Tomorrow I start my new job as Priest at St. Philip’s along with assisting at St. Mark’s. Today, I say farewell to L.C. Taylor. Most of my time there has been doing tax preparation. Seven years and about 3,800 returns later I’ve certainly had my fill.
Of course, I’m going to miss the many people that I’ve worked with. I’m also going to miss the some of the food traditions that have been part of the job.
When I think of food and L.C. Taylor the first word that comes to mind is cake. Every birthday, along with several departures were commemorated with cakes. Below is a sample of just three of the many cakes I’ve enjoyed.
Along with the cakes there were also the wonderful office Christmas Lunches. Gathering around cake or around lunch was always a time for fun conversations. On birthdays, Bonnie, one of the trustees would take the lead in asking the honoree questions. These would be along the line of any tattoos? Every been in the back of a police car? FIrst boy/girlfriend? These conversations were always punctuated with much laughter.
Farewell, but Not For Long
Of course, working on the corner of Donald and Broadway had other effects on my eating life. It was while working here that I fell in love with food trucks. The first of course was J. T. Spring Rolls.
You can still find J. T. Spring Roll out occasionally at the St. Norbert’s Farmers Market, but like I am doing now, he has bid farewell to Broadway. Fortunately their have been many wonderful additions. If I were to pick my top three they would be Red Ember Pizza, On a Roll Sandwich Truck (no longer in business), and Poutine King. I even had a little fun around ManyFest time doing a set of power rankings. Poutine King rates higher on a personal level, because I’m not taking into account general public availability here.
It was pleasant last summer, to be able to order from one of the trucks and wander up and down the street or find a spot on a bench as I enjoyed my meal. While I am leaving L.C. Taylor, I certainly will be finding away to support the food trucks. As I told my co-workers, look for me on Broadway during summer lunch hours.
Not all my food experiences were as wonderful as my food truck ones. I fell in and then out of love with Thida’s Thai. I love their soups, especially when I get them spicy. However, too many times, I placed an order, was told I could pick it up in 20 miinutes, and when I got there had to wait another 20 minutes. 20 minutes waiting during a 30 minute lunch break is just too much. My final time came, when having gone through that process, they produced my order and it was wrong.
Yet despite this, my memories of food while working at the corner of Donald and Broadway are some very happy ones. I think my favourite will always be the fire alarm Starbucks run. Whether it was during a drill, or because certain people we shared the building with didn’t know how to make microwave popcorn without setting off the alarm, these trips across the street to enjoy a beverage treat courtesy of our bosses, always made those alarms a little more bearable.
So it is farewell for now to my co-workers, I’m sure I’ll see you around and about. It’s also a temporary farewell to all my favourite food trucks. I’m moving into the St. Boniface-Norwood Flats area with my new role as St. Philip’s parish priest, so farewell to one place and food experiences mean hello to another one.
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Holy Trinity Farewell
Yesterday, I wrote about my time at L.C. Taylor, and the ways in which food had helped to define my time there. Today marked another departure. This time from Holy Trinity. Holy Trinity Anglican Church was more than just a place I worked. I entered the ordination path out of Holy Trinity. When I wondered if I was on the right path it was the members of the parish who spurred me on. I am where I am today due in no small measure to the people of the parish of Holy Trinity.
Like a lot of churches, food places a major role in the life of Holy Trinity. Most notably is the Mission Ministry and its lunch program. Yet there were also other food events in the life of the church. Our annual fall supper, a traditional Thanksgiving feast with a Caribbean twist. If you’ve never done so, get yourself a ticket this coming fall.
Of course there were Sunday morning coffee times. Seniors lunches were also done from time to time, and food was a large part of the Alpha program when it was run at Holy Trinity. I also will never forget going out for lunch, in particular the times I spent with Merv the rector, and Merle, former parish administrator. You along with Henry, Leigh, Bruce, Richard and Bev have done so much to mentor me. These seven have been my main mentors, but many others have helped shape me for ministry. However, the best food moments for me at least, were when the volunteers working in the church cooked up lunch and invited me to join. I didn’t always do so, but when I did I knew I was going to get a great lunch.
Farewell Meal at Holy Trinity
Tonight, was time for one last meal with my friends at Holy Trinity. Fittingly it was a potluck supper, the quintessential church meal. I don’t if it was co-ordinated as far as who would bring what (I only brought my appetite), but there was a well rounded variety. As the pictures at the top show, there was nice blend of salads. There were a couple of appetizer type dishes. Then there were a wide range of entrees finished with a selection of desserts.
The pictures above don’t capture all of the dishes. Unfortunately it’s hard to fill a play and keep the line moving while taking pictures. While I didn’t get pictures of everything, I did sample and enjoy each of the dishes (the sacrifices a priest is required to make). Finally there was dessert. I think the anticipation of dessert left my camera hand a little shaky.
Along with the usual coffee and tea as beverage choices I also got to try some sorrel. You can find out more about it in the Wikipedia article about the plant it comes from. I found it very sweet, yet still very refreshing. Not the kind of sugary drink that leaves you thirsty after drinking it. It was a real treat.
Of course, church dinners are always about more than the food. They are a time for the community to strengthen the bonds of friendship. For me, this meal was a time to receive affirmation from the parish that did so much to launch me into ordained ministry.
This dinner was a reminder, along with the generous gift they presented me and the kind words they spoke, of being held by powerful bonds of love and friendship. A reminder that I don’t walk into my new position alone. I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. For that I truly give thanks to God.