Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

December 9, 2013

Nearly 100 come out for community dinner

CROSSVILLE —

Thanksgiving is one holiday that is still a time of gathering family and friends to celebrate the blessings bestowed on all during the year, in spite of the earlier and earlier “Black Friday” and now Thursday sales. Most of the residents of Uplands Village are far from their families but have an abundance of friends to join for Thanksgiving dinner — 98 to be exact this year.

Back in the early 1990s, two families, the Zekiels and the Lammers, on Maple Circle in Pleasant Hill began inviting to their homes people they knew would be alone on the holidays at Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the beginning the guests fit around each of their dining room tables, but each year more and more people were included until the two families decided to combine forces and hold the dinners in Heritage Hall in the Uplands Retirement Village. Everyone contributed money towards the cost of the turkey or ham and brought dishes that they loved to make.

When Adshead Hall in Fletcher House was opened the dinners moved there to accommodate more people, and it became formally organized. Although the dinner is sponsored by the Uplands Assembly, it is open to the wider Pleasant Hill community and people are encouraged to include visiting family members. 

Sharing of food is a custom as old as humanity itself. Cavemen and women probably shared the meat of animals cooperatively hunted and killed. Probably the women tended the roasting meat over the fire while the men drank fermented grapes and cheered on their fellow mates engaged in roughhousing and games. Customs haven’t changed much have they? While browsing through some of the earliest Uplands updates, it was intriguing to read tales of food brought to Dr. May Wharton at the early hospital in Pleasant Hill. For example:

“Dear Dr. May and My dear Nurse:

I am sending you all a box of apples. You can divide them between you both. Those is for love ant for no payment but for love and kindness that I owe you both. I may never see you all again but if I never here meet me up yonder.” (Dec. 1933)”

Dr. May often graciously received offerings of food in payment or in gratitude for her services at the mountain hospital or outlying clinics in and around Pleasant Hill. Money was scarce, but so was food and an offered chicken was a great sacrifice for many local families. 

The word pot-luck appears in 16th century England in the work of Thomas Nashe and used to mean “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.” A communal meal where guests bring their own food appears to have originated in the late 19th century, particularly in the western United States. Among North American Native Americans, a potlatch was a ceremonial feast as a celebration of a special occasion. To the Irish, a potluck was a meal with no particular menu. Everyone participating brought food for all to share. Groups of Irish women would gather together to cook dinner. They only had one pot so whatever ingredients they happened to have were combined to make a meal.

The Uplands Assembly dinner was planned around the Thanksgiving traditional dishes of potatoes, squash, green beans, cranberry sauce and a variety of pies. Each family brought their favorite variation of those dishes.

Many religious or community groups use potlucks as a way of simplifying meal preparation and cost. One variation is the progressive dinner or safari supper where a group of neighbors physically move between different houses for each part of the meal. Another variation is the rota meal. Participants take turns providing food for the entire group. Some expressions used include covered dish supper, Jacob’s join, faith supper, bring and share, take away or carry out used in the same connotation of eating meals other than at home with others bringing food to share.

***

This week in Pleasant Hill:

The Grab thrift shop at 1944 West Main St. in Pleasant Hill will hold a special $1 per bag sale on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. because it will be closed from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6, 2014. Call 287-3018 for information.

Neighbors Together, the community self-help organization, will sponsor the annual Santa Workshop on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. in the Pleasant Hill Community House. There will be no admission, but bring a can of food — the cupboard is bare. Call 787-1610 for information.

Uplands Travel Adventurers will go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville for a special Handbell Choir Concert and Sing-a-Long. They will also view the exhibit “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell.” Call 277-5114 for information.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Melling, Sounds of the Country¬†at Hebbertsburg Community Center

    Jack Melling and Sounds of the Country will entertain at the Hebbertsburg Community Center on Saturday, May 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • Marriage licenses (Published April 23, 2014)

    April 22, 2014

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings CSA.jpg Pleasant Hill Ramblings: CSAs are a win-win situation

    Every Wednesday after 1 p.m. from May through October, there is a steady stream of people converging on the kitchen of Heritage Hall on Church St. in Pleasant Hill with baskets and bags. Inside the kitchen there is excited chatter as they discuss the array of vegetables, some varieties never tried before. Farmer Dave Myers and his helpers provide this largesse of vitamins to the members of the CSA.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • plateau gardening.jpg How to collect and submit soil sample

    Garry, a new resident in Crossville, emailed to ask how to gather a soil sample and where to take it to have testing done. Your local University of Tennessee Extension office is the place to go. Those in the Crossville area should call UT Extension Cumberland County at 484-6743. A staff person at the office can explain how to collect soil samples. (Those new in town who may not know where the Extension office is located may also call for driving directions.)

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 5-2 white cane days.jpg Lions Club White Cane Days returns May 2 & 3

    The Fairfield Glade and Crossville Lions Club members will hold their annual White Cane Days fundraiser Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, at several locations. This is a major fundraiser throughout the state of Tennessee and many parts of the world to help assist blind, sight impaired and deaf individuals. This is an event that only happens once a year.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140412_110402.jpg Kids get creative at Youth Expo

    Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE) held its annual Youth Expo Saturday, providing young people an opportunity to try their hand at a variety of artistic endeavors, from music and writing to painting and traditional crafts of weaving and spinning.

    April 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • AROUND THE TOWN: The Easter egg hunt that never was

    The Easter Bunny should be able to deliver his baskets in pretty nice weather this weekend. The Good Friday and Easter holiday weekend should feature much warmer temperatures than we had earlier this week when snow showers fell on Cumberland County. Cumberland County students were released Tuesday for spring break, but their last day of school for the week found snow and ice falling from the sky and temperatures in the 20s. Students will return to class on Monday.

    April 17, 2014

  • 127 Seniors.jpg Jay Fox performs for seniors after receiving new prosthesis

    On Friday, April 11, the members of the 127 Senior Center had another good time playing bingo and dominos. Bingo was called by Arlene Simmons and Helen Lord, and the bingo gifts were provided by Bob Folger of State Farm Insurance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses

    Publised April 16, 2014.

    April 15, 2014

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Pancake breakfast held for cancer research

    During the year various groups connected with the Pleasant Hill Elementary School provide a Saturday morning pancake breakfast to support the Relay for Life campaign.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo