Dining With Denise Neil

Get all the German sausage and pie you can eat

Get your fill of German sausage, sliced roast beef and more at Sunday’s German Sausage Dinner at St. Joseph Catholic Parish.
Get your fill of German sausage, sliced roast beef and more at Sunday’s German Sausage Dinner at St. Joseph Catholic Parish. Tribune

When you’re finally corned beef and cabbaged out this weekend, a Wichita church will be waiting to feed you a non-Irish meal.

St. Joseph Catholic Parish, a church with an attached school at 132 S. Millwood, will be putting on its 57th German Sausage Dinner on Sunday, offering sausage, sliced roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, sliced bread and pie as far as the eye can see.

The meal is served family-style, and church volunteers will keep bringing food until their guests are full.

The dinner, the church’s biggest fundraiser of the year, usually draws around 2,000 people.

“It’s a big deal,” said dinner volunteer Mike Irvin. “It’s one of the main fundraisers to keep the school going.”

People who attend the dinner, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, also are invited to take part in some old-fashioned church carnival games at the school gym across the street, including a ring toss, a fish pond and a game that lets people spin a wheel and win a cake.

The parish is 130 years old, Irvin said, and the dinner was started by a group of church ladies who would cook all the sausage and roast beef at home. These days, groups of volunteers cook all the meat at the church, and they’ll start on Friday, filling the air in Delano with succulent smells.

One problem: The church likes to schedule the dinner on the Feast of St. Joseph, which just so happens to fall during NCAA Tournament time every year. It’s affected attendance in the past, Irvin said, so this year, the church is fighting back by installing television sets in the parish center so people can keep up on the games.

Adult dinners will cost $10, and kids 5 to 12 will be $5. Under 5 is free.

Like all self-respecting church dinners, St. Joseph also offers a drive-through. People can get meals to-go by pulling up at the back of the church.

“They’re Styrofoam holders with everything loaded in there: pie, bread – even knives and forks,” Irvin said.

Pattie Durham makes sausage with the help of Chop Shop's Derik Spears. Teams are making sausages for Bloktoberfest that happens Saturday at Union Station and Durham is representing the clothing store she owns, Mode. (October 4, 2016)

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