Just follow the smoke

My husband’s coworker, John, had told us tales of the Grilling and Chilling event at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, N.C. for years. Always after the fact, leaving us to merely imagine the sizzling goodness.

This year, John produced “press passes” that served as our invitations. All we had to do was follow the cloud of smoke.

Food is a big deal at the church. I have to say, the potlucks I went to at the neighborhood Presbyterian church as a kid were nothing like this. For starters, there was nothing suspended in Jell-O.

Members grilled homemade Greek sausage with leeks, pepper-rubbed filet mignon and, of course, pork souvlaki with tzatziki. But there was also tandoori chicken with homemade chutney and raita, grilled Italian sausage with mango chutney, and Thai chicken with sesame noodles and cucumber salad. (The Thai chicken was marinated overnight in orange juice, red pepper, cilantro and natural peanut butter, the kind you have to stir up.)

John offered his classic feta burgers. (The recipe is here. Although he never makes them the same way twice.)

The event, held for the third year, started out of a desire to have more church events that were just fun, says member Mark Langford.

And the varied offerings? “People don’t realize that we have members from all over,” Langford says. “We have a lot of Serbs, Russians, even Africans and people from Eritrea. We probably have one of the most diverse church populations.”

See more photos of the event here.



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2 Responses to “Just follow the smoke”

  • Comment from Fr. Paul Christy

    Debbie, It was so nice meeting you. Thank you for your delightful comments. As you may recall I am new to this parish and oh how the Greeks love to show their philoxenia (hospitality) through their cuisine. It made me feel at home, although I must say I had to loosen my belt another notch when it was over!

  • Comment from Debbie Moose

    Thanks for having us! (And no one asked for our “press passes.”) You’ve only had to loosen that belt by ONE notch? You must not be really trying, Father Paul. : )

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