Sunday, November 2, 2008

Regional Comfort Food

We went out to lunch today at the Fall Harvest Festival at the Catholic church here in Coffeyville, KS. Homemade chicken and noodles, with mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls. There should have been green beans but they ran out before we got there. Actually, they ran out of rolls too so they gave us each half a hot dog bun. Okay, it was a bit heavy on the carbs but satisfying and delicious.

The good ladies at Holy Name were astonished when so many of the Workampers, here to work at Amazon for the Christmas season, chose to attend the festival. Next year they'll have more beans!

When we first got here, a month ago, we attended a lunch at the Baptist church. Homemade chicken and noodles, with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and green beans. Okay, it was a bit heavy on the carbs but satisfying and delicious.

There weren't as many people there so they didn't run out of anything. Had the main Workamper force been in town that day I'll bet they would have run out too. The woman we sat with told us the noodles were her grandmother's recipe.

Okay, but chicken and noodles on top of mashed potatoes? After talking to people at both dinners it seems this has been the tried and true church supper here in this part of the heartland for generations. Makes sense when you think about the long days farmers put in and the hard work they can't escape.

As we travel the country, we try to attend community dinners of this sort as often as possible. I check the fliers on the bulletin board at the supermarket and laundromats for benefits and fund raising dinners. We have fun meeting people and Big Jim can almost always satisfy his craving for home made pie. We enjoy visiting small towns and appreciate the many free or almost free hookups many of them offer to RVers. We like to give back in small ways whenever possible.

Every area has it's specialty church supper. West Texas is known for chili and cinamon rolls, or BBQ'd anything. In California's foothills the Sheriff's Posse serve Tri Tip steaks and spaghetti. Smoked salmon is a favorite in the Pacific North West, while in South Dakota they all come running for Indian Tacos.

We are still hoping to get back to the Berkshires, where we grew up, eventually. I expect to find the ladies are still serving Pierogies and Stuffed Cabbage at the Polish churches and Tortierres (meat pies) at the French ones even if they don't have any French Canadian or Polish ladies left in the parishes. I have faith that someone will still tell me they are made from their grandmother's recipe.

I saw at least three more churches will be having Chicken Noodle dinners in the next couple of weeks. We are going to try something else however.

Next Sunday, the Community Center in Edna will be serving Beef and Noodles, with mashed potaoes, rolls and green beans!

See ya down the road,


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