A few years ago while attending the funeral of my mother-in-law, I had a revelation of sorts when I noticed the existence of one of the special and possibly secretive societies of women. I say noticed because I'm sure the society has been around for a long time, it just took me a while to figure it out. I will call this particular group "The Church Ladies". At the church reception an impressive food buffet had been set up seemingly by magic for the living participants. I spent some time talking to one of the ladies involved in the magic by the name of Mary Jo Tilma, and was able to piece together a conclusion from the bits and pieces of event planning that I was allowed to be privy to.
The locations might be different, but the same efficient system is widely used. At a church function, this specialized group of women are in charge of the social parts of the event. This would include, games, door prizes, lighting, candle aromas, seating arrangement, and of course the food. At any self respecting event will have at least two kinds of potato salad, a mustard based and a mayonnaise based possibly with celery or grapes as one of the ingredients, depending on which part of the country it's happening in. Ham on buns is a perennial favorite, although lately I've also seen turkey on buns. Small bags of chips in every flavor produced will also be set out. Depending on the season, there may also be macaroni salad or baked beans, the first one in a light blue Tupperware container, and the other in a Crock-pot. If the event includes time spent outdoors, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs may also be on the menu.
Napkins and silverware are arranged at the beginning of the buffet table while the plastic and styrofoam cups are located on the drinks table. The more experienced of the church ladies will make sure that there are a couple of large trash cans nearby situated in a position so that men will notice them and figure out why they are there. Dessets are located on the last table which makes a lot of sense when it's analyzed. Consider this: load up a plate of food, next get a drink (If drinks came first they probably would get spilled on the food), which means that by the time the dessert table is approached,sitting down and eating must come before the sweets because there just isn't any way to hold anything else.
At the drinks table there usually be a container of ice, cups, sweet tea, or cans of soda, and if it's a high profile event there will be a punchbowl. The contents of the punchbowl are derived from a secret recipe and might consist of lemonade, fruit punch, with or without ginger ale which are blended in varying proportions. An aluminum or stainless steel coffee urn is also nearby.
The dessert table could also be described as the table of home-baked extra fine dining. On this table you will find choices such as Cindy Lee's pecan pie, Mary Sue's raspberry squares ( I don't remember all their names but I know readers like two-part first names), chess bars, lemon cake, pecan squares, brownies, oatmeal cookies, and the list goes on.
All the tables are usually covered with white disposable table covers,and the setting up is so organized by the ladies that no instructions or conversation is needed. Each lady has an assigned task that they have been awarded and happily accepted. I've also noticed that within about 22 minutes after the function has ended, everything is cleaned up. Leftovers have been taken care, dishes are done, floors swept, tables put away, trash taken out,and notes are made for the next event. All this happens while the men are performing their own important duties such as figuring out the price of soybeans or trying to find the best location for Crappie fishing.
The church ladies wouldn't have it any other way.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
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