by David Cecelski
The 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 education building.
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.