by David Cecelski
Community United Methodist Church in Butner held its annual beef roast and fall
bazaar last Friday. I just happened to be passing by. The church is a lovely
white plank building, actually an old U.S. Army chapel. During the Second World
War, the Fort Butner Military Reservation occupied that part of Granville County and the church served the GIs.
Out front of the church, next to the road,
volunteers had set up a covered little alley where you could buy beef roast plates
without getting out of your car. I wanted to see the bazaar before I got plates
to take home, so I parked and one of the church ladies steered me to the
The bazaar was in one of the Sunday school
classrooms. A big table full of homemade cakes, pies, cookies, and chocolates
stood in the center of the room. Jars of canned preserves, jams, and jellies
sat on a long windowsill.
The ladies there recommended the fudge and
chocolates—I told them that I was looking for something for my wife and they
said that’s what she would want most. I got a tray of fudge and some chocolates
filled with cocoanut, as well as two jars of apple butter.
The ladies offered me other advice, too. In addition
to the desserts, they suggested that I should get roses for my wife at the
florist in town, as well as a manicure, a massage, and a date night at the
movies. “Some of that honey bun cake wouldn’t hurt, either,” one of them said.
The best thing about the beef roast was the sauce.
At first, I thought it was an ordinary beef jus, but it was really very
distinctive: made out of vinegar and the beef drippings, and cooked with lots
of onion and black pepper. It came with a baked potato, Cole slaw, bread,
dessert, and tea. We had it that night for supper. My wife loved the beef
roast—and the fudge and chocolates.