There is no better time to live in a small Saskatchewan town of strong Ukrainian culture than Fall Supper season. It is that special time of year when all Babas unite to bring us arguably the most delicious dinner of the year. While there are many high points of living in a small town like Ituna Saskatchewan, fall supper season may just top that list.
Tonight I was fortunate enough to attend the Sacred Heart Parish Ukrainian Catholic annual fall supper. For a mere $15 per adult, or $6 per child we have gorged ourselves on some of the best food Saskatchewan has to offer.
Fall (or Fowl) suppers are a pretty great thing across Western Canada. Usually done as a church or community fundraiser, they are a collection of food prepared by the best cooks in the community. Add in the Ukrainian heritage of Ituna, and then the magic really happens.
The long buffet style line of food is almost daunting at first. A pre-meal game plan is usually in order.
The standard fillers of veggies, buns, and a selection of salads may look delicious, but a seasoned fall supper goer, such as myself, knows that you must hold back at the start of the food procession. You will need that precious plate space for the really delicious dishes to come.
Next is the perogie section. Yes, here in Ituna perogies warrant their own entire section. The perogie pan is huge, and sits alongside dishes of onions and butter, sour cream, and creamy mushroom gravy. Did I mention that these perogies are Baba-made (with love) and hand-pinched? These are an entire meal on their own!
Cabbage rolls are so delicate that they have their own dedicated server person. And of course one standard variety is not enough. Buckwheat cabbage rolls are a special treat.
And then (THEN!) comes the “regular” dishes. Sweet and sour meatballs, roast turkey with all the fixings, freshly boiled carrots and peas so sweet that I suspect came out of Baba #24’s personal garden, and potatoes whipped to creamy heaven.
By the time I hit the end, it is a fantastical balancing act to keep the enormous amount of food intact on my plate. Damming the rivers of both brown and mushroom gravy is a must. At this point I begin to worry that my eyes have seriously exceeded my stomach’s capacity.
And then I spy the dessert table.
When it is all said and done, and we have cleaned our plates (a remarkable feat), we enjoyed a good cup of coffee and a visit with the people sitting on either side of us – people from neighbouring communities that mark the first Sunday in November as their annual trek to Ituna.
And now, after rolling ourselves out of the church hall, I sit on my couch and contemplate how awesome it is to live in such a community.
And pop the button on my jeans…..