely yes. It was full of wigglers that like to eat on the ingredients of cake mixes.

Being curious, after I had purged the mix from our kitchen, I checked on the identity of the invaders. They are larvae of moths and beetles that love chomping on starch. They eat their way into the box after manufacturing processing. They are not neat diners. They leave behind clumps. Scientifically, they are not supposed to hurt you if you eat them.

That message may be received by my body’s digestion, but my brain is convinced otherwise.

About Louise Stowe-Johns

I'm a writer,
a mediator,
a pastor,
an educator,
a lover of the arts,
a wife,
a mother,
and on occasion,
a pot stirrer.

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