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On Sunday November 12, 2017 roughly nine hundred meals will be served in sit down or take out fashion in the village of Allen Maryland. For those that choose to sit, it’s all you can eat, and eat they have for fifty-eight years. If it’s Take-Out you want, trust me when I say you will not go hungry. The Rooster and family first experienced this epicurean delight twenty-nine years ago. We’ve had friends and relatives plan visits around this event. My father would actually drive from Florida for a few years just for the experience. My daughter will pick up twelve meals for family members today. For me and mine it’s kind of like Meals on Wheels.
Planning for this event which is the main fund-raising venture for the local Lions Club began months ago. Actual preparation is accomplished by Lions and volunteers from the community. A local town crier with help from the internet keeps everyone in the know for what and when is help needed. An example of these shout outs is below.
EMail from the command post – Come for the day or come for an hour – all hands welcome and appreciated at the Allen Community Hall as we head down the home stretch to tomorrow’s 58th Annual Beef Dinner by the Allen Lions Club. We’ll be boiling macaroni and packaging sides for carry-outs today – plenty of work to do , lots of variety, some sit down jobs. Come on down, enjoy the fellowship, and be part of a grand and glorious tradition! (Thanks for those middle of the night messages Melissa.)
Frank Knowles organizes tins of sweet potatoes for the oven and the peelers get rid of the skins.
Earlier in the week the Mrs. and I put in a few hours working with others baking and peeling 13 bushels of Sweet Potatoes. The Mrs. spent another day with our daughter and others making the gravy for the Mac and Cheese. There was a night for Turnip peeling and another for Stewed Tomatoes. Years ago the tomatoes were peeled, but now #10 cans of the slippery critters already peeled seems to work just fine. Ms. Pauline Nichols would certainly have a fit that they are now using tomatoes without skins were she still with us. Peggy Ford now rules over tomatoes with Crystal Judd as her faithful assistant. Carol Hobbs does the Mac & Cheese and Lucy and Lynn Davis have their hand in just about everything.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the dynamic duo of Frank and Susan, ever quiet, always there. And God Bless John Culp for playing Uber to get Ms. Sue Malone there so she could peel the Sweets, eat a biscuit or two and enjoy a hot bowl of soup. There would be an Aggie, Linda, Al, Chuck, Paul, Scott, Peter, King Lion Bruce and so many others, you know who you are, always pitching in here, there and everywhere.
When all of you get home tonight, remove your shoes and finally get to put your feet up, please know your efforts are most appreciated. This meal which brings so many together to prepare creates our own recipe for community greatness.
The fires burned late in the pit the night prior, with close to 1200 pounds of beef cooking down in the pit. When the last dish is cleaned and tables put away, the Village of Allen came together today. Every year for the past 58, a Pit Beef dinner filled many a person.
Bag Ladies of Allen.
The kitchen, a Bee Hive of activity. Cutting, stirring and packing to get the job done.
Multi function stations, fixing sides, doing dishes and passing the food to the drive bys.
When all of you get home tonight and remove your shoes and finally get to put your feet up, please know your efforts are most appreciated. This meal which brings so many together to prepare and break bread together creates our own recipe for community greatness.
I guess it does take a village and our’s is special, thank you Allen.