This post was written back in March of 2009. I’ve had a new follower or ten since then, so what could be better on a Thursday than a little dining adventure?
I say — Nothing!
Since the quality of clicks I was taking back then was rather poor — As in can’t believe I posted them! — I’ve replaced them with a fun little watercolor image. I can’t do a post without an image or ten. Can’t.
I’m sneaking this in…
… before Conn realizes I’m not crunching words like a writer on Red Bull. He just doesn’t get Monday morning. Still, he’s downstairs making my second cup of decaffeine, but I had to barter the last of the chocolate chip banana bread to make that happen. Conn is an eater. This is working for me, because he’s eating up all the calories in my new nonfat life. Okay. Let’s not go there. Monday is bad enough without black, nonfat thoughts.
Yesterday, I forewent my boring, nonfat life and took a trip down a road.
And stopped in a little country church for their annual Oyster Supper.
This was my first oyster supper, so I had no idea what to expect. If the word raw was involved in any way, well…. I’d be spending the next hour nibbling from the pickle dish.
I’ve had some of the best and funnest dinners at little country churches, and this did not disappoint. We decided to go to the 5 o’clock sitting thinking it would be a good idea to travel in daylight, since we didn’t have a clue where we were going. It had been raining all morning and dull as dirt, but when we left the sun was shining.
We had called in reservations earlier in the week. You have no idea. These events hop. We parked on the road with a bunch of other oyster supper lovers and proceeded into the front door of the church. We were greeted by a big, grin-eating man sitting behind a card table with a cash box and a list of reservations. We parted with our cold cash and sidled into the back of the sanctuary to sit on the back pew. Hey. All the other pews were packed. The room was modest and beautiful and filled with glorious sunshine. The Sunday oyster supper lovers were dusting the pews with their shirts and jeans and smiling their smug smiles and chit-chatting. They knew what was coming.
About ten minutes after we arrived, the minister stood and delivered a hearty welcome and a few jokes on country churches. She knew her audience. I liked that about her. After that, we all began to file down a narrow and twisty set of stairs to the church basement. To get to the dining room, we had to pass through a room that was nothing but wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling P I E . Come to mama.
We settled at a long table of other church supper goers and waited. I began chatting with a woman across from me who had traveled an hour and a half in rain and fog to be here. She was originally from the area and had attended this church a long time. This is what I learned ~
They’ve been doing an oyster supper here since the beginning of the 20th century. It has been — and always will be — done by the men. Originally, it was a dinner of some hearty oyster soup/stew. The oysters were ordered from Toronto and local farmers were asked to donate milk and vegetables and whatever. Over the years, this dinner has evolved into an oyster and ham event.
The starter is oyster soup with lots of little oysters floating around in your bowl and crackers in abundance. I was thrilled. These little suckers were not in the raw. I offered up a silent prayer of thanks. The main course was ham and scalloped potatoes, peas, coleslaw, fresh buns and butter, crisp pickles and coffee, tea and apple juice. You could eat all the oyster soup you wanted and forego the ham dinner, or skip the oysters and go right to the ham, or sample everything. I. Ate. Everything. I thought about skipping the starter and the main and going straight for the pie, but sanity prevailed.
The wait staff were all male and funny. Let me tell you. They knew their audience of diners. A grinning, aproned cutie leaned over and said, “What is your pie pleasure?” My mouth dropped open and all those little pie brain cells short-circuited. Taking pity on me, he started listing them — raspberry, butterscotch, apple-peach, blueberry, raisin, chocolate, lemon sponge…
I croaked out lemon sponge and had a robust piece sitting in front of me seconds later. After the first forkful, I think I had a little piegasm. Right in the church basement. If I were Catholic, I’d be sweating my next confession.
The pie just kept coming. Let me tell you, men can eat pie. And I love watching them do it. They just jerk their forks at their plates, when the next pie comes around, with a big ol’ pie-eating grin on their faces.
By the time we left, I had the date of the August Beef Barbecue in my cell phone and an offer for a night of square dancing.
I did not — I repeat, did not — have a second piece of pie, but I did have a wee taste of G-Man’s apple-peach pie, which was about a mile high. G-Man has come to expect this. Right, honey?
And that was my little church oyster supper adventure. Can’t wait until next year.
Conn is reading over my shoulder and looking a little pissy. I think he might have wanted a piegasm, too.
And that’s how we’re rolling this Throwback Thursday.