Breaking the mold at the Ag Society potluck
I didn't miss the Jell-O molds filled with nuts, cream cheese and diced canned fruit that my mother used to bring to potluck suppers. But while there may have been some at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society's Annual Spring Potluck Supper and Social last Saturday evening, it was hard to tell because there was such a bountiful array of good food filling the tables at the Agricultural Hall.
The estimates of those in attendance hovered around 200, enough to give the Ag Hall that comfortably full feeling. People caught up with old friends while making new friends. Conversations including politics and religion were generally kept to a minimum and sighs of relief that spring had finally arrived were omnipresent.
Photo by Susan Safford
Staffed by Ag Society volunteers, the dishes were laid out while the arriving guests enjoyed the dips and chips, and the cheese and crackers that filled the hors d'oeuvre table. Self service for dinner was by table number resulting in an orderly flow of traffic. One of the biggest problems faced by most of the attendees was balancing overloaded plates of food while moving from the long rows of serving tables in the front room back to their tables in the barn. The serving tables were so long they receded in the distance, narrowing, but not so long that they bent over the horizon. One long table was filled to overflowing with platters of entrees: ham, turkey, the varieties of meatloaf experience, along with vegetable and pasta dishes.
The second long table contained a plethora of salads: vegetable, carrot, tossed and re-tossed salads, Cobb, fruit, Caesar, and pasta salads. If you couldn't find what you wanted you probably weren't looking hard enough. After dinner, a long line formed for the desserts, which were spread out, filling one of the long tables. There was plenty for everyone.
A screening of the film, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," followed dinner. It is a wonderful autobiographical documentary on the life of a somewhat eccentric farmer from northern Illinois who came of age during the cultural explosion of the 60s. Experiencing some pretty rough times, he ultimately finds happiness as an organic farmer involved with community supported agriculture.
The volunteers worked tirelessly in the kitchen, serving and cleaning during the film. By the evening's end when we went to pick up our serving dish it was clean. It was a grand time and I, once again, managed to avoid the Jell-O.
Tony Omer is operations manager at The Times.