Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Conference Feast

Eva Aurora - isn't that a pretty name? - asked about conference food. Those of you who have been with me awhile, you already know.

Even during the brief period of my life when we had cable, I found that staying home to watch conference didn't really work for me. The children would wander off to play - they were much younger then. The house and all my many responsibities kept yelling at me. It was hard for me to really BE at conference.

So, almost for always, we have gone to the Stake Center for the satellite broadcast. We attend every session.

Even though we are only 10 minutes or so from the Stake Center, it also didn't work for us to go home and eat between sessions. Even before gas prices got so high. It took too much time to round everyone up, go home, fix something, eat, round eveyone up, and get back for the next session. STRESS, not rejoicing.

We wanted to enjoy conference. We decided to make a day of it. When the children were little, we brought "quiet" toys for them and let them play in the back of the room. Now, it's the grandkids in the back of the room. Traditionally, we ