Monday, May 28, 2012

Diners and Church Dinners

So what do diners and churches have in common? Well this time of the year some great home-cooked, affordable meals. While diners pump out their unique menus all year long, local churches step up to the plate now straight through the fall offering everything from chicken 'n biscuits to chicken bbq to lasagna, roast beef, and turkey. Besides the main item you also receive home-baked pies or cakes or brownies, real mashed potatoes with real gravy, assorted salads and vegetables, breads fresh from the oven and a variety of condiments and freshly perked coffee. These days you can eat-in or take it home to enjoy. There's one particular church I vaguely remember going to with my grandmother for their chicken dinner. I only remember going a few times but the aromas coming forth from that simple small church with its tall wooden pews and amazing stained-glass windows remain vivid in my mind. The combination of all the ingredients drifting about that church made you hungry even if you weren't. There were no take-outs back then. There were no styrofoam containers to hold your food until you made it back home. Tables were set and that's where you sat-next to friends and neighbors young and old. Conversations were a part of the menu. It was a time of both sharing a meal and catching up with those who lived around you. More often than not, there were locally-made items for sale sewn by women-most wearing house dresses. Everything from doll blankets to quilts were available with all proceeds going to the church. Up the road from the church was a little diner-type place where my aunt and other relatives loved to go on Fridays for the fish dinner. Besides the fish served on your diner-type, milk-white plate with a gold-filled ring around the edge, you'd receive homemade french fries, homemade coleslaw and freshly baked pie of your choice with an endless cup of perked coffee. Those Friday night dinners were anticipated all week long. While that place has since closed and church dinners now include styrofoam take-outs, the anticipation remains no matter the diner you choose or church dinner you attend. It's just that these days, a homecooked meal is not an everyday occurrence so therefore its enjoyed maybe even more than those days gone by!

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