We hadn't planned on going to Verboort, Oregon, site of the 77th annual Sausage and Sauerkraut Community Dinner. With the somewhat ominous motto of "Always the first Saturday of November," we were told that the event would cause a traffic nightmare, and we might have trouble getting to our destination.
|Photo from foodalliance.org|
But we were on our way to Verboort anyway, because we had to meet up with a truck load of beef from Eastern Oregon's Carman Ranch. On the left is 4th generation, smart and gorgeous rancher, Cory Carman, whose sustainable, grass-fed beef is something we want to support. It's worth it to go out of our way to buy beef from her place, even if it means driving our 18-year-old pick-up a couple of hours north and through the possibly impassable main street of Verboort, OR.
But wait...did somebody say "Sauerkraut and Sausage?" John and I are from the mid-west, raised on sausage. It was lunch time, about 12:30, and we didn't have to be at Sun Gold Farm until 2:00 PM, so we decided to swing by and check it out. You know, pick up something fun, quick and easy.
Well, shoot, that's not how it works. They were serving 1400 people at the moment and our tickets were numbers 2200-2201, which meant that lunch's estimated time of arrival was 2:30PM. As an added bonus the ticket sellers assured us that there was "plenty to do while we waited." We looked at each other pondering the variables. Could we hold off that long? How bad did we want this? And what were those things we might do if we waited?
It turned out, of course, that I wanted it really badly. Perfect timing, really.
Visitation Catholic Church), its little school, and the fact that this is a 100% Dutch community, dating from the 1870's. There were sweet, elderly nuns selling crucifixes and rosary beads in this lovely little brick church, but it wasn't right to photograph them.
People waiting for their lunch were in the gym, where there was lots of stuff going on.
I almost bought a potholder for one dollar, but then I didn't.
A. We don't need any more potholders.
B. I was not attracted to any of the prizes, and I was afraid I might win something.
However, damn. Wish I'd forked up 7 bucks to buy a beautiful little arrangement of fudge and candy. This is a regret.
I did buy $3.00 worth of home-made sauerkraut, and 2 adorable little squash.
I was completely enchanted.
While I was being charmed, her cats were all over the box of free dog bones.
Which was kinda gross, but also why I must include an extra picture.
Maybe this should have dulled our appetites, but it didn't.
When we were seated, big dishes of hot food were brought to our tables, and it was super fun talking to the people around us.
The young volunteers serving us were polite and efficient.
They serve up 17 tons of freshly smoked sausage to over 8,000 diners. There is nothing better than rambling around and stumbling upon something like this.
This is a 49 second video in which you can hear the music being blasted from the church speakers while I admired the giant sequoias (planted when the first citizens stumbled back from the Gold Rush in 1849, with redwood seeds in their pockets.) It reminds me, a little, of my favorite movie, Groundhog Day.