About 220 paying guests turned out Tuesday for the annual Soup and Bread Fair at Carpenters Hall, a benefit for the Lucas County Health Center Volunteeer Services Program --- a really good crowd for the event, according to Linda Baines, program director.
If I counted right, there were 10 varieties of soup (11 if you consider the Historical Society's vegetarian version of its main soup --- taco) prepared and served by organizations that benefit from workers recruited and coordinated through the program. Some type of bread, cracker or chip was served with each.
If you've never been, guests upon arrival are issued a big plate and three small bowls plus a spoon. They're then invited to sample as many soups as they like, going back as many times as they like or have the capacity to hold. Carpenters Hall provides drinks and ice cream for dessert.
I'm not going try to pick the best soup --- although I'm partial to the historical society's offering and Bill Baer's squash soup, served up by Chariton Area Chamber-Main Street (above).
There's little doubt that veteran volunteer Martha Milnes was serving the best bread, her own homemade Swedish rye.
Kathleen Dittmer did the heavy lifting for the historical society, processing and cooking the meat and onions for our soup at home. Ann Moon and I met her at Carpenters Hall at about 8:30 and after a quick trip to pick up the heavy meat-filled roaster, assembled the rest of the ingredients there, where they simmered all morning --- in the big roaster, an overflow crock pot and another crock pot filled with the vegetarian offering.
Kay Brown and Rex Johnson were our servers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Kylie Dittmer and Jim Secor, from 5 to 7 p.m.