Carrboro Commons

Enough to feed a town

Posted on April 14th, 2011 in Environment,Events,Food,Lifestyles by jock

By Louie Horvath

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Above the buzz of the crowd, local area groups performed as part of Carrboro’s 14th annual Community Dinner at McDougle School’s Cafetorium on April 10.

The event’s slogan is, “sit down with a stranger, leave with a friend,” and it seemed that all of the participants took that mantra to heart, rarely ceasing the chatter for more than a couple of seconds at a time.

Orange County Jammers Senior Cheerleader Clem Self serves desserts at Community Dinner on Sunday afternoon. (Staff photo by Allison Russell.)

“Half the world might reach for the other half and hold tight to a new friend who now can save them,” Jay Bryan, Carrboro’s poet laureate, said while reading a poem he penned for the occasion.

“Saying one to another, ‘I am looking after you. Your comfort comes before mine.’ It is happening today at Carrboro’s Community Dinner. Why not everywhere?”

The dinner had many food options, ranging from fried chicken to pasta, with fixins and desserts aplenty. The cook was Chapel Hill’s renowned cook Mildred Council — or as she’s more famously known in her books and in the name of her eponymous restaurant — Mama Dip.

Food was served on a slightly different plate than what Council usually dishes out at her famous restaurant on Rosemary Street. Both the plates and the utensils were made of 95 percent compostable and recyclable materials, as Muriel Williman of Orange County Solid Waste Management said.

“I hope you are enjoying your meal, and you might have noticed they are on paper plates,” Williman said to the crowd. “What you may not know is that the plates were made from potatoes. The silverware is made from corn.”

Williman went on to say all of the plates and utensils put in the compost would be sent to a composting facility that can break down the materials and one day use them again.

Along with food from Mama Dips, the event had food from the Carolina Inn and Bandido’s Mexican Café. Several local churches and restaurants offered side dishes and desserts to supplement the main course.

All that added up to an event that was not only healthy for the attendants of the dinner, but also healthy for the rest of the community.

“It is wonderful to see sitting here different ages, different cultures, different genders, different ethnicities, different colors, everything, all here together in one room enjoying a meal,” event emcee and WCHL radio host Ron Stutts said. “It is just something that is really meaningful that we can all come here and share this together.”

Tickets for the event cost $8 for adults and $3 for kids. Donations were also accepted, as a $22 donation would feed a family of four.

The festivities were highlighted by performances by KidZNotes, an East Durham program focused on teaching small children to play musical instruments, and Puzzle 44, a local middle school a cappella group.

A local Brazilian Capoeira group wrapped up the event with their intricate steps captivating the Carrboro crowd.

“Me and my girlfriend just heard about this from a friend, and we decided it was something we wanted to do,” event volunteer Alex Gillon said. “It is a really good idea.”

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