The musicians must be fed (and watered)!
  • Christ is risen, everyone!

    Now that our Lenten observance is ended, can we talk about food and drink? As a Midwesterner (and former food writer) in Connecticut Yankee Land, I miss the potlucks of my childhood, and as the former director of a college Russian chorus, I have pontificated elsewhere on this forum on the efficacy of vodka in bringing out the best in basses. It is a truth not yet universally acknowledged that the musicians must.be.fed.and.pouredfor. Preferably not at their own expense. What are some of your favorites?
  • You're a long way from home, both physically and culturally if you're in Connecticut Yankee Land!

    You're right, of course, that even singers are social animals. I don't have favorites, yet, food and water (or "little water") wise, but I'm going to begin praying the Office for my choir members and their families before too long. I used to pray a Holy Hour for each of my students' families.

    I look forward to reading the list!

  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    I have a great memory of an elderly bass- a retired physician- who prescribed me a hot toddy my first Christmas at this parish when I was run down with a bad cold. I went to the check out of my local (midwest) pharmacy on the old polish side of town where I lived to purchase whiskey, honey, tea, soup, and throat drops. The cashier took one look at me, one look at the items and said, "honey, I don't know what you got but something up here is gonna fix it." Best comment ever.

    As for feeding and watering, I'm taking my choir and handbells out to eat on Thursday evening. Majority voted the local pizza joint that has karaoke that night. Ha! Nice bar as well. I made sure I'd have enough in my ministry budget for one night at the end of the year for this. I'm sure they'll order their favorite drinks but they'll be paying for those.

    I keep a fairly simple budget, and my pastor has suggested I do more with "hospitality" so I bit the bullet at the head of the fiscal year and put a few hundred in the budget for this and shockingly it was approved. I took my small ensemble groups out around Christmas and it really went a long way with them. They do so much and it seemed to really impact them that I acknowledged it in this tangible way.
  • Beautiful, you guys!

    I love to serve and consume nonalcoholic punch and have the sets to prove it, complete with little plastic hooks for hanging the cups around the bowl. (The eldest daughter of an eldest daughter of an eldest daughter, I wound up with things like this.) Raspberry sherbet + limeade + ginger ale = best punch ever. Be sure to chill the bowl beforehand, especially during Illinois summers.
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 255
    Anna- the first week of Advent we do a "music ministry potluck" (I'd prefer an epiphany potluck so as to not add to my work prior to Christmas, but I've been told to do it before). You're invited to our midwest gathering anytime. ;)
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • Holy Toledo!! PM-ing you.
  • rollingrj
    Posts: 346
    Our choir will get together twice a year for potlucks. The host will supply the main course (depending of what the theme is for the meal); all other members bring sides to pass.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,922
    The man who taught me Gregorian Chant, God rest his soul, would celebrate at the Easter Vigil by treating each of us to a glass of Chartreuse. (“It’s monastic”, he would be sure to remind us.)

    I try to organize food gatherings twice a year for the choirs - St. Cecilia’s and after Pentecost. The former is usually a little less formal because of some American holiday it falls around.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    We generally had Sunday "breakfasts" through the mornings in the parish hall twice per month. The choir enjoyed those but we did have a large Christmas party complete with various foods and Irish coffee. Being forbidden to drink alcohol with my blood pressure meds and also being a vegetarian, I didn't partake of any roast beasts or booze. But it was a good time for all. I felt that even those in the choir who hated each other left feeling at least a bit more charitable toward the other members.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    Every Tuesday I serve mini doughnuts to the school schola before practice... might not be too good for the vocal chords, but heh... word gets around and it draws members!

    After our school concert I purchased 120 fresh hot pretzels for the entire school along with watching music vids in class for a couple of weeks, one of which is my own production of "The Planets" by Holst complete with images from NASA and animations from the interwebs... (took 250 hours of production time to put together in iMovie)

    http://www.myopus.com/preview/planetSample.mp4
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    We have a drink together after Mass on Sunday in the Parish club. We also have a meal with wine etc. after rehearsal on Thursday.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • Carol
    Posts: 854
    Francis, that is one amazing 2 minutes!
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    Thank you… IMVHO the other 52 minutes are even better.
  • I'm also a fan of the following recipe, which was given to me by my Norwegian mother-in-law. It is a great special-occasion dish, always a smash hit.

