Author Archives: mgabbard@usc.edu

Taco Caserole

Title: Taco Caserole

Category: Recipe/Food

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

Ingredients:

– 1 -1 1/2 lbs ground beef

– 1 pkg taco seasoning

– 1 can stewed tomatoes

– 1 can sliced mushrooms

– 1 med. onion, chopped fine

– Shredded Mexican cheese

– 1 can cut green beans

– 1 can wax beans

– 1 can kidney beans

– Tortilla chips

– Cottage cheese or sour cream

– Sliced or whole black olives

Directions

– Cook meat and onion together until meat is brown and onions are opaque. Drain well. Add taco seasoning, simmer several minutes until well blended (10-15min). Drain all beans well— removing as much moisture as possible. Add all remaining ingredients to meat mixture, except cheeses, and mix well. Place casserole in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until very hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and cover with Mexican cheese. Return to oven until melted. Crush tortillas in plate. Cover with casserole mixture. Add cottage cheese or sour cream to garnish.

Context/Significance:

Lisa L. Gabbard was in a relationship with a man by the name of James Weathersby in her late twenties/early thirties (1980s). As she grew closer to this man she began attending dinner at his family’s home along with James’s brother Brad Weathersby and mother. During this time The Weathersby Family lived in Columbus Mississippi. Mrs. Weathersby introduced the recipe to Lisa L. Gabbard where she then introduced the recipe to her own mother, Gladys R. Lewis. After the conclusion of Lisa L. Gabbard and James Weathersby’s relationship, Gladys R. Lewis then took the recipe and claimed ownership in her Pilot’s Club annual recipe book without Lisa L. Gabbard’s knowledge.

The recipe has existed and altered throughout the past 30-40 years. Lisa L. Gabbard then introduced the recipe to her current spouse Kurt A. Gabbard and their three children Hunter A Gabbard, Mallory A. Gabbard, and Schuyler A. Gabbard. At one time the recipe included “bacos” as garnish— this garnish has not existed in the Gabbard Family recipe for the past 21 years. The recipe has been shared with houseguests and friends of The Gabbard Family.

This recipe has become a staple of The Gabbard Family household. The children have been unaware of the origin of the recipe with the exception of Mallory A. Gabbard after questioning her mother for information regarding prior relationships before her eventual marriage to Kurt A. Gabbard. This recipe is often served on busy weeknights because of its speedy and easy preparation or on hispanic inspired holidays such as Cinco De Mayo. This recipe is either served on a plate or in a bowl and is often accompanied by queso and tortilla chips.

Personal Thoughts:

Taco Casserole has been a favorite of mine since childhood. The recipe includes a variety of vegetables that come canned, making it relatively cheap and somewhat healthy in moderation. It’s easy to make and I’ve personally altered the recipe: I do not include bacos, or kidney beans. Instead of draining the pot between steps, I create a faux stew that infuses the vegetables with the meat juices and taco seasoning. I do not bake the final product and instead serve the cheese on the side to be placed on an individual’s serving at their own discretion. I only ever use whole black olives.

The Birthday Tablecloth

Title: The Birthday Tablecloth

Category: Ceremonial Object

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

The Birthday Tablecloth is a white cotton blend table cloth belonging to the child whose birthday is taking place. The tablecloth is taken out of storage annually for the person’s birthday. Beginning when they are an infant and ending around the age of 18, usually when the person stops having organized childhood birthday parties, the tablecloth only makes an appearance once a year for the party itself. Guests arrive to the birthday party, sign-in to the event on a piece of paper or book placed on a table near the front entry, and then approach the cloth on a table immediately next-to the sign-in. The guest then places their hand on the tablecloth and their hand is outlined with a fabric marker by the adult manning the sign-in process. After having their hand traced, the participant then signs their own name on the tablecloth on or around where their handprint falls. The guest is then allowed into the party with the other guests. After the party has concluded, the tablecloth is taken to the sewing room for additional steps.

The party title, aka age of child whose birthday has taken place or theme of the event, is catalogued on the side of the tapestry in a small colored font that represents the theme of the party that occurred. The handprints for that event are then sewn over and embroidered by machine in the same color. The signature of the party-goer is also embroidered in the same color, permanently sealing their handwriting at that stage of life.

Context/Significance:

The Birthday Tablecloth is taken out each year for the child’s progressive birthdays. The table cloth will evolve into having a collection of handprints all overlapping each other, in different colors, and progressive sizes until the birthday table cloth is no longer used at the birthday celebration. The tablecloth shows the progression of the child’s age (size of handprints), friendships (which guests are invited from year to year), and interests (theme of birthday party thrown). Each child has their own birthday tablecloth. Sometimes the parents of children attending birthday parties will sign the tablecloth as well and adult handprints and signatures are visible. The tablecloth is the property of the child and it is able to be used whenever the child desires, however, the cloth is primarily only seen during birthday celebrations.

