Small town gatherings around food are hard to beat. A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend raved about the shrimp and fish dinner he had enjoyed at his local VFW. “This is one of those things that local communities do to bring folks together,” he wrote.
I could relate.
Tonight in my husband’s small hometown in eastern Iowa we went to the American Legion for what’s become a great tradition for our family and the community.
Several times a year, Walcott Legion members and Auxiliary members join forces to prepare a wonderful, tasty supper. They have a set menu for the year. One month they grill pork chops, another make huge pans of roast beef and another night they offer fried catfish. The local Cub Scouts politely clear the tables.
Tonight’s feature was ham with lettuce salad, corn, mashed potatoes, whole wheat rolls and the best gravy I have ever tasted. I skipped a few parts to try to stay within my daily points for you-know-what. But that gravy was pretty amazing. I asked Rhonda, one of the volunteer cooks, about the gravy. She told me it was a new recipe.
“We mixed pineapple juice, water and ham drippings. We use corn starch to thicken it so people who eat gluten-free can have it,” she explained. So good.
Hope enjoyed her grandma’s lemon meringue pie. Also worth a few points for shared bites.
We lingered to talk to Dan’s mom, brother Clay, and a few cousins, and waited to see if we won any prizes in the basket raffle. Not this time.
So delightful, and simple, yet important, to share a meal with friends and family in the old hometown.
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