The Lord and Lady of the Manor like to host Community Meals about once a month. Occasions for a Community Meal include religious holidays, birthdays, someone leaving or moving into the Farm, and the end of winter. Usually an announcement will be sent out a week to an hour in advance, and will proclaim that a Community Meal will occur and give a start time of something like 4:47 pm. As specific as the start times are, they are usually off by one to three hours. Flexibility and adaptability are the keys here.
The Lord will sometimes purchase a ham or turkey, sometimes purchase hot dogs and hamburgers, and sometimes provide road-killed deer. The other renters at the Farm bring whatever their individual culinary skills can muster up. These vary from elaborate side dishes and appetizers to bags of potato chips or discount tubs of ice cream. Some just bring their appetites. Either way, everyone, and their families and friends are welcome, and no one is turned away.
All of the food is laid out, and a general digging in of hungry souls commences, probably much in the same manner as that of a group of freshly liberated Russian Gulag death camp survivors. With this group and the prospect of free food, one must be quick before all the good stuff is gone lest one gets stuck with a fender-bruised cut of road-killed deer.
After all the plates have been filled and everyone sits down to eat, the whole community of the Farm pretends to like one another and act as one big happy family. All is done by unspoken mutual consent to either provide the illusion of the big happy family to the Lord and Lady, or is done to avoid a free-for-all food fight that would make a bar brawl in a John Wayne oater seem tame in comparison. Either way, it just happens.
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