Third Tuesday Kaleidescope

When we look out over the crowds  on Third Tuesday Supper night, it brings to mind a kaleidoscope.  I remember a neat little cardboard tube that was endless fascination for me as a child.  Filled with shards of cut glass (great to give a young child!) the hundreds of moving pieces and colors kept me engaged for long time.

Third Tuesday is like that whirling glass–people hustling to prepare food, filling the buffet tables, clearing plates, carrying guest plates, colorful desserts, gray hair, brown hair, winter caps, finding high chairs, clearing up spills, colorful children crafts, colorful food, people laughing, people hugging–on and on and on.

But Third Tuesday is NOT a kaleidoscope at all.  Not even close.  It is the Hubble telescope–crisp and clear and precise, taking high resolution photographs of a small piece of life in our Fox Valley.  The TTS clear picture is one filled with people looking for a place to belong, to be heard, to share a story, to listen to a friend’s or stranger’s story.  It is a place to take time to breathe deeply and say “Praise God, good stuff is happening here.”  It is a ministry where we can get our arms a little better around seeing the Holy Spirit at work–where we can more easily witness to each other and our neighbors about our gracious and most glorious God and not simply talk, but do.

God placed Third Tuesday in the fertile ground of the loving community of  UMCG–a place where people roll up their sleeves and “get at it.”  All glory to God for this clarity and blessing.

Our Italian Supper is in the Books

And we served 590 meals!

There are always many carry-outs in that total–and this was a meal where we served more than usual “seconds”.  Plates were scraped clean.  We take that as affirmation that the portions are right and the food was tasty.

We served 1200 plus pieces of desserts and prepared 300 full sausage links and 1400 meatballs– Sausage from Sams and meatballs from Costco.

Parking was at a premium and at certain times seating was too.  I think that might be one reason why we get such big lines at the start.  I am often asked by volunteers why we don’t open earlier when we have a line of folks waiting.  The kitchen plans for a 4:30 start, and if we opened at 4:15, folks would line up at 3:45.  Two and a half hours is a max output for our crew.

Next month we’re doing our savory stuffed baked potatoes and sweet potatoes.

See you there!

Lovely volunteers

World Famous Stealth Clean Up Crew

I wish I had photos to attach to this blog.  If I did, you would see the legion of folks who “Just Show Up” at about 7pm each supper night and have disappeared into the night by 7:45pm.  But they move so quickly, a camera does not catch them.
Who are they?  Women, men, youth, guests, choir kid parents, supper volunteers, husbands of supper volunteers, wives of supper volunteers, Lovely I Don’t Know Some Names They Move So Quickly people who help us clear tables, break down the buffet tables, put away chairs and get all the supplies back into the women’s closet.  We see them wrapping leftovers for Hesed House, scrubbing pots,  and cleaning the gook out of the dishwasher drain.
The Pentagon should have it so good.  
Thank you Thank you Thank you.  Your work is much appreciated.

Getting Ready

The Dining Hall is quiet now, but it will be buzzing with conversation and caring at the “Festive Advent Supper” on December 16. We will be serving roast pork and gravy, mashed potatoes, chef’s choice hot vegetable and warm cinnamon apples. The United Methodist “Dessert Battalion” will be providing a beautiful assortment of holiday themed desserts for our guests. There is no reason to eat alone as long as Third Tuesday is cooking!!

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The Power of the Flower Angels

This spring, a group of kids from Third Tuesday Suppers decided that they would provide flowers for the tables by growing their own flowers.

These amazing kids grew the flowers from seed and supplied us with lovely table decorations all summer!

Special thanks to:   Evan (11) and Ella (13) H., Keegan (10) and Quinn (7) B., Emme (6) and Beckett (2) A., and Claire (12) and Owen (10).

Other helpers: Olivia B, Joe C., Charlie W., and Tulia P.

What a powerful gift to offer our Third Tuesday Suppers…besides being a wonderful learning experience and a creative way to contribute.

Power to the Flower Angels!! 

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You Can Help!

We have received many requests for information on how to financially donate to Third Tuesday Suppers. Two simple ways. Donations are accepted on supper night in the Quiet Can that sits quietly on the beverage table. Or donations can be mailed to the UMCG church office, 211 Hamilton St. Geneva IL with THIRD TUESDAY SUPPERS indicated in the memo line or by note. Thank you to all who support us in so many ways!

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July Nuts and Bolts!

What a night  is now in the books for Third Tuesday Suppers!  We served 707 dinners–our third largest supper–and the #1 and #2 spot were Thanksgiving Suppers!!  Again special thanks to Executive Chef Roberto, his wife Erika and Pepe and crew from Altiro in Geneva.  A
special night.
roberto and erica
Are visions of sugarplums dancing in your head?  NO?  How about visions of 30 cases of corn times 40 ears in a case.  35 watermelons, two cases of limes, 100 pounds of chicken breasts, three 20 pound cases of bell peppers, 40 pounds of onions, 35 boxes of arborio rice, crates of potatoes, various flavored vinegars, gallons of olive oil, cream, butter, fresh mint and arugula  and mixtures of secret Spanish spices.  And pounds of fresh herbs that were new to many of us.  Oh yes–and a partridge in a pear tree!
Our prep crew this month numbered 35 people over two days, including a legion of youth. Many many wonderful people gave prep the extra hours it took for Roberto and crew to create four of his very finest signature dishes.  Who knew roasted corn could taste THAT good.  Speaking of that corn– all ears were husked, then roasted over open flames on our stove, then soaked, then kernels cut off then mixed in the magic sauce.  We have leftovers and it will return again next month till we run out. 
We welcomed “a delegation” from a West Dundee Congregational church who would like to start a supper ministry.  They left with that deer in the headlights look that usually happens with groups who attend and are doing research.  We told the women that the most rewarding ministries are the ones that scare you.  Jumping off the pier is scary–but once you start swimming, you never want to get out of the water!
The hospitality workers report that “plates were picked clean” which means our concerns that the flavorful food might not strike a cord with some folks had no basis.
Special thank you as always to our custodian who rolls with whatever we throw at him–and in this case it meant extra sticky floors, corn kernels EVERYPLACE, and a recycling mountain.
Hesed House is receiving some watermelon salad this month.
Kids’ Corner was beyond hopping.  There were so many kids in there
they spilled into the atrium.

 

Rest, recover and enjoy the days till our next supper.
July meal

June Nuts and Bolts

Our June supper is now “in the books” and judging from the crowd and the smiles–our guests and volunteers had a good time.  We served 608 meals–which is a record for the supper that falls during Swedish Days.  Parking did not seem to be an issue–and our air conditioning worked just fine–always concerns about the June supper.  The crowd was steady with no big spikes–always a help for the kitchen.
Kids’ Corner book giveaway was a very busy and happy place.   Most parents accompanied them–so our little library room was bustling.  Next month the craft is “fairy houses”.

Wasn’t that Italian beef good?  It comes from Gordon Food Service in Naperville.  The warm peppers were from Portillos.  We served 150 pounds plus of potato salad and fresh chopped summer slaw from Jewel .

Don’t miss our “Latin Fusion” supper next month!  See you then!

May Nuts and Bolts

Everyone had all gone home by the time the rain and wind and hail came as an exclamation point on Tuesday’s “Breakfast at Suppertime.”  Thank you to all who came out to prepare, eat, work and clean up.  We served 550 meals–with the vast bulk coming before 6:15 as the skies were certainly threatening.
Special thanks to the “All Girl Crew” in the kitchen.  It was hot and hectic and there was not a lag in the lines all evening.   Well well done, women!!
Kids’  Corner had a neat craft of seed planting. That continues to be a well attended way that kids can blow off some energy and help their folks bring them to eat and talk. 
Next month is the always anticipated Book Give-Away.  Next month–fresh strawberry shortcake and free books –does it get any better than that????
We did have some leftover eggs, hashbrowns and meat and that was delivered to our neighbors at Hesed House.

 

It was just about five years ago next month that the serious discussion and “what ifs” and creative seeds started being planted by “You Know Who” for the starting of Third Tuesday.  Those seeds were also being planted in your heads and hearts  as well.  God messes with us in that funny way thank heavens. After an evening like last Tuesday–aren’t we all so grateful for this ministry and how it affects our lives and our neighbors lives???