Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Year Brings a Bonus to Saint Mary's: One Last Winter Community Luncheon!

Left to right are Cathy Hatch, Jean Sagara, Robin Comins Unger and Chris Keenan.
Live music is a big part of the popularity of Saint Mary's winter community luncheons.
The best part of having an extra day added to this Leap Year calendar might just be the chance it offers all of us to enjoy one last terrific “bonus” meal at Saint Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church on February 29th, 2020. That’s tomorrow, Saturday, from noon till about 1 PM or so, with a lovely meal prepared and served by some dozen or more volunteers, mostly from the church’s congregation. There is no charge for this wonderful meal, and all are invited.

This is a community luncheon intended to welcome absolutely everyone for a congenial meal among friends, both new and old, with Saint Mary’s stunning view of Provincetown Harbor as a backdrop, and live music for all to enjoy. It runs every Saturday during the Cape's two most challenging winter months for many of us: January and February. It’s easy to become a bit isolated when the weather might keep us from getting out and being among the humans, and this welcoming, community luncheon creates a great atmosphere for a little socializing, a lot of music, and something good to eat.

John Carroll and John Luftin made the best ratatouille I've ever tasted!
I hadn’t made it to a single lunch all season until this past Saturday, and had been missing a lot of the folks that I’ve always enjoyed spending a little bit of time with over the winter months.

Boy, did I luck out by catching a ride to the church that day...

Walking across the courtyard I could smell the divine aromas of this homemade meal from 50 feet away, and wonderful, live music was wafting on the air.

My nose led me to big baskets of crusty, really good garlic bread and a beautiful salad of mixed field greens, accompanied by the greatest ratatouille I’ve ever tasted! Saint Mary parishioners John Carroll and John Loftin baked several big pans of that delightful French stew simply brimming with fresh vegetables, in a uniquely flavored sauce that I hope to have the good fortune to enjoy again one day.

Dessert, as usual, was a lovely variety of baked goods such as cookies, brownies, lemon bars, carrot cake and the like, cut bite size so you could taste as many as you wanted, with a platter of these little sweets on every table.

This plate of excellent ratatouille, beautiful mixed salad greens and
great garlic bread was a real hit with last week's St. Mary's crowd. 
Besides great food, this weekly winter event always features live music, courtesy of two or three splendid Cape Cod musicians, together with friends they might bring along from various Cape towns and beyond, and sometimes featuring PTown tunesmiths as well.

Musicians from Eastham, Brewster and lands well beyond will venture out to the beauty of Provincetown on a cold winter's day, all for the love of the music. Diners and servers alike will often join in a sing-along, or dance to the music as it moves them.

This past week brought us Cathy Hatch, a dedicated regular traveling from Yarmouth to play guitar for us nearly every Saturday, along with Jean Sagara of Wellfleet, another regular, playing the fiddle. Our best wishes go out to John, another regular, at home, recovering from an injury and unable to play that day.
Cathy and Jean were joined by Robin Comins Unger and Chris Keenan, who both are frequent visitors to the Outer Cape, traveling from western Massachusetts to a little get-away in Truro as often as they can. They had brought their fiddles along. Each of these many fine musicians plays multiple instruments, and you never know which of dozens of strings, drums, percussion, woodwinds or others we’ll be treated to on any given Saturday.

We thank Saint Mary’s and the volunteers for another great season of food, music and comradery. The eclectic mix of friends and neighbors among the crowd, in the band, and in the kitchen, makes this a wonderful gathering for everyone, with the ambience completed by the view of magnificent Provincetown Harbor, seen from every corner of the dining hall at Saint Mary’s. This remarkable, homespun, weekly tradition should not be missed this winter, with your last chance for the season to join in the fun falling on Saturday, tomorrow, on Leap Day. Come join us in a good meal, live music, perhaps a bit of song and dance... all in a beautiful setting where everyone is truly welcome!