GIVEN A CHOICE of eating at a church dinner or dining at a restaurant, I’ll choose the holy place. I appreciate the good home cooking and fellowship that comprise church dinners.
So Sunday my husband and I headed to St. John’s United Church of Christ in Wheeling Township, about a 15-minute drive from Faribault, for a Lenten Soup Luncheon.
As soon as I stepped inside the fellowship hall attached to the old stone church and saw the spread, I regretted that I’d snacked on a doughnut at my church only an hour earlier.
This luncheon offered soups, salads, sandwiches and bars. A regular smorgasbord with nine salad and three soup options and, well, I didn’t count the varieties of bars but suffice to say any chocolate lover would have been happy.
Salads like tuna pasta, tangy rhubarb squares and 3-bean, and the spinach-strawberry I chose, awaited diners who could select plated salads and/or build their own.
After I’d selected my salad and placed it on a fancy silver tray, I headed to the kitchen where cooks were ladling potato-bacon chowder, hamburger vegetable soup and chicken noodle with dumpling soup from large roasting pans into hefty bowls.
I started with the potato and eventually sampled the other two. The creamy and savory potato was my hands-down favorite, although I also appreciated the spicy kick to the hamburger veggie. I’ve never been big on chicken noodle soup or dumplings. The chicken soup is served at every Lenten Soup Luncheon the church hosts. Oyster stew and chili will be the other featured soups at the last luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 10.
Of course, no church dinner is complete without bread, so diners were offered an array of sandwiches. I inquired about the ground concoction on an open-faced sandwich, was told it was bologna and pickles, paused, thought, and picked it up. And you know, for someone who doesn’t really care for bologna, I liked the spread.
Except for lutefisk, I’ve never tasted a church dinner I didn’t like.
FYI: Click here for more information about St. John’s United Church of Christ, 19086 Jacobs Avenue, located near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, rural Faribault. Watch for a future post featuring photos of the church interior and exterior.
PLEASE SUBMIT A COMMENT and tell me about a church dinner you enjoy and why.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling