P1100355The town historical society and the library sponsored a Heritage Dinner this Saturday. As a member of the Historical Society I was asked to not only bring a dish to this festivity but to also lend a hand. The menu was good comfort food – beef stroganoff, chicken and biscuits, macaroni and cheese, lasagna – with bean salad, waldorf salad, jello and about a ton of different, delicious pies. As one volunteer put it – this is the kind of food that we all grew up on – on don’t really get anymore.

It always amazes me how Vermont towns are so community-oriented. This dinner featured both a steady stream of older people and younger families. There were lots of familiar faces – even to someone who hasn’t been here all that long (which is a pretty neat commentary on the friendliness of people in these parts) and some not so familiar, who were eager to introduce themselves and fill me in on local history.

I am still dumbstruck by the openness and friendliness of these people that I call my fellow townspeople. When I was in the kitchen, prior to the event starting, it was amazing how many people just came, bearing baskets, bowls, trays and dishes of food, desserts and salads. Old and young, everyone seemed to bring something.

The tables were set with real dishes, real silverware and real glasses. Nothing paper or plastic about this event. It was like having dinner in someone’s house.

No one grumbled, despite the fact that we washed, dry and put away hundreds of dishes, plates, bowls and cups. The event was held at the Rotary and it was incredible how well stocked this facility was to handle these kinds of events. Community has a place in this town.

It was also astonishing how there were so many different variations on the same recipe – for example, the pies were probably 25 in number and no two looked the same – although we only had cherry, raspberry, pumpkin, pecan and apple. I was appointed official “pie cutter” and we marveled at the ingenuity on some pretty traditional themes – apple pie with rosemary and cranberry, apple walnut pie. The breads, biscuits and rolls that adorned each table were homemade. The smells emanating from the kitchen and the serving tables were heavenly.

In two hours we probably fed about a hundred or so people. People who enjoyed each other’s company and came together for a fun night of food, laughter and good conversation. No one was disappointed – and for sure, no one left hungry.