Personal Thoughts:

This has been my favorite birthday tradition. I loved getting to see my best friend’s name and handprint on the table cloth from years prior and having a record of the types of parties I’ve been thrown. Friends and family think that the tablecloth is super cool and a fun special way to remember a celebration. The whereabouts of all three of The Gabbard Family birthday tablecloths are unknown at this point (We’ve moved several times and each move things just get burred deeper and deeper within cardboard boxes and tubber-ware).

The Zeta Tau Alpha Belt/Sash

Title: The Zeta Tau Alpha Belt/Sash

Category: Ceremonial Object

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

The sash/belt is made by the member being intimated into the Panhellenic sorority Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA). The sash is composed of nine alternating ribbons in the ZTA colors: turquoise blue and steel grey. The sash is worn around the waist and over a white petticoat. The ZTA sash is only worn during two occasions of a woman’s life: ZTA initiation and the woman’s wedding day.

Context/Significance:

Zeta Tau Alpha is a Panhellenic social and philanthropic sorority. They are best known for founding the “Think Pink” breast cancer awareness campaign. The ZTA sash is hand made during a woman’s initiation ceremony and is worn over an all-white petticoat. After the woman is initiated into the sorority the woman will keep the sash in her possession until their wedding day. On their wedding day, the woman will wear the sash once more underneath her wedding gown and over the white petticoat (if applicable) beneath the dress’s fabric. The woman will generally make a point of letting the sorority sisters present at her wedding know that she is wearing it and show them prior to the ceremony.

Personal Thoughts:

It is interesting to gather this sorority tradition from my mother since there is no record of ZTA ever being present on USC’s campus and very few of my friends would know about their traditions. Traditionally, as a member of a Panhellenic sorority, female members are required by secret oath to withhold all secrets and traditions of their respective sororities to death and never tell others of their secrets. Luckily, my mother and I do not hold these secrets between each other and she shared this story with me. I understand this ritual to be a “full circle” sort of deal from initiation (innocence) to marriage (maturity). She explained to me that this was a way for her to share her wedding with her “sisters” and still keep them close as she moved on to the next phase of her life.

Wedding Cake Charms

Title: Wedding Cake Charms

Category: Charms/Magic

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

Wedding Cake charms are served in a woman’s bridal shower cake. The charms may include: A baby, plane, ring, etc. These charms are attached to ribbons and pushed into the cake before being iced. At the bridal shower, each woman attending, or bridesmaids in particular, will stand around the cake during the specified time and grab ahold of a ribbon at random. When instructed to do so, each woman will pull on their ribbons to unveil the charm attached to their ribbon.

Context/Significance:

Wedding charms are placed into the cake by whoever makes it, in this case, the bride in particular. The cake charms are pulled out by the bridesmaids or women close to the bride-to-be. The symbols of the cake charms are meant to represent what a woman will experience in her future. If a woman pulls out a baby it means that she will be expecting a child soon, a plane symbolizes future travel, and a ring may symbolize that the individual will be getting married soon. Each of these symbols represents something that will happen in future events.

Personal Thoughts:

I believe that wedding charms are a fun and interesting way to incorporate your friends and loved ones into your wedding ceremony. The charms themselves are used as magic token that have the ability to read your future. Because they are hidden in the cake, they are representative of how no one knows what their future may hold. The charms themselves also only seem to include optimistic and ideal situations of future events. This seems appropriate since the occasion they are used at is a celebration in preparation of joyous occasion. Marriage itself is a milestone and each of the charms also represent milestones (Marriage is even represented in the charms via a ring symbol). The charms give the bride a sense of control over the unpredicted future post marriage and allow for her friends to be both involved in the celebration of her union while also having something to look forward to in their personal lives.

Bridal Punch

Title: Bridal Punch

Category: Food/Recipe

Informant: Lisa L. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: 58

Occupation: Housewife

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

Ingredients:

– Ginger-ale/Seven-Up

– Pastel Sherbet Ice-cream in Wedding Colors

– Alcohol (Clear Consistency)

– Ice

Directions

– Combine Ginger-ale and alcohol in a large punch bowl or serving container. Add sherbet ice-cream to the combination and then ice.

Context/Significance:

Bridal Punch is served during the wedding reception of a couple. The bridal punch is based primarily on the colors of the ceremony, but specifically the color of the bridesmaids dresses. The punch can be served as either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. Bridal punch is greenly served alongside cake and cocktails. Bridal punch is allowed to all guests in attendance alongside the bridal party specifically.

Personal Thoughts:

Bridal punch reiterates the theme/colors of the wedding and promotes social drinking amongst guests/patrons to the couple. Bridal punch seems to honor the bridesmaids specifically during the wedding reception; As an almost “thank-you” to their involvement in the ceremony.