Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekend Cooking - Church Suppers

Each Wednesday night my church hosts a Wednesday Night Supper.  Different groups, Sunday School classes etc. take turns serving supper.  The money, after expenses, goes to a need chosen by the group serving and is advertised in our Sunday bulletin; once a month we also have a Pot-Luck Supper where everyone brings their favorite dishes. 
As a mother of two youths, the mother of one of the youth representatives on our Missions Committee, 2 children's Sunday School classes, my own SS class, the Head of My Household's SS class, and my Women's Group, I find myself cooking something for church quite often.

While this may sound like a burden, it is not to me.

When we first moved to our church, it was in the kitchen with a group of women that I realized this was our home.
These groups in the kitchen have sustained us in our church for the last 14 years, through 3 pastors and who knows how many other people.  We take care of our own...and of everyone else...these ladies are like my sisters and my great is an incredible experience every time we cook together.

This is my friend Sandi who grew up in our church and buried her own mother here after a long battle with cancer.  She has two teenage daughters and we frequently bend each other's ears.  Sandi is a tireless, non-complaining member of our church who ALWAYS has something positive to say...You can't help but be positive when you're around Sandi.

Sandi's sister-in-law Belinda is cutting one of the many pans of Mrs. Mildred's and Nanny's meat loaf...we pack em in when we serve...everybody knows it will be a good homecooked meal.
Belinda is an outstanding cook...we all get excited to find out what Belinda's bringing...most folks would kill for her potato salad.
I guess that's not really a very churchy attitude, is it??

This is Mrs. Mildred...tireless but getting tired...she never misses a meal unless she's ill...she cooks the meatloaf and oversees what the rest of us do with a kind but firm hand.  I do whatever Mrs. Mildred tells me to...gladly :)

This is Jeannie and she's always in charge of mashed potatoes :)
Her goal is to make sure that we never run out!!
Most of the time she succeeds like a pro!
Jeannie also has two daughters...both who are in college...I check with Jeannie very often on whether or not what my kids are doing is normal.
Jeannie is pretty laid back and keeps me calm.

Paula is slicing the honored position for suppers and a closely watched one.
Paula's family also grew up in our church; she married and moved away but after a messy divorce came back home to the comfort of home. 
Paula has a dry sense of humor and keeps me snorting with her honest comments about anything and everything.  She is prim and proper at the same time and even lives in the same 103 year old house we lived in before we built the house we live in now.
She and I got into a bidding war at a Relay for Life auction over some original wooden frames from "our" house; I finally caved when she reminded me that the house was hers and her wonderful new husband's now.

Man! She knows how to fight!

Mrs. Pat's bread...mmmmmmmmm
Mrs. Pat supplies bread for communion and for every possible feeding that occurs within our church.  After church all the little children follow us into the kitchen to haggle over whatever is left :) 
You know you've done something good when Mrs. Pat brings you your own personal loaf of her homemade bread.
For some reason she brings the Head of My Household more loaves than me?
Can't imagine why ;)

Frieda is Mrs. Mildred's daughter...three generations of their family are members of our church...we actually have several families like that...I love to hear the old stories of my friends when they were kids and even the older stories of our church when it first started...seeing pictures of the original building and the changes that have been made over the years.

Frieda is an attorney in our town, and she is smart as a whip and tough as a good way, of course :)
I love it when she and Mrs. Mildred are in the kitchen at the same time...I can just imagine what it was like when they were both younger.  Even as an older adult woman herself, Frieda bows to her mother's wishes and respects her every comment.  She protects her mother as well.  When Mrs. Mildred pushes it too much, Frieda takes over.
So cool....

Ahhh, Mrs. Nancy...I call her Nanny because that's what her grandchildren call her...she makes every single newborn child in our church a blanket.
Every. Single. One.
I have gotten into other bidding war 2 years in a row over quilts she made for our Relay for Life auctions each December...

I won those.
(Cue Rocky theme song)

Marlo is the newest member of our group and is the marketing director of our college.  A busy mom as well, she frequently gets salad duty...I surprised her here as she was opening her bags of lettuce.

These ladies create the heart and soul of our church...from generation to generation, this is what our small town and small church is all about.


My menu plan for this week:

Sunday - grilled hamburgers and PW's potato skins

Monday - Wild Rice and Chicken casserole

Tuesday - PW's pot roast

Wednesday - Last minute Lasagna

Thursday - Chicken Parmesan

Friday - Pork Loin sliders

Saturday - Soup (keeping my fingers crossed that it will be cool enough)


  1. Great post! I loved reading about all your friends.
    Last minute lasagna? Care to share (the recipe)?

  2. Holy crud this post made me hungry. What a wonderful group of women to fellowship with! You are one blessed lady!

  3. Mary, the last minute lasagna is a new uses ready made cheese ravioli which is why it's called "last minute"...I'll share the recipe here after I give it a run-thru this week...I want to try those donut muffins you posted about!!! YUM!

    Mel, you and me both (always hungry)! I am very blessed!

  4. I love this post and the glimpse into your church kitchen. I'm curious about the size of your church and how many you feed on an average Wednesday. I think our church may be too big to do something like this - makes me wish for a smaller congregation!

  5. Mindee, on an average Wednesday night we have about 75 people...on the nights that our women's group serves we usually push that number up to 125. We probably have 300 members...and that's probably a generous guesstimate. We were members of a much bigger church when we lived in TN; we also had Wednesday night suppers there but you had to reserve a spot on Sunday morning and the food was catered. We went a time or two but it was nothing like we have at our smaller church. I wouldn't give anything for the fellowship.

  6. How great that you have this nice group of ladies to fellowship with. Looks like a very tight knit group. Thanks for sharing with us!

    By the way, the bread looks DELICIOUS! I want to put a half of stick of butter on each piece and eat it all up!

  7. Oh man, this made me miss my church family back in Texas. We used to do the same thing and I have sisters there that will be close to me forever.
    The military limits us on staying put and developing those roots.
    I love that your friend Paula has a similar story to mine. Divorced, back home, and married to Mr. Wonderful. I did almost the same thing.
    I look forward to some of your recipes too!
    That bread makes me want to bake today. I'll have to see if I can squeeze that in. I know one 15 yr old boy that would be in heaven with homemade bread.