OUR STORY …
Herman survived the ride along Hwy 9 and Hwy 17 ( the King’s Highway) in the saddle bags of Fat Puppy’s motorcycle. At last they arrived at a little cemetery way out in the country. It was a quiet place. The country historian known to many on social media as “Fat Puppy,”quickly found the final resting place of Miss Abigail Rhodes.
There wasn’t anything on her little headstone that even suggested such a great person was buried in the soil there. It was actually just an ordinary grave. But older folks along the Grand Strand who still remember her will testify that Miss Abby was anything but ordinary.
According to some of these old folks, Miss Abby’s grandparents arrived in the Carolinas as slaves not long after the Chucktown Diocese was established. They came by way of Hispaniola through the dreadful slave markets of New Orleans. Miss Abby’s grandmother, Miss Katherine Rhodes, was a renowned cook and is said to have made the best buttermilk biscuits ever. She passed her recipe along to Miss Abby’s mother like a Sacred Tradition.
Miss Abby learned to cook in her mother’s kitchen, and it’s likely that she got her idea for buttermilk pancakes from “Grandma Katherine’s biscuits.” One old timer swears that Miss Abby accidentally concocted the very first buttermilk pancake by trying to prepare buttermilk biscuits on the stovetop in an iron skillet instead of in the oven. In that day, folks put honey on their biscuits, so it’s not hard to see how Miss Abby’s pan-fried buttermilk biscuits might’ve quickly evolved into pancakes and syrup— who knows!
Most of the details of the development of buttermilk pancakes have been lost over time, but what is known is that as an adult, Miss Abby supported her family cooking in restaurants near South Carolina’s beaches. Of course, today folks know this region as the Grand Strand, and just about anyone who’s ever visited has enjoyed a pancake or two in one of the many great pancake restaurants on the Strand.
IT IS WRITTEN …
Buttermilk pancakes are delicious. The Catholic Roads crew looks forward to at least one pancake breakfast every time we visit the Grand Strand. And like most other visitors, we have our favorite pancake restaurants too. But there is another kind of food that Fat Puppy and the Catholic Roads crew enjoy often. The Bible has a lot to say about food, but the most profound is in the Sermon on the Mount (John 6:26-71).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us about bread from heaven. The sermon took place around the time of the Passover, immediately after Jesus had miraculously fed 5000 people. The food that Jesus introduced was His own flesh and blood, rather than the flesh and blood of a slain animal.
Jesus told His followers about a new, perfect, unblemished lamb of God for an eternal Passover. He did not end the Passover, of course, but fulfilled it (Matt 5:17). According to the words of the Lord, God’s people would still have to eat the sacrifice (Exod 12:8, 10-11), even though many would eventually want to set it aside for the tickling of their ears instead (2 Tim 4:3). But nothing would ever replace this heavenly food that was so often foreshadowed in the Old Testament.
LIFE GOES ON …
Buttermilk pancakes are delicious, and they satisfy us for the moment. But the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist satisfies our Father in heaven forever as the Christ continuously mediates on our behalf with His body and blood. And it also satisfies our souls as we continue to consume the miraculous Bread of Life.
Jesus tells us that we must eat that Bread (John 6:53-54). We have no life in us if we do not. Another great woman once confirmed that point, telling her children, “It’s about the Bread of Life. It’s all about the Bread of Life!”
Herman decided he was going to continue eating buttermilk pancakes, Miss Abby’s gift to the world, whenever he visited the Grand Strand. But he was also going to get His daily bread (Matt 6:11) back home in his parish whenever he could. The Bread of Life is served everyday around the world to the family of Jesus in the Church that Jesus established.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!