Sunday, February 08, 2004

Coffee hour

One of the traditions I enjoy at my small church is the "coffee hour" after the English-language service. Different people take turns each week to prepare something to eat and drink. (The amazing women who prepares the snacks when nobody has signed up is 88 years old.)

Over the years, the church has invested in a kitchen and plates, cups, silverware, etc., for serving groups of people. As much as possible we try to avoid using paper, plastic, and Styrofoam, although it means more dishwashing.

It was my turn today. I've learned from the women—and the men—who've been at the church for many years, that it's not just about serving food. It's also about setting a beautiful table using what's at hand.

Yesterday I found a large white sheet at a garage sale, which became my tablecloth today ($2). I did buy some red roses from the Farmer's Market (usually it's something from a home garden, or the church's, in a pinch) and added a couple red candles in crystal/glass candleholders. I put out the glass punch glasses and punch bowl for the orange and pineapple juice. I found a round, red cheese tray at the garage sale, too, for the cheese and crackers. I also served mini-bagels and cream cheese with strawberry jam (a hit the last time I served), dates, carrots, and carmels in red wrappers.

Of course, there was coffee, as well. The coffee is made each week by a man from a group home, who is faithfully brought to church each Sunday by one of the church members. Although he has certain problems, he does know how to make coffee in the big coffee pot and gets it prepared before the service starts. Then he makes sure to carry the pot from the kitchen into the parish hall after the service for people to drink.

I didn't have a chance to do much standing around and talking. I was in the kitchen washing coffee cups and punch cups.

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