(From left) Fran Nappier, Paula Mattix-Wand and Ray Meyer are three of the Our Lady Queen of Peace chefs helping to put together the annual Smorgasbord Dinner Dec. 6 in the school gymnasium.
BETHALTO — Three of the Our Lady Queen of Peace “top chefs” are preparing for the upcoming Smorgasbord Dinner from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the school gym at 132 Butcher St.
Chef Fran Nappier is a retired professional cook responsible for the multiple “kitchens” of the smorgasbord. She volunteered to be responsible for ordering the food for the entire dinner; turkey, dressing, fried chicken, pigs-in-the-blanket, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, tossed salad, desserts and beverages and all of the paper products, plates, cups, napkins, silverware and carry-out containers.
Fran also is responsible the many “kitchens” needed to prepare all of the food.
Chef Paula Mattix-Wand and her Team Dressing group, as she calls them, will be spending two days preparing the 12 steam table-size pans of dressing. Paula and her team have been making the dressing for the past seven years. Team Dressing will spend one day preparing two of the ingredients for the dressing; the day of the smorgasbord, they will be in the church kitchen for seven hours making and baking the dressing.
Chef Ray Meyer and his team of four men from the Bethalto Knights of Columbus will fry 495 pounds of chicken according to a “secret recipe” that took two years to perfect. Meyer has been cooking for more than 40 years, with 25 of those years spent cooking for the Knights. He loves to share his cooking tips with anyone who asks, except of course, for the much- guarded Knights of Columbus chicken recipe.
Adult dinners are $12, child dinners (5 to 10 years) are $5, and kids younger than 5 are admitted free. Eat in or carry–outs are available.
In addition to the dinner, there will be a Christmas Craft Bazaar with numerous handcrafted items, made by a group of talented parish volunteers.
A handmade quilt and a handmade Christmas tree skirt have been donated by the OLQP Sewing Ladies. There is also a handmade afghan donated by a parishioner. These will be raffled off the day of the smorgasbord and are being sold one ticket for $1 or six tickets for $5.
$1 raffle tickets with a first prize of $500, a second prize of $250, a third and fourth prize of $100 and a fifth prize of $50 will also be available for purchase.
This year’s Smorgasbord Dinner & Bazaar is being orchestrated by a committee of six volunteers; Dan and Martha Smith, Tim and Linda Zacha, Fran Nappier and Maryjo Flaherty.