Tag Archives: potluck

Say it with Potlucks

Here’s one way to say you care:

And here’s another:

Voetballer aan het koken / A footballer cooking a meal

Now, flowers are lovely, but personally, I think food is even more lovely.

As you already know, I love a potluck.  But in a community where being a vegetarian is definitely “different” (with the full Minnesotan intention behind the word), I never know how much of the potluck fare I’ll be able to enjoy.

After two and a half years here, there is almost always some salad or main dish I can eat. ( Sometimes it even says, “P. Maggie” on the lid.)  At Game Night yesterday, I was delighted to see deviled eggs waiting in the fridge and vegetable cream cheese pizza on the counter.

But then.  Then.  “That’s meatless chili,” the council president said, pointing to the crock pot I thought contained sloppy joes or some other beefy delight.

“I thought of you, so this is potato soup,” the other council president said, placing another crock pot on the counter.

“Oh my goodness, everyone thought of me tonight!” I said.  I might have blushed.

“Well, you’re loved!” was the gracious reply.

Thanks for saying it with potlucks, First and Beckville.  I love you, too.


P.S. You know what else I love, thanks to these fine people?  Pickles!  Read all about it here.



Filed under Taste and See

Never Had I Ever: Embraced Such a Broad Definition of Salad

Taffy Apple Salad. Click the photo for a recipe (which I can't vouch for, since I've never actually made the stuff).

Last winter I was talking with another rural Minnesota pastor, a Seattle native who had been mysteriously assigned to Southwestern Minnesota.  He served faithfully, but was never quite at home.

Nowhere was this more clear than at the WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) luncheon that fall.  He took small helpings of the hotdishes, not enthused but not wanting to offend.  One of the ladies looked at his nearly empty plate and said, “Oh, you must be a salad guy!”

Filled with hope, the pastor looked around.  “Salads?  Where are the salads?”  He looked in vain for a table filled with leafy greens and fresh vegetables or fruit.   But alas.  Because this was rural Minnesota, she was talking about . . . the Other Kind of Salad.

Taffy apple salad.  Jello salad.  Frog Eye Salad.  Chinese salad.  Cheese salad.  These are a few of the delicacies I imagine the pastor saw that fall afternoon.  He was most definitely a salad guy, but not the kind of salad usually on offer in this part of the world.

Oh, sure.  You will sometimes see a green salad, or maybe a fruit salad (but “fruit salad” means canned fruit and cool whip–the kind you might be thinking of is a fresh fruit salad).

This is not an exclusively Minnesotan thing, of course.  Even in the suburbs of Chicago, my Grandma B served up a variety of jello-with-fruit-in-it sides at Christmas, and in Milwaukee, I was partial to a church potluck specialty called “Dorito salad.”  This, in fact, was basically a green salad with crumbled Doritos in it.  (I know.  I know.)

But it’s in my nearly two-and-a-half years of small town Minnesota residency that I have come to truly embrace the Salad in its many amazing forms.  Maybe it’s because as a vegetarian, the salads are usually a place of refuge for me.  Maybe it’s just because familiarity breeds, not contempt, but fondness.

Or maybe it’s because taffy apple salad tastes exactly like taffy apples, but is called a salad.  So it’s clearly healthy.  Right?

What’s your favorite salad or potluck delicacy?

NOT the kind of jello salad I have grown to love.


Filed under Never Had I Ever, Taste and See

Yay God!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Hallelujah!–Psalm 150

On our Youthworks mission trip to Kansas City last summer, we spent time each night sharing “Goooooals!” (great things we saw each other do that day) and “Yay Gods!” (great things we saw God do that day).  Today, I’m going to have a “Yay God!” blog post:

Yay God for . . .

Your funny and faithful people.  Who are such good sports when their pastor does something silly like forget that they install council members immediately after electing them, thus ensuring that the installation is brief (since she forgot her occasional services book and doesn’t know all the words).

Your bountiful creation.  Which provides material for a bountiful Annual Meeting Potluck, from deviled eggs to hot dish to jello salad to something that is apparently called “cheese salad” and is truly spectacular.

Your overcast skies.  Which may or may not be responsible for the gloriously long nap a certain toddler took today, allowing her tired parents to take one, too (even the parent that crept in after said meeting and potluck).  God is good.  All the time!

P.S. If you think my “Yay Gods!” sound like “Gooooooals!”, you may be right.  God has this funny way of working through means, and sometimes the means are people.  


Filed under Ministry Matters, Thankful Hearts