What gets served at church functions these days? [General]

2012 Jul 19
Re:Captain Caper's suggestion to start this thread. Not just church, but lots of other social organizations depend on potlucks and "totin' food" for various events. I still go to a church that serves big urns of coffee every week, but in the summer it's just water and lemonade. It is often joked that potluck is one of our church's most important sacraments. Lots of cookies every week, mostly store bought and allowing for nut-free, wheat-free, sugar-free selections. But since the hospitality is a rotating responsibility I look forward to the days when the older ladies and/or foodies take over with home made cookies/cakes/squares etc. And when there are potlucks and other events there is no shortage of really tasty homemade stuff.

Recently I spoke to a woman who had returned to church after a 30 year absence. She said to me "I remember when I was a kid and anyone was sick or dying, the church ladies came with pies, and I thought, If I get sick who'll bring the pies?". I think that food plays a huge part in the fellowship that one finds in churches and other organizations.

There are things that are much valued donations from certain members, like the sweetly iced "pinkie squares" that disappear as soon as they hit the buffet table, or the green tomato mincemeat that shows up at the fall bazaar.

The church I attend is progressive, and we have recently participated in some outreach programs from other faiths that have included meals as a way of getting to know each other. I have been invited to a Ramadan "fast breaking" dinner later this month which I am looking forward to. Friendship and understanding through food.

I think Captain Caper's idea to comment on "church food" is a good one. Where else do we get served devilled eggs on a regular basis these days? I make my Aunt Vera's "church lady" cherry and ginger sandwiches often for these kind of events and wonder what other treasures are out there?

2012 Jul 19
Do any church ladies make Queen's Lunch Squares anymore ?

Wiki turns me up with nothing useful. Please help with recipe and/or picture.

Has anyone even heard (or ate) these; crushed graham wafer bottom, eagle brand milk + shredded sweet coconut middle and chocolate icing top, wonders ?

I got a big-horkin' craving for these now. Anyone know what church has these ?

I'll convert from my current faith (Heathen) to join the necessary religion, sect, denomination or cult to get me a Queen's Lunch Square !

2012 Jul 19
I am not a church goer, but I love when the Churches put on their Christmas bazaars have the "Old Lady Tea Room" (that is my name for it). I love the finger sandwiches on white bread, the iced squares, the maraschino cherries in the sandwiches, on the squares, the tea cups and saucers, the musty assembly room. Even my very manly husband likes to go. The old ladies pester and inquire how everything is, they tell you who made what squares and best of all, you can usually buy a tray of baked goods for under $5.

My favourite one used to be in Perth at the Christmas Church market, but I haven't been in the past few years, so I don't know if they still run it.

My favourite old-lady squares are the peanut butter fudge squares with coloured marshmallows (though a few bites is usually enough), the white shortbread type squares with pink icing (died pink from maraschino cherry juice), and mock-cherry tarts (almond extract for flavouring).

Another one we used to go to was the Pasta Dinner at St. Anthony's church (Booth & Preston) during Italian week. Some years are better than others, but all have home made pasta, bun & salad. They used to sell wine by the bottle in the back room. Outside they set up a tent with a band & roast pig. Always fun, even for a vegetarian like me.

2012 Jul 19
Captain Caper - that sounds like nanaimo bars.

2012 Jul 19
hff: Nope not nanaimo bars.

Queen's Lunch Square "crushed graham wafer(edit: should be 'cracker') bottom, eagle brand milk + shredded sweet coconut middle and chocolate icing top"

Contrast and Compare:
Nanaimo has chocolate and coconut in a wafer bottom, Queens Lunch has crushed graham cracker (not wafer) bottom, no chocolate or coconut in bottom.

Nanaimo has no coconut in middle layer and QL square does.

but both have chocolate icing on top.

2012 Jul 19
I did a quick search on the eagle brand website and the closest thing I found was this:

(Top Hat Triple Layer Bars)

If you subbed a chocolate frosting for the chocolate/peanut butter topping, it'd be about what you're looking for.

