When it comes to chicken and noodles, the women of Brandon United Methodist Church take no shortcuts. That’s probably why hundreds will flock to the church on September 28 when the church hosts their annual Fall Supper and Bazaar. It’s a tradition that dates back decades, and despite living in a world with modern conveniences, chicken and noodles the Brandon way means the noodles don’t come from packages sitting on a grocery store shelf or in a frozen food case. Each noodle is formed, pressed, cut and dried by hand. It’s a process that begins weeks before the actual supper, one that involves a dozen or so women of the church. Young and old alike, the process has been handed down through the years, from generation to generation. Perhaps the secret to their success lies in the approach they take, viewing the task of making noodles not as a chore, but rather an opportunity for fellowship.
Each year, the Brandon Methodist Church Fall Supper serves around 300 people. For those who cannot dine at the church, carryouts are gladly welcomed. The menu will include
homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, green beans, a salad bar and (if there’s any room left) a dessert. The production of a meal this size requires some 200 pounds of chicken and over 100 pounds of potatoes. Don’t expect to find any instant mashed potatoes at this supper! And there will also be noodles. Did we happen to mention oodles of them?
For those scoring at home (and those not wanting to logon to foodnetwork.com for a recipe), each batch of noodles begin with 18 eggs. After a little water, oil and salt and pepper are added, it’s time for the flour. When the consistency is just right, the noodle “dough” is allowed to rest before it makes two passes through a hand-cranked pasta press to attain the right thickness. One final pass through the press ensures the noodles are cut to a standard width. From there, they are carefully transported and placed, noodle by noodle, onto drying racks. Only those noodles that retain their shape and thickness when dry will be cooked for the supper.
The ladies of Brandon United Methodist Church will tell you the labor involved in making the noodles by hand is worth the work. It simply tastes better that way, they note. Judging by the response from the neighboring communities that descend upon the small church each fall for the ultimate in comfort food, they’re absolutely right.
Fall Supper: $8.00 for Adults, $4.00 children ages 5-12, 4 and under Free
4:30-7:30 PM at the Brandon United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 28, 2013
Bazaar will feature locally made crafts, baked goods and produce.