Saturday, April 18, 2009

SPRING BEAN SUPPER: United Methodist, Easton










In the 30's, during the great depression, food was very scarce for a lot of people in America and throughout the world. Isnt that hard to believe in this day and age?

Responding to this need in their community the good folk at the Evangelical United Brethern Church in Easton, (prior to combining with the Methodist in 1968) held a bean supper.
Delbert Rausenberger was there then and is here now with Connie, his lovely bride of about sixty-three years..

The food was cooked outside then in a big kettle, over a wood fire. In addition to cornbread and relishes the ladies of the church brought their best baked goods. Some 70 or 80 years later, spring and fall, the now United Methodist Church, continues to hold a bean supper for the community.

All food and labor are donated. There is no charge. In this time of plenty, however, people do donate as they wish. This year the donation was $551.00. Over the years these donations have been used to help families struggling through the cost of cancer or to help the many displaced people in Hurricane Katrina.

Julie and I participate with the food and labor. Truly giving is more blessed than receiving. After a 6:30AM breakfast I started cooking at 7:05AM with the help of a cup of strong, black coffee.

The night before Julie made two turns of corn bread and baked a Doctor Bird cake. Julie is a better cook than me but her cornbread is too "polite". Beautiful golden colored but too "polite". Corn bread takes buttermilk. She uses skim milk. UGH!

She doesn't use bacon drippings, something about clogged arteriers. Now I'm sure the good Lord meant for us to pour that batter into a black iron skillet with about a quarter inch of smoking hot bacon drippings. He also meant for us to cook it until the crust is dark brown and solid. Nope! Julie's cornbread is too "polite".









When Julie and I were married I tossed all her heavy aluminum cookware replacing it with copper bottomed Revere Ware. When each of my grandchildren are married I give them a complete set of cookware plus one black iron skillet. They get to choose the cookware they want and not one grandchild wanted that copper clad cookware. Go Figure!









My six pounds of beans went into my 16 quart stock pot along with a ham bone and maybe a pound of ham trimmings which I saved when I carved the Easter ham.

I baked a peach pie and that along with three pounds of sweet onions Julie had chopped the night before was our donation. Now to church to join the 4-6 work shift.









There were workers in white shirts and workers in black shirts. Every body had a lot of work to do. Difficult to believe, the sign said dinner 5-7PM but the same as always the first people came at 4:10PM. Wanted to be the first ones to the dessert table I guess.









The sanctuary was empty. The easter lillies which some of the folks didn't take home with them made a pleasant odor in the church. If only we could get the bean eaters to come out for the worship service.
In the basement the line was soon formed to Sally Wilson who was ladeling out the hot beans. As the food was served the kitchen workers became really busy. In the first two hours I poured coffee. Others refilled the relish dishes and carried the used dishes to the kitchen.

Don Wilson and Bill Ludwig washed dishes for the first two hours. In the last two Richard Stefanko and I washed the dishes.

The people who came early for the dessert table need not to have worried. The dessert table was full. Carol and Barb couldn't put it all out. We have dessert left for Sunday School and also for the "We're still here" party tomorrow evening.

A good time was had by all.

God Bless.

1 comment:

Mark Pierce said...

Dad - I love your blog. You clearly have the idea of pictures figured out now! GREAT! Mark