Event brings new tastes

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Members of the community got a chance to sample cuisine inspired by the 50 states across the nation Saturday afternoon in a fun and filling way.

About 30 people took part in the “Taste a State” fundraiser, held Saturday at the People’s Community Center on Tidewater Avenue in Victoria.

The funds benefited the Mayflower Baptist Church, located at 3620 Sneads Store Road in Kenbridge.

Among the samples was a satisfying chili dish representing Texas, chicken and waffles for Indiana, corn from Iowa, clam chowder for Rhode Island and key lime pie for Colorado.

For Virginia, participants shared a well-known favorite — ham biscuits.

Brenda Herrington, a member of Mayflower Baptist Church in Kenbridge, said she and other members of the congregation sought ideas for a unique fundraiser that would unite people within and outside the walls of the church.

“We saw this as a way of bringing the community together,” Herrington said.

She and other members searched for recipes online

for different dishes, and the idea to host a dinner with foods spanning 50 states stuck.

Herrington said members collaborated by researching the most well-known and loved recipes in each state, crafting the favorites for Saturday’s event.

While there were tried and true samples available, there were also some lesser known and surprising recipes.

Herrington said she enjoyed Runza, a meat pie from Nebraska.

Gayle Herrington made Hot Dish, a delicious casserole based in Minnesota containing ground beef, green beans, tater tots and cream of mushroom soup. Gayle, Herrington’s daughter, described it as a comfort food.

In addition to the samples, the event also included a silent auction and U.S. State Bingo, where game squares represented each state and participants answered trivia questions. For both the auction and bingo winners, participants won prizes.

Octavia Jones, who celebrated her mother Bessie Callahan’s birthday during the event, said it was her first experience with a Taste a State event.

“I’m just overwhelmed by the food choices,” Jones said. “They fit well with each state.”

Jones said she would gladly attend future events.

“I would go to another one,” Jones said. “It’s for a good cause.”

Members of Mayflower Baptist Church in Kenbridge pose for a photo. Pictured are, from left, front row, Ethel Gunter, Naomi Hill, Bessie Callahan, Brenda Herrington, Makayla Reese, Alan Reese, Serenity Levine, second row, Leslie Leistra, Kristy Reese, Carlton Hill, Mekhi Reese, Jordan Reese, Deacon Edward Bell and Katrina Nelson.