Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It takes a community to serve a Ground Hog Supper

The St. Peters Ground Hog Feed in Inman is about good eating. Even Louie's Truck Service employees come in to "pig out."

It all started 67 years ago and Arnold Wittorf was there -- and has been for every Ground Hog Feed since. Between bites of sausage and corn, Bob Bartels said that he was at the first one, when he was 11.

All traditions require much effort behind the scenes. This add-on to the church is built the evening before the Ground Hog feed and is taken down as the last pan is being washed. The gravy gets made and sausage grilled in this temporary shack. Here you see Roy and Darcel grilling sausage pattiets. Hey, someone's peeking through the vent hole. Get back to work!

Everyone chips in. Terri, insurance business owner, is working on the applesauce. Lenora is in charge of dishing out the sauerkraut. Raymond is taking his turn stirring up the mashed potatoes.

Years ago Butter Friesen, who had been in charge of pies, decided to winter in Arizona so he wrote Christy a letter and asked if she'd want to take over the pie job. She said yes and has been doing pies, with husband Shade, ever since! Her sister Shirley (not pictured) helps with the pies but her claim to fame is being the first woman to be invited to help with dishwashing! Jeannie is getting some carry outs ready for the nursing home orders.

People who attend must first wait in the "holding pen" (as my Dad calls it) and then just enough are released to fill the next table. Once seated, the wait staff takes over.

Nick (on left) owns the cafe but told his customers it was OK to come support the Ground Hog Feed. He kept checking between cafe and church. Loren set his welding tools aside to come help, as did Merle, who runs the service station. Delmer, another insurance agent in town, helps too and is carrying a clever serving tool devised by Loren and Merle's grandfather. Men from church and others who aren't members take a day off from work to assist. You can tell most have been doing the same job from year to year as they obviously know the drill very well.

Before too long, the platters start to empty -- and soon it's all gone.

Another Ground Hog Supper in the books
and a toast to all that took part.
Everyone has a role to play in community traditions and seeing the inside of it helps you "Get Kansas!"
KE #2 Marci Penner

1 comment:

Kevin McGinty said...

I grew up in small towns all over westren Kansas and this is exactly the kind of stuff I miss even today.
Way To Go, Inman. And Arnold Wittorf, sir. I hope you're able to enjoy your Ground Hog Feed for many years to come...