Take-home meals popular at Wilton fair

WILTON – It could have been the stormy weather forecast for Saturday.

It might have just been a good idea whose time had come.

Whatever the reason on Friday evening, an offer from the Sacred Heart Church Fair Committee for a take-home meal, with a choice of soup or three entrees, almost sold out before it was officially open.

“We were offering take-home at 5,” cook Karen Grybko said on Saturday morning over a piece of her maple-pumpkin pie, “and sit down at 6, but people were buying and sitting down with it at 5. We were out of Swedish meatballs and chicken divan before 6:30.”

That might be a wake-up call, she said, “that 6 is too late to offer dinner.”

Grybko has been preparing dinners at Sacred Heart Christmas fairs for several years, but this is the first time the take-out has been offered. In addition to Grybko’s meatballs, Dan Mahoney prepared a chicken divan and Ron Curran a lasagna. Also offered were corn chowder and a curried butternut squash-apple soup, also prepared by Grybko. Dessert included several kinds of pie.

“Dan and Ron had both offered if I ever needed help,” she said. “So we tried it.”

On Saturday morning, only a few servings of lasagna and soup remained. Doughnuts and pie were being offered with coffee.

“It was really nice,” Grybko said. “A lot of ladies came over from the senior housing and sat down for dinner. Dan and Ron waited on them. It was really fun.”

On Saturday morning, the church hall was filled with the aroma of hot mulled cider. Mr. And Mrs. Santa Claus were ready, but only a handful of people had braved the snowstorm by 10 a.m.

On Friday, another new idea also proved popular. Linda Patterson was in charge of the Christmas cookies, and had asked each of her contributors to provide a dozen homemade favorites. Buyers could choose from the many varieties offered, to mix or match.

“It was kind of like an old-fashioned cookie swap,” Grybko said. “It was the busiest table last night. There were more people here last night than I’ve seen here in years. This is so nice,” she added, as she crossed items off her menu. “You always wonder if you’ll get anyone (to eat).”