Pancakes to Polenta
Is the way to a successful fundraiser through the stomach? It seems so with all of the dinners, barbeques, and breakfasts offered every year throughout Sonoma County.
This time-honored tradition of raising money seems to appeal to that sense of cordiality that comes with offering food to guests who come to one’s home. Although these meals are not free, they appeal to another human sensibility, that of wanting to help others.
In this case “home” is often a town or Grange hall, a small community park, or a church side hall. The seating inevitably involves long tables with benches on both sides so that the guests eat communally. They are like family, if only for an hour or so.
Volunteer fire departments, churches, Grange halls, and a variety of non-profits put on these fundraisers. For instance, the Bodega Bay Grange just held their annual Crab Cioppino Dinner on January 17.
Pancake breakfasts, chicken BBQs, teriyaki BBQs, crab feeds, fish frys, spaghetti feeds, and polenta with beef stew or polenta with chicken are some of the most popular food fundraisers every year.
Don’t know what polenta is? Well, the recipes vary and there seem to be friendly disputes over the “correct” way to serve it.
Originally from Italy, it is made of cornmeal that is either boiled slowly or formed into pieces and fried. It can be served on top of the meat or alongside it.
If you want to find out how the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department serves theirs, there is going to be a Polenta and Stew Dinner on Saturday, March 27 from 5-8pm.
Pancakes are coming too! Who doesn’t like a hearty breakfast of hotcakes, eggs, and ham, and coffee, milk, or juice?
The next one out this way is being put on by the Bloomfield Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday, March 7. The firefighters and community members will be serving from 7:30am-12 noon in the old Bloomfield Town Hall (built in 1860) next to the station.
Fire Chief Bob Matteri said that the department of 5 firefighters, one truck, and one water tender has held many BBQs over the years, but this is only the second pancake breakfast fundraiser for them. He is hoping this one will prove to be a new annual event.
Then the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department switches from polenta to pancakes with a Breakfast on Sunday, May 16 from 8-11am. And let’s not forget Bodega Bay’s Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast on the 4th of July weekend. Get out there and eat!