Saturday, April 09, 2005

The MCC Sale - A Piece of Americana

Greg and I went to the MCC sale tonight. They're held in various places, but this is the only place I've ever lived where there is one. The money is used to relieve hunger all over the world. The Mennonites here are a wonderful group - conservative but not radical.

We always do the German buffet. There's always a line about three blocks long to get into the building. It's better now that we have a new food building at the fair. They serve a variety of things that you'd never get any where else.

At our sale there are lots and lots of quilts to auction off, as well as other goodies. People make quilts to donate all year long. They have them on these racks, and cover them with plastic so people don't get them dirty.

Hundreds of volunteers here help make this happen tonight, and I can't imagine how many thousands of hours occur beforehand to cook all the food. Years ago I did a story about making food for the MCC sale. I went to a church and talked to the ladies. They were making verenike, which is a cottage cheese filled pastry covered with ham gravy. I know, it doesn't sound good, but it really is.

Hundreds of people agree as you can see in this photo. We sat on the balcony and could see down into the main area. You can see people snaking into the door from the outside line. At the far end are the lines you go through to get your food. It's quite an amazing operation - very, very, very organized. They've thought of everything. There are even people with flags to indicate where there are empty seats when it's really busy.

The sale here has tons of handwork, including this 50 inch round doily. Yes, that's not a typo - 50 inches. It will be auctioned tomorrow, along with the quilts.

I'm always amazed at the effort that people go to and the time involved in making some of these things. I have made one small quilted wallhanging. I can't imagine the effort involved in one of these wonderful, intricate pieces. I'd love to own one of these but they go for prices far out of my range.

They also sell crafts and plants and other cool goodies. I bought some Christmas ornaments and some old cookbooks I'm going to enjoy looking through. From 1954 is "250 Delectable Desserts." There's also a chocolate one from 1950 that has some photos from Gourmet. Anyway, they'll be fun to look through. Maybe I'll have some new recipes to share here soon.

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