“How often does the Bible talk about folks gathering for a meal?” asks Mike Eppard, replying to why our Parish Breakfast is so important, important enough for him to have taken on its leadership for going on three years. “It is another form of communion (with a lower case “c”) within our church, a good place to get to know new people, to laugh, joke, and share great food.”
From 7:45 to 9 every Sunday from September through May, Chef Thomas Valenzuela—ably assisted by a rotation of parishioner helpers, including Eppard, Roger and Jeannine Rainbolt, Emily Swartz, Diane Dittemore, and Marcy Michelli — serves up a savory array of breakfast favorites. Chef Thomas has a loyal following, especially among those for whom he honors special requests. (No cheese on my scrambles please. How about lose the chocolate chips for my pancakes? Or toss in a few extras?).
Valenzuela, whose primary day job consists of cooking for a UA sorority, has brought some of the food sensibilities of his students into the St. Philip’s kitchen. Breakfast burritos, chorizo and eggs, and homemade tamales are among the offerings that are rotated into the menus, of course with more standard offerings of bacon, scrambled eggs, and home fried potatoes. And ALWAYS the pancakes. “I love to try new things,” he offers, “but I realize that a lot of folks count on certain items always being part of my menu.“
Breakfast regulars Herb and Sylvia Burton find Parish Breakfast “a total delight.” “It is one of St. Philip’s best ministries — what a great time to meet people,“ they effused on a recent morning. Gail Gregory added, “ I particularly love to see families together eating.” Choir members are happy that breakfast is available by 7:45 so that they can partake before their practice begins.
All are welcome, cordially invited to participate in this opportunity to engage in interesting conversation, and eat a hearty breakfast at a ganga price ($5 for adults, $3 for children) The coffee served is Café Justo, a fair-trade coffee that is purchased from Outreach and supplied by Peg Anderson. What’s not to love? We hope to see you in the breakfast line soon!
photos by Emily Swartz, Michael Eppard, Roger Rainbolt