Archived Story

Baptists know how to feed the multitudes

Published 5:07pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Many people know the Bible tells about Jesus using five loaves of bread to two fish to feed the multitudes. I suspect most people believe the bread was flat bread and two fish were something akin to sardines, perch or trout.

Not me. I like to think the boy who provided the bread and fish was from the southern region of the Holy Land. I like to think that boy provided five biscuits and two catfish to help Jesus perform the miracle of feeding the multitudes.

The miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes reminds me of all the “dinner on the grounds” and most other church-related meals that I’ve been to over the years. Being a Baptist, that means many a covered-dish feast.

Some folks say Baptists don’t dance. Other say Baptists are known for their views about alcoholic beverages and not partaking thereof. But folks who really know Baptists know we love to eat. That being said, I still can’t figure out why we Baptists observe the Last Supper (Communion) by eating a bit of a cracker and drinking about a thimbleful of grape juice.

Back to dinner on the ground and covered-dish meals.

The star of any Baptist dinner on the ground or covered-dish meal is (what else?) fried chicken. There will be platters of fried chicken. For those of you who are not in the know, fried chicken also is known as the “Gospel bird.”

One can always count on finding about 15 varieties of potato salad at a dinner on the ground. Some are made with mayonnaise. Others are made with mustard. There are some potato salads made with mustard and mayonnaise. Some incorporate boiled eggs in their mixture. Others include diced pickles and onions.

To be honest, although I am a Baptist, I do prefer Amish potato salad.

And a dinner on the ground or covered-dish meal would not be complete without at least six versions of green-bean casserole, eight versions of slaw and 10 versions of sweet-potato fluff. Let’s not forget the cornbread, yeast rolls (always made best by grandmothers and great-grandmothers) and biscuits. And I’m talking cathead biscuits. If you have to ask what is a cathead biscuit, you ain’t from around here (the South) are you?

By the way, why are there more devil’s-food cakes at a dinner on the ground than there are angel-food cakes?

Mike Voss is the senior member of the newsroom at the Washington Daily News.


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