Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stress-free pot-luck

I asked a few ladies to share some of their favorite recipes with me so that I could pass them on to you. I got a response that I couldn't wait to tell you about because it doesn't only contain a fabulous recipe, but also a sanity-saving tip for how to arrive at church on Sunday morning stress-free and well-composed with a pot luck offering that tastes great.

Marylouise leaves home around 8:20 AM on Sunday and might not get home again until 3:30 PM, depending on her other obligations. Her parish has a sit-down style pot-luck agape meal after Divine Liturgy every Sunday, which provides a great way to fellowship as they break their Eucharistic fast. It also means she needs to have her own dish ready to go early Sunday morning, which could translate to Saturday evening stress for many of us.

While individual adherence to the fasts varies from one household to the next, her parish's public meals have an expectation that the food will conform to the strictest fasting guidelines which are distributed to parishioners on a calendar each year. During non-fasting times, their priest generously brings meat and shellfish to the potluck, which will take the form of a Chinese dim sum demonstration this coming weekend to coincide with the region's celebration of the Chinese New Year. If you're near San Francisco, I encourage you to join them!

Marylouise favors vegetarian side-dishes that she can prepare in stages over several evenings, which keeps her from having a mad rush to fit it in on Saturday night. Here's one of her favorites: a Korean BBQ marinade she found in the October 1981 edition of Sunset Magazine which she's turned into a cold pasta salad that serves 8-10.

1 C soy sauce
1/3 C sugar
2 ½ TB fresh garlic
2 ½ TB fresh ginger
1/3 C sesame oil

Extra firm silken tofu cut into 1/3" cubes

16 ounce package of angel hair pasta, cooked and refrigerated
2/3 C thinly sliced green onions

Mix the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil together well. Put the cut tofu into the marinade and let it soak in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, toss the marinaded tofu on top of the refrigerated pasta, garnish with the green onions, and serve. The entire dish will fill a 2QT serving dish.

This recipe could also use a grain instead of the pasta and cooked meats or veggies could replace the tofu. Marylouise says that the church hall's chilly temperatures don't hinder the cold pasta salad consumption as she usually brings home an empty bowl. One other great tradition her parish has is to informally bring photocopied recipes to share in preparation for the four major fasting periods, so the empty bowl and full tummy isn't all she has to take home on Sunday afternoon.

Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.


  1. Great idea! I need to get better about a POTLUCK- usually I am doing all the cooking....gets a little expensive. :)

  2. Oh yes, I imagine it would! I love potlucks!


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