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home : columnists : columnists February 6, 2016

10/25/2013 2:20:00 PM
Bits from Betsy

The federal government is back at work and the proverbial can has been kicked on down the road. We may have to go through this shutdown thing again by year's end; but for now, we can feel confident that our Social Security checks will be in the mail and whatever business we might have with Uncle Sam can get on track again.

The 20 female senators, Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar among them, get together on a regular basis for potluck dinners. Everyone brings a dish to pass and friendships are built while food is shared. These women come from both parties. Male senators don't seem to have this type of comraderie. They gather with their own groups and hurl insults at the other side. Many aren't able to understand that, although they may have differences in philosophy, everyone should be willing to be still and listen to the other fellow.

It's hard to shout insults with your mouth full of hotdish.

Who doesn't love a potluck dinner? It's a great venue for showing off your culinary talents, or trying a dish you're pretty sure the family would greet with turned up noses. It lets you explore other folk's tastes.You can experience their creativity in the kitchen without being bound to a whole menu chosen by someone else. There is always something for everyone at a potluck, even if it's just the pickles and chips brought by the non-cooks in the group.

When I was growing up down south, church potlucks were just the best. We didn't have them too often, but when we did, they were spectacular. The table in the church basement would be sagging in the middle from all the platters and casseroles of delicious foods. Ella Gross, an older member of the congregation, always brought fried chicken that was second to none. It was hard to not peek out while the blessing was being said to plan your attack on the table. Being among the early arrivals at the chicken assortment was a good idea. Ella's platter was one of the first to be emptied.

Church dinners are numerous this time of year. Whether it's lutefisk at Vang Lutheran, or roast beef at Holden Lutheran, the opportunity to get together with fellow diners and enjoy ethnic specialities is a community building event. Workers and diners alike meet at common tables and discover the many ways we are all basically the same.

We have enjoyed some potluck lunches here at the Beacon. They have always been good team-building events. There are some good cooks here who always bring delicious dishes to share. Eating good food while sitting across the table from someone is a bonding experience. You know more about a person when you eat a dish they have prepared especially for the group.

That's why our elected officials should enjoy more potLUCKS and throw less potSHOTS at each other.

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