We have just entered the unhealthy but oh-so-delicious time of the year. There’ll be dressings, noodles, specialty salads and desserts with too many calories, cholesterol and fat grams but we all can indulge.
This is the month when a number of churches in the county hold their annual open to all harvest dinners. Some folks already have their calendar marked as to what Friday or Saturday or Sunday a particular church in the area is holding their fundraising dinner.
And most are a free will donation. But that doesn’t mean diners will scrimp and eat on the cheap. Many toss in a $20 for dinner for two, and eat their fill of the best food made in Jackson County kitchens.
You can generally walk down the buffet line and be asked along your culinary travel whether you prefer white or dark meat of turkey, whether you prefer plain or raisin dressing, do you want gravy on your dressing and meat, would you like some noodles? And there are a variety of vegetables which have never seen a can but have come directly from this season’s home garden.
Then there is the cornucopia of salads and desserts. You can select from a traditional tossed salad to bean salad to layered gelatin salads.
And then the desserts…it is more than a bit ironic that church ladies serve up sinfully delicious desserts…of the traditional pumpkin & pecan pie, fruit pies, and the first of the year’s crop of persimmons go into the persimmon pudding.
Then you walk with your overloaded tray to a table to join family or friends and perhaps sit with friends you have yet to meet. The dining is loud with chatter and laughter between bites of food.
Church dinners have been a tradition even before there were churches. As far back as the Old Testament, it is written people would gather to break bread & socialize. Sometimes feuding leaders or rival nations would meet and over dinner find they have more in common than they had differences.
But contemporary church dinners—though taking a lot of work and organization— are a moment of pride for the kitchen magicians of Jackson County.
There are several announcements of church dinners in this week’s and future autumn issues of the Times. Be sure to eat your fill.