2012 Jul 20
Hipfunkyfun I attend Trinity United and for last year's bazaar, my partner and I ran the tea room for the first time. Many of the older ladies said they were so happy to see it surviving and glad that the "young" people were taking it over - I am in my 50's LOL. Only place I get called young any more. And those peanut butter marshmallow things are amazing! The older ladies still contribute those to the bake table and I will look for the Queens Lunch Squares next year. A Scottish lady makes "Empress" cookies every year that are delicious and very pretty. Very thin shortbreaads with hard icing and tiny sprinkle decorations. But I go for just about anything with a thick layer of pink icing, made with the juice from maraschino cherries.

2012 Jul 20
I collect recipes like that, Captain Caper, for some unknown reason -- often rescuing self-published church and community cookbooks at St. Vincent's or trolling for scanned versions online. I think this is what you're looking for (source: hermrosewills.net):

1 tbsp. white sugar
1/2 c. melted butter or margarine
30 crushed graham wafers [2 c.)
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
2 c. dessicated coconut 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Melt margarine, stir in wafers and white sugar. Press in pan for squares. Place in oven at 350F. for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the milk, coconut and vanilla; place on top of first mixture and pat mixture in place with a fork lightly. Return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes (when lightly browned). Frost with chocolate frosting when cool or put chips on top of mixture while hot. Allow time to melt, then spread with back of spoon. Chill and cut with a sharp knife.


2012 Jul 20
A friend made these for a church function last year mmmmmmmmm!

2012 Jul 20
Lucky13, those are the peanut-marshmallow squares I was talking about. Delicious in a pure sugar kind of way. Just a little bit will tide me over.


2012 Jul 20
My Dad scanned the Betty Crocker book that my Mom has been using the last few decades. The call them neopoletan squares here because of the use of pink icing.

(She did use something else before that in the 60's ).

She puts on chocolate icing or the red dyed maraschino flavoured icing for a more festive look.

Quite similar to Daisy MacQuilkin's recipe that refashionista posted.

Anyone wanting the scan just PM me.

2012 Jul 21
I`m gagging just a bit here - I hate the fruity marshmallows. But I love a marshmallow square my m-i-l takes to church functions, Social Tea Squares. They are made with the white marshmallows -

Social Tea Squares

3/4 cup of butter
1 cup of white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 a 350 g package of social tea cookies (crushed), about 175 g
2 cups of mini marshmallows, about 125 g
pinch of salt, several if using unsalted butter
splash of vanilla


Mix butter, sugar and eggs into a double broiler (I put water in a pot, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, and place a glass or ceramic bowl with the mixed butter, eggs, and sugar over top) and stir from time to time for about 25 mins until thick and creamy. Stir in salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature
Place the crushed cookies and marshmallows into a large bowl, mix and set aside.
After 25 mins, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
When cooled, mix into bowl of crushed cookies and marshmallows and press into an 8" or 9 "buttered square pan.
Refrigerate to set and cut into 16 squares.

Recipe can be doubled and put in a 9"x13" buttered pan.

2012 Jul 21
My mother makes these and I love them. We usually put the marshmallows in while the mixture is hot to melt them because we don't like chunks of marshmallow. It means stickier squares that need to be kept in the fridge, but it's hard not to cut another piece every time you walk by.

2012 Jul 22
the funny thing is that some of these elderly ladies are SO protective of their recipes and either won't share or don't list all the ingredients. My 84 yr old auntie has no patience for that, and says "Oh C'mon. None of these old broads came up with the recipes themselves. It's not like we didn't all get them out of the same 1952 issue of Good Housekeeping..."

2012 Jul 23
RE CCaper: "Has anyone even heard (or ate) these; crushed graham wafer bottom, eagle brand milk + shredded sweet coconut middle and chocolate icing top, wonders ?"

I know them as 'DOLLY SQUARES' and there are a few thousand recipes on the internet for them.

Basic recipe is melt butter, add crushed graham crackers, pound into thin layer in greased pan, throw on various chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, marshmellows, cereal or whatever, add sufficient condensed sweetened milk to barely cover, bake til golden brown on top. Once cool add frosting if you wish and/or hate your teeth that much.

Stupidly easy, highly addictive, freezer perfect and always a massive huge hit at workplace bake sales and potlucks.

2012 Jul 24
OSoloMeal ... Yup... that's it. Thanks !

Know I know what to bring to my next PotLuck.