Fall Feasting

Travis Rogers, Jr.

Fall Feasting

3 mins
October 26, 2021

You’ve got to love the Autumn season when churches everywhere are having their Fall feasts. We kicked off our season, Nicole and I, with the Nazareth Lutheran Swiss Steak dinner a couple of Wednesday nights ago.

We got to help with the serving of the dinner as Nicole helped serve up the carryout containers and Dale Amacher and I got to sell tickets at the drive-thru. Sitting with Dale was like sitting with the town historian. I was fascinated to hear about his family history and the shop they used to own. As he started relating the dates of when various things happened, I realized that Nancy, his wife, and I were in grad school at the same time. She was in seminary in Minnesota and I was in the graduate department of religion in Tennessee. Of course, we were in different schools, all together. But she started her ministry career and I started my teaching career at about the same time.

As different ones drove through the line, I would distribute their tickets and Dale would collect the money. Then Dale would give me a brief history on their family, if he knew them, and that family’s place in town and in the town’s history. There were connections between various people that was surprising but it was all very fascinating. It felt like sitting next to Sam Gamgee, hearing the genealogy of the Shire.

When all was said and done, Nicole and I got to carry our Swiss Steak dinner home. There was some Swiss steak leftover and we bought extra. I have to admit, all the extra Swiss steak we bought was gone by the next evening. The steak was delicious as were the mashed potatoes and those terrific desserts.

On the following Saturday, Nicole and I drove up to Ogema where they were having their annual Fall dinner. The Lutheran church in Ogema is mostly of Swedish descent. Their traditional annual dinner is potato sausage. I had never heard of such a thing. In fact, when I asked about it here in Owen, nobody here had tasted it or even heard of it. I was surprised and I said, “But it’s a Swedish dish.” The response was, “Hey, we’re Norwegians!” Got it.

I have a friend who lives in Stavanger, Norway, and he always tells me that he doesn’t believe in Hell because he has been to Sweden.

Like everywhere and every group you care to think of, having the volunteers to do such labor-intensive suppers is becoming more and more difficult. So, one of the churchgoers in Ogema told me that they were no longer doing the potato sausage but were instead offering a lasagna supper. “Swedish lasagna?” I asked. And it was excellent. In fact, Nicole and I got some takeout to bring home, also. You can’t go wrong with good lasagna and this was good. For dessert, they had three or four different toppings for cheesecake. All good, all the time.

This past Saturday, the Lutheran Church up in Brentwood was having a Bison Stew supper. You read that correctly. Bison Stew. It was a hot and hearty and delicious supper. They had freshly baked homemade breads and fantastic pickled beets. And then there was the dessert table. All kinds of pies were available but Nicole and I heard somebody comment about how good the coconut cream pie was. Since coconut cream pie home is definitely in my top three pies (behind Key Lime and Pecan pies), I knew which one I was going for. After the debacle of the pumpkin pie eating contest four years ago, I still can’t bring myself to choose pumpkin pie.

Bison Stew

Sure enough, the coconut cream pie was amazing. But there was no way that I was going to check my blood glucose level after I got home. Better to remain in the dark about that.

Sadly, there won’t be a Lutefisk dinner at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Greenwood this year. They will, however, be offering the Swedish meatballs and other great side dishes. One of those side dishes is a favorite of mine. They call them copper pennies. Copper pennies are carrots sliced into discs and sauteed with brown sugar and green pepper. It’s that slight touch of green pepper that makes all the difference and I love it. That dinner will be coming up next month and I’m looking forward to it already.

Of course, we have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in the not-too-distant future. As much as I love those holidays, it’s the feasting that I like the best. 

This article was orginally reported by
Travis Rogers, Jr.

Travis is a contributor in religion and entertainment.