The Carnegie Library’s fundraiser, “Taste of Ballinger,” was a success with scores turning out for an evening meal of the best homemade recipes Ballinger has to offer. For the event local churches pull together to compile recipes and cook dishes for guests to dine on. Nine churches participated this year; First Baptist Church of Ballinger, Ninth Street Church of Christ, St. Mary Star of the Sea, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Grace Fellowship, Seventh Street Baptist Church, Jesus Christ Church and First Christian Church.
The event drew in well over 200 people on Thursday, January 31st at the Ballinger Community Center. No one came alone as everyone brought family and/or friends to share in the fun of the unique event. Conversations filled the air as people feasted on tasty scratch-made recipes and relived old times through stories filled with laughter or got updated about the goings on in a grandchild’s life. The event drew in people from Winters, Miles, Wingate, Rowena and other communities in the area.
The first stop was a table lined with soups in crockpots and other warming dishes with volunteers serving from behind the table. There were a variety of soups to choose from with the recipes posted beside each dish. The soups ranged from savory with deep flavors such as minestrone to wild rice soup.
After the soup table there was a table with side dishes with recipes printed out. Once you worked your way through those dishes you came to the dessert table that was graced with everything from cakes to brownies. Once again the recipes accompanied each dish and you weren’t limited to one item. You got a cup of as many soups as you wanted, all the sides you wanted and it was open season on the dessert table. The soups were the big draw and favorite of most of the attendees but the desserts satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth.
The library had a recipe book on hand that could be purchased which included recipes for all of the dishes that were served. Every dish was unique and had that special homemade quality about it. You could taste the different influences in each dish, truly giving you a taste of Ballinger. One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to experience the food and the people of Ballinger represented the city proudly. Adults and children alike enjoyed the atmosphere and meal, especially after a long day at work or school. It was a worthy way to end the day.
The efforts of the volunteers who donated their time to working the event and to creating the dishes at home cannot be overstated. Ballinger city councilman Rick Morrish was on hand, helping to carry pots of soup and other dishes to the serving tables, “This is a great event. It really helps out the library and the volunteers do a great job.” Morrish, like many volunteers, was in constant motion, either carrying something in or carrying something out and ensuring that the serving line never stopped moving.
The event ran smoothly from start to finish with everyone pulling together in a coordinated effort to bring out the best dishes Ballinger has to offer. It really did bring out the best of the city and was a great example of what a community can do when it pulls together for a worthy cause such as the Carnegie Library.