Last week I received an invitation from Christy Koch and the Pine City Library Board, Foundation, and staff to a Hot Dish Buffet. So, I stopped in Pine City (north) on my way to Rochester (south) Friday evening to check it out. OK, so I'm a little directionally challenged, but I had to see a hotdish buffet.
Hotdishes are fundamental to Minnesota cuisine. They are made up of 2 or more main ingredients, combining meats, vegetables, starches, and some kind of sauce (like soup or cheese) into a one-dish meal with a combined taste that is different from any of its individual elements. Imagine what a feast you have for sight, smell and taste, when you have a large assortment of hotdishes made up of multiples of ingredients. Throw in all the side salads, desserts, and even pickles and it's a feast.
The buffet is an annual event to raise money for a new library in Pine City. It's turned into quite the event and even the mayor showed up to sell tickets. Christy says that last Friday they raised $1,200. Way to go, Pine City!
Even more . . . I saw many tangential benefits besides the raising of cold hard cash. I saw people gathering together on a chilly fall evening to eat. Sure, Minnesota churches have such suppers all the time, but this was a true community gathering of people from all walks. The library, at the heart of the community was the catalyst to bring the community residents together. When they came to the city building that houses the library, many came in the library and were reminded of its importance as part of the community. The good feelings that will remain as memories of a pleasant evening will carry forward as good feelings for the library as Pine City continues to raise funds for a new library home.
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Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director