8 Great Reasons to Hang Out at a Mennonite Potluck

Mennonite Community Cookbook blog, Third Way website and MennoMedia/Herald Press (yeah, they’re all connected) recently sponsored a “Best Church Potlucks Ever” photo contest (ended June 15, 2015). Okay, it was mostly a ruse to be able to collect and share some great photos from across the Mennonite church on the topic of food. Mary Emma Showalter, who collected the original recipes for Mennonite Community Cookbook, would be thrilled!

The Bible is filled with stories of food and sharing meals—and many of us have experienced the deepening fellowship that happens around tables and food. Jesus made the breaking of bread and sharing a meal into something holy. Jesus’s last meal before his crucifixion, and his first meal after the resurrection, speak to us of the spiritual dimension of food—such a great and wonderful gift of our Creator God.

So we’ll offer a series of four photo essays over the next weeks on the topic of food, eating, sharing, and some great recipes.

First up, just for fun and compliments of a volunteer, Marcia Bauman Shantz from St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, St. Jacobs, Ontario, are eight great reasons you just may want to hang out sometime at a Mennonite potluck!

WhoKnewPotluckCouldBeSoExhaustingEdited1. You might catch a snooze. Isaac, a child of St Jacobs Mennonite Church, catches an early nap after a church potluck. Who knew a potluck could be so exhausting?

2. Someone is guaranteed to give you a smile, with or withoutPotluckCarrotSmileEdited sticking a carrot in it, as Jonah from St. Jacobs does creatively here! And carrots star in Vitamin A: you get 203% of your daily requirement for this essential vitamin with one average carrot, while missing all or most of the baddies like sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.

BlueberryKidSt.JacobsEdited3. Blueberry love. Kai can’t hide his love for blueberry pancakes at the church’s annual Shrove Pancake supper! At a summer potluck or picnic, you’re sure to get plenty of anti-oxidant-rich foods like blueberries! What’s not to love?  WebMD ranks blueberries the #2 food in nutritional quality.

4. Will you be my Clementine? Zoe sports a cute clementine nose at a churchClementineNoseEdited potluck (do we see a theme here, maybe even someone egging her on?). Easy to peel, clementines are now frequently offered with some “kid” fastfood meals and are juicy, sweet, and less acidy than oranges. Only 35 calories and 7 grams of sugar.

GrapeEyesEdited5. You might see someone who looks attractive, with or without real grape eyes. Here Tina models the grape eyes. Purple grapes rank #1 on WebMD in nutrition!

 

6. Young Mennonites can receive early training on theIceCreamConeSmushEdited Mennonite vice of choice, ice cream (and other dangerous desserts. Seriously.). Rumor is that at the Mennonite Convention USA in Kansas City this week, the bars will be empty and the ice cream shoppes will have lines stretching for blocks (pretty much the same thing happens at Mennonite Church Canada big get togethers too!). Here Levi demonstrates the ice cream “nose smush” at the church’s Saturday night campout potluck. The ice cream cones were stuffed with chocolate cake, then a layer of ice cream, then a little chocolate icing, as made by church camper, Elaine.

WatermelonLipsSt.JacobsEdited7. You might end up with watermelon lips! A cooperative Levi also models the newest look in wearable, tasty lipstick. (In case you think he looks like Kai, they are brothers.)

 

8. It is perfectly acceptable—even biblical—to take a Sabbath rest after lunch.BlueberryKidNappingEdited (And if you think the young man looks a little like the guy showing the blueberry love above (#3), bingo. Same Kai, when he was younger!)

 

All photos and some of the captions courtesy of Marcia Bauman Shantz, volunteer photographer for St. Jacobs. Parents gave permission for their child’s photo to appear here, but not for use elsewhere. Thanks for honoring our request.

For all of Marcia’s work and obvious potluck love exhibited by St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, we are awarding them the grand prize, one copy of the new 65th anniversary edition of Mennonite Community Cookbook. Other drawing winners, to be announced later, will receive their choice of five other Herald Press cookbooks.

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You can buy the Mennonite Community Cookbook 65th Anniversary edition here.

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Everyone’s a winner—both in the kitchen and nutritionally—with the lovely and updated new Extending the Table and Simply In Season cookbooks as well, with beautiful new food and recipe photography. Check them out too …