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Monday, May 28, 2012

Asparagus + Strawberries = Good Local Fun

If you missed the Strawberry/Asparagus Supper at the First Congregational Church of Hadley last weekend, you missed your chance to participate in a multi-generational community dinner, a long-runnning local tradition, celebrating one of Hadley's most famous crops -- asparagus.  (Did you know the Queen of England used to order in Hadley's asparagus?)  But you didn't miss your only chance ever -- get ready for it to return next year -- the First Congregational Church's Strawberry/Asparagus Supper has been going on for more than 80 years, and it's not looking to end anytime soon.

You don't have to be a church-goer or even of the older generation to go and enjoy the food and the friendly community spirit.  Mr Madley and I went for the first time this year after Mr Madley heard  Monte's spot on The River, and we're awfully glad we did.  There's something comfortingly and uniquely New England about sitting down to a dinner in a 200-year-old church and eating and sharing stories with community members who have been attending the annual dinner for more than half a century.  (Ninety-year-old Marge Barstow has been participating since the very beginning.  She says that in earlier days, the serving men would wear formal white jackets; now they wear jeans.)  Reverend Sarah Buteux calls it a "retro-cool" experience, and she's not wrong.
For only $12/adult and $6/child ($1 discount with early payment), we were able to enjoy a menu featuring ham, rolls, potato salad, and, of course, asparagus (picked that very morning).  There's even coffee from Rao's, for those so inclined.  And for dessert: strawberry shortcake, with vanilla ice cream from Cook Farm and sweet shortcake from Barstow's (that was super delicious shortcake).  There are two seatings for supper, to make sure everyone who wants to attend can.

The supper is definitely a new family tradition for the Madleys.  I can't wait until it's back next year.  I hope that maybe we can meet you there. Bring your family and friends and enjoy local food and local community.

The official online invitation.



Anonymous said...

Madley, what a great blog and what a lovely post. Looking forward to seeing you again next year.
Pastor Sarah

Velosopher said...

The spacious, bright beauty of the room alone is worth the ticket, not to mention the sense of community.

Caffeine hounds, beware: The coffee's delish, but all decaf.

emily said...

Thank you, Pastor Sarah. We'll definitely be there next year, and if there's a fall supper, we'll probably be there for that, too!