The Fair Haven Fiske AME Chapel Soul Food Dinner was deemed a success after only a couple of hours — by 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, to be exact.
Oh, the folks at the church may have been a bit worn out by then, but they were still cooking in more ways than one. Even though the ribs sold out completely, chicken was still in the fryer and 66 dinners had been sold. The side dishes were “wiped out,” gone, they said.
It’s no wonder people clamor to feast on the food for this dinner. Sonia Reevey, forever congregant and Fair Havenite, told us the secret is that there is no secret other than good, old fashioned home-cooked food made from special family recipes. “Everyone makes their special dish,” she said. “That’s all. That’s all it takes. We all have something special to cook.”
The ribs, she said, went right away. We were told that the not-so-secret secret to that recipe was a dry rub left overnight in the fridge, then slow baking and special barbecue sauce.
Missed that special treat. But, there was plenty of chicken and the cooks insisted that we try it fresh out of the cast iron skillet. Delicious. Crispy and warm on the outside and moist on the inside. Simple. The seasoning and coating were simple. Nothing overdone.
Call it food fit for the nourishment of the soul. There’s nothing complicated about it. That’s been the recipe for everything at the chapel since the dawn of time in Fair Haven. Hometown comfort food and friends.
Take a look at the photo gallery for a glimpse into the day.
— Elaine Van Develde