What do you do when you are suffering from a serious lack of smoked meat? You go to the Verboort Sausage and Kraut Dinner!
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon this and it has been something we look forward to every November.
Verboort has a big Catholic church that started this sausage and sauerkraut dinner many years ago. It has gotten really popular because the food is killer and you can buy the sausage and sauerkraut in bulk to take home.
You might think that a little farming community like Verboort and a fundraiser would mean this is a small and charming event. But folks are pretty darn serious about their sausage and kraut around here, I guess, because it is always packed and they sell out every year. It is a large and charming event.
You park in a pasture across from the church and navigate the holes and “piles” in the pasture to get to the church. It was wet this year but not nearly as bad as the year the pasture got so slick our car turned diagonally as we tried to maintain a straight line.
The church pipes music over the loudspeaker. As we walked across the pasture they were broadcasting Gregorian chants which just made the phrase, “Holy Sausage Dinner” run through my head.
The “dinner” starts at 9am and the people who show up this early are SERIOUS about getting their sausage! I confess, the last time we went, they ran out of sauerkraut and we were really bummed so we showed up at about 10:30 and got in line for the sausage sales.
It is a little hard to see in that picture but it is the end of a line that wraps around two sides of the church in the picture and down to a barn behind the church. It moved pretty fast but we stood in line for at least 45 minutes.
At this point, the music was switching between polka music and organ music. Bizarrely, one of the organ songs was chopsticks. They played it about 5 times in a row. I don’t know if someone was trying to win a bet or had lost a bet but standing outside a church listening to an organ version of chopsticks was not something I expected to happen.
The first year we came we had the dinner which is held in the school cafeteria. You have to get a number to even stand in line for the dinner. Once you are in, you sit at a cafeteria table like you are all 12 again. Volunteers bring you a dinner with a little milk. It was so weird to sit at one of those cafeteria tables again and eat with strangers but everyone at these things are pretty cool and game so the atmosphere is actually kind of fun.
This year we just opted to buy the sausage and kraut so we didn’t join the dinner later that afternoon.
Once the job of procuring smoked meat and pickled cabbage has been accomplished, you can hit the Bingo tent. If you needed to sample the sausage immediately, you can get some on a stick here. I highly approve of food on a stick. It is the best kind of food.
If you’ve been able to turn from the siren song of Bingo, you can check out the enticements of the gymnasium. One of the most popular booths is the potholder booth. It was so crowded I couldn’t even get close to it.
I find it entirely charming to see the basketball hoops above all the excitement.
If you are in the market for homemade cakes, pies, cookies, jams, breads, or pickled vegetables, you have hit the mother load here. I’m usually only restricted by the amount of cash I brought. Which is probably a good thing because, really, how much banana bread and strawberry rhubarb jam could I use?
Handmade aprons, pillows, crocheted treasure and beautiful quilts. The head spins.
The most important part of the mission was met and we have enough smoked sausage for the year (maybe).
It may look like we got a lot, but we are rookies compared to some of the folks who show up with their wheeled ice chests and gardening wheelbarrows.
The best part was trying to ask my grandfather if he would like smoked sausage for his birthday dinner. He couldn’t hear anything we were asking and my grandmother was very confused about what we were trying to ask. She was trying to help but all our explanations about what we were asking got confused in her message and resulted in her yelling at my grandfather, “DO YOU LIKE BIG WIENERS?”