Church group carries on home-cooking tradition CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg


March 22, 1993|By CINDY PARR

For 32 years, a group of dedicated women from Patapsco United Methodist Church has been serving the public some of the best home cooking imaginable.

On Wednesdays, beginning in March and continuing through the first week of June, about 20 women enthusiastically bring a variety of palatable delights to a grateful crowd from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

"We think we serve anywhere from 100 to 150 [people] during that two-hour period," said Dolores Schaeffer, president of the United Methodist Women at the church. "It's enjoyed by all. It's not fancy; it's a chance for most people to have a good meal, sit and relax and talk."

Each week, the women offer an entree, vegetables, a dessert and beverages for as little as $5.50. A crab cake meal, when in season, is offered for $6.

"We make meatloaf, turkey and dressing, roast beef, ham and crab cakes. We also make stewed tomatoes, corn, parsley potatoes and slaw. The vegetables are all you can eat," said Margaret Evans, the chief cook.

Each meal is followed by homemade dessert.

While many Carroll residents enjoy the once-a-week specials at the church's social hall, the majority of diners come from other areas.

"We have people come from Carroll, but our regulars are from Baltimore, as well as Washington and Pennsylvania," said Mrs. Schaeffer. "These are people that have been coming for years. They make a day of it, because of the distance they travel.

"They are very dedicated. It's amazing."

The luncheons have not only attracted a loyal crowd, but have played an important role in raising money for the church and worthy causes in the community.

"Basically, we use the money we make from the luncheons for the church, but we also make donations to the hospital, fire companies and those who are needy," said Mrs. Schaeffer.

Thelma Schaeffer, a 91-year-old Finksburg resident who is Dolores Schaeffer's mother-in-law, was part of the original group that initiated the luncheons in 1925.

"We would get together each week at a different house and we would quilt," she recalled. "It was an all-day thing, but we would have lunch and pay 25 cents.

"The woman who had the quilting and lunch that day would give the money to the church."

By 1961, the luncheons went public and were served from the social hall at the Patapsco United Methodist Church on Patapsco Road in Finksburg, where they are held today.

And, just as in 1925, there is still a group of women who come to the social hall on Wednesdays and quilt before lunch is served.

Dolores Schaeffer commended the longtime efforts of members of the United Methodist Women that give time each week to make the luncheons successful.

"I just think it is something. The girls are so great about showing up each week to make everything work," she said.


If you ever wondered about the importance of reading to your children, then don't miss Parents' Night Out at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the First United Presbyterian Church in Westminster.

Guest speaker Dr. Joan Coley, dean of graduate studies and coordinator of the graduate reading program at Western Maryland College, will present the topic in the church sanctuary.

The program is sponsored by the Christian Preschool and Kindergarten.

All parents are welcome to attend. Baby-sitting will not be available.

Refreshments will be served following the discussion.


Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday, the Cranberry Mall will present a Spring Arts and Crafts Show.

During the mall's operating hours, some 25 artisans will display their work.

Arts and crafts including flower arrangements, woodworks and clothing will be available for purchase.

Information: 876-8870.


Hey, girls! Don't miss the Prom Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Greenfelts at Cranberry Mall.

This is a great opportunity to find that perfect prom dress at a reduced price.

The Prom Fair is sponsored by the Parent Boosters of the Class of '94 at Westminster High School.

Pay $2 and shop till you drop. Get professional advice on flowers, hairstyles, accessories and a tasteful tux for your date.

Enjoy the roving fashion show, a variety of door prizes and refreshments.

Information: 857-5494 or 848-0363 or 848-8077.

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