There is a long tradition that many of us younger generation have lost, that is the old fashioned church potluck supper. The first residents of The Cloister carried this tradition into the Cloister community. Today 80-100 people come to the monthly covered dish supper at the clubhouse.
On Tuesday, May 8, Bonney and I attended the monthly covered dish supper at the Cloister clubhouse, we haven’t broken bread with our neighbors at this Clubhouse affair for some time. The Community neighbors have met most months of the year, every year, for over twenty years, to share a meal, gossip, and bring each other up to date with current Cloister happenings. Sometimes even politics and religion are discussed. Dixie Frederickson and the “Covered Dish Volunteers” do a fantastic job and make our experience at these suppers top notch!
The schedule is announced in the official monthly “The Cloister News” published by the HOA and edited by Joyce Fort. It was omitted by accident this month so I posted a bulletin along with posting the HOA monthly newsletter. As soon as I receive The Cloister News I scan a copy into “Cloister Living” for your convenience. This month three new residents were introduced to the friendly diners. New people don’t sit at a table alone, there are always people who will join them in neighborly conversation.
Tables were called up by drawing of numbered ping pong balls. Two protein offerings, fried chicken and BBQ pork were served but most of the BBQ was gone before half the tables were served. My wife commented that the main proteins at buffet restaurants are brought out in batches so there is always that food available as a choice. Perhaps this could be done at the Cloister Potluck by bring out a second batch after 1/2 the diners are served. This would leave some choice for those in the last tables called up to select their foods.
Everyone complemented a certain cranberry dish and asked that the donor provide a recipe, at the end of the meal this lovely woman confessed that she had bought it at Kroger already prepared. She even gave instructions about the location in the store where this could be found. What a wonderful idea, to bring delicious food without having to cook it!
People are asked to bring enough food for themselves and several others. Unfortunately most of us bring a casserole dish which can feed a family with some leftovers but winds up completely empty before people in the last few tables arrive at the buffet line. If we are among the early tables to be called to the buffet line many of us take a small sample of the best looking, most flavorful dishes. After 40 people take a small sample, nothing is left for the people at the remaining tables. By then they are faced with a number of empty casserole and pyrex dishes and a limited selection of cold salads like pasta, cole slaw, and deviled eggs and many sweets and desserts. This has been our experience over the years we have attended these events. But this is a very minor issue experienced only by those in the last half of the tables called to the buffet line. But with Bonney’s and my luck, we almost always wind up sitting at a table near the end of those called up.
Bonney and I have discussed this and we decided that we will bring a double or triple quantity of our favorite healthy vegetable dish and an additional protein choice. We have much to be thankful for and feel a need to share more with others.
Regardless of some very minor annoyances, this event is an important happening at The Cloister. It carries on a long standing tradition, it is especially a great opportunity for newer residents to meet more of their neighbors, where we can share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may make life in The Cloister fun, pleasurable and rewarding.