Wow, I still have to find out where that time goes.. been a week since we've looked at each other, so
A week ago yesterday our long time friend from DC came down and we all got lunch from the semi-annual Church Dinner at our local Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Mary’s City. As you know I am a fan of “church lady” food, but I’ve never had the opportunity to sample theirs. So we got in the car and did a take out order for the three of us. They have it down to a science, you drive up, tell guy number one how many you want (no choices), give guy number two your cash, tell kid number one you don’t want to buy desserts, reaffirmed to kid number three, and by the time you get past them, kids numbers four and five give you your bagged up meal. Budda Bing, Budda Bam.. move along. Since it was a lovely day, we chose to have lunch on the back porch, and it was pretty good. I really think that all this stuff
did not come from the big silver truck, but is actually made by the “church ladies”, the numbers of which I don’t know. For your twenty four bucks, you get: Biscuit and pretty tasty ham (top left, sliced, not lunch meat); boiled parsley potatoes; requisite green beans (most likely courtesy of Del Monte – has to be, it’s a tradition); two hefty pieces of fried chicken; 3 decent sized and tasting crab cakes; and tubs of slaw, pickled beets, applesauce, and cocktail sauce. Definitely more than one would eat for a lunch and in fact provided another dinner. Good stuff.
Following lunch, I went up to Waldorf to help take down the Mission of Mercy Dental operation
nearly 800 patients received dental care from over 80 dentists in two days, all volunteers. A great community service project.
Hard Foodie Work
Later in the week, I ventured up to DC to participate in the tasting for this year’s Hospital Gala. Nirvana for the Bottom Feeder. Sneak peek at a possible dessert:
fallen chocolate souffle cake
fudge sauce, vanilla bean ice cream, and fresh berries.
Between the potential apps, first and second courses, and desserts, we were forced to sample about twenty items. Hard, grueling, exacting work, but all in an effort to provide wonderful food for the event in November. Actually the hard part is saying we’ll take this over that, when in reality they are all very good. Another good food journey!
More Food Work!
Kind of the rest of the week was (sporadically) spent in preparing the stuff for the August SMC Tourism web site (“Moody Views”). You will be able to see it soon (if you want), it was sort of an interesting evolution. I think I showed you the stuffed ham piece from Phyllis Richman a few posts ago, so I thought, “well, I’ll just embellish on that, make a nice little piece about St. Mary’s County stuffed ham, and knock it out”. Not so fast, oh, Kale breath. It turns out (I find through diligent research) that virtually every freaking food blogger out there at one point has “discovered” our local delicacy and done a column on it. Always give a recipe, but what I found interesting was that their explanation for the origins of the dish were all over the place. One article claimed that notes from none other than George Calvert mentioned it, some said slaves, some went so far as to identify a slave at St. Inigoes manor, and so forth. So I sort of diverted off in that direction, and although I didn’t solve anything, I think I got a reasonable evolution. During the course of research I got some photos from MFO at the SMC Historical Society. Neat stuff, here’s a sample of county resident Ms. Mary Ora Norris displaying her product.
Was a fun exercise.. learned a lot
Its funny about food. You never know where it’s going to take you. Like above, a simple thought of illustrating stuffed ham took me to England, the Caribbean, St. Mary’s City various districts of the county (Kale north, Cabbage south). Kind of the same with that waffle/chicken thing. I spout off on “what the heck is this?” and find I don’t know beans about another traditional dish. Like I get a note from my friend on the other coast who grew up in Nebraska, saying they had waffles and…..pheasant! Then I saw a recipe in some food mag (I couldn’t find) that was for waffles and…. Quail! They're everywhere!! Neat stuff. And the Lay’s potato chips are still awful. Don’t be tempted. Not even fit for tuna casserole topping.
And lastly weather played a part in my week. On Thursday we had some pretty healthy storms go through and after they passed they treated us to a beautiful rainbow
I don’t have a wide enough lens to show it, but it was horizon to horizon, and at one point was even double.
Then yesterday I spent a few hours at the Chapel at Historic St. Mary’s answering questions and giving the history to guests who were interested. It varies a lot. It was Tidewater Archeology Weekend there with lots of special events and tours all highlighting the Archeology of the site. Somehow that didn’t translate into higher visitation at the Chapel, although there were quite a few folks at the planned talk by Dr. Henry Miller. Mercifully, sun stayed above the clouds and it wasn’t awful during the long periods I was alone. At one point an approaching storm made a pretty sight.
So that is how the week whisked by somehow (anybody seen any of that time going by?). It’s always something.. FOJTE enjoying life (and wine and food) in Napa, FOJTY enjoying using his new smoker with brisket and pork butt on the way.. Unfortunately neither will deliver so their poor, aging parents are left to fend for ourselves tonight. Most likely something like dried beans, pantry kind of bare and we don’t want to go out.. BUT, for cocktails we WILL be