    Smoked Salmon Canapes

    Mix 4 oz. of cream cheese with 1 t. horseradish, 2 t. lemon juice, 2 t. minced onion, 1 t. chopped fresh dill, salt, and pepper. Spread on 24 pieces of toasted cocktail bread. Top with 24 small pieces of smoked salmon and garnish each with a sprig of dill.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    @Anna_Bendiksen

    Must try this
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • @francis --- It is truly fantastic with brut Champagne.
    Thanked by 2francis tomjaw
  • Oh, and pie? Does anyone here like pie?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jeffrey Quick
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    I am a pie guy, and my most favorite is strawberry rhubarb
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    I ditch the strawberries for blueberries in my blueberry-rhubarb pie.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    hmmm ... will have to try the blueberry version... i am sure it will be good... can't beat a fruit pie... cake doesn't even compete
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • kenstb
    Posts: 369
    On Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the choir and I have breakfast together. I order it from a local restaurant and have it delivered to the parish hall. We eat between masses. It turns out that they enjoy the time together and to be celebrated for all of the sacrifices that they make to provide music for the parish, especially during Holy Week and the Easter Season. They actually deserve more.
    Thanked by 2francis tomjaw
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    I always had a picnic once a year for the choir to show appreciation for their service. We also would go out after choir practice to get a brew often.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,922
    Gooseberry pie is sublime. I need to find an excuse to celebrate the feast of St. Hugh of Lincoln with Sung Mass and Picnic.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    Oh, and pie? Does anyone here like pie?


    I like the kind with lots of sugar in it.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • An occasional party or outing for the choir is commendable, if not imperative. Bonding over food is in near the same league as bonding over music.

    As for the gooseberry pie, my grandfather loved it. Like snow, gooseberry pie is unheard of in Houston. I look forward to it when I go to Canada. The best was served up in an ancient restaurant in the old city of Quebec.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • . The best was served up in an old restaurant in the old city of Quebec.


    Excuse me for disagreeing with you, Jackson, but the best gooseberry pie was served at my grandmother's house, which was in Lincoln, England.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,152
    Just what the heck are gooseberries? I prefer a blackberry cobbler any day of the week.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Blackberry cobbler - yummmmmmmmy!!!
  • BHCordova,

    They're small tart green berries. Think of Granny Smith apples ,and reimagine them as small and juicy.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,152
    I don't think they grow here in the Pineywoods.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I think East Tennessee gets too hot for them.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    @CGZ We also have yellow and red purple varieties, my gooseberry bush produced berries up to 1 inch long. They are usually tart, but if we have a lot of sun some can be quite sweet... Very nice in a variety of puddings, or chutneys.

    Our choir enjoys lamb pie, Lasagna, and the latest dish we have rustled up Buckinghamshire bacon badger, a savoury suet crust pudding steamed for 3 hours!
  • We had a gooseberry bush in our back garden when I was growing up in Brookings, South Dakota (a region of winter, and acquainted with low temperatures). How my father loved preserves made from those gooseberries.

    I'm also a huge fan of blackcurrants, which have similar cultural requirements. There was a ban on them for many years in many states because they spread white-pine blister rust, but I managed to grow them perfectly legally and successfully in Wheaton, Illinois. I wound up with way too many blackcurrants for us to eat as preserves and gave some away to a Russian friend, who was beyond thrilled. One cannot buy them fresh in this country.
  • Hey you guys, what time is it? It's pie time!

    Last year I got a major, major tip about apple pie. I tried it for Thanksgiving and it was game-changing. Huge. It is this: Roast the apple slices, mixed with a bit of melted butter---okay, I did more than a bit---before you make your filling. This concentrates the flavor and reduces the apples in volume, enabling the cook to use a wide variety per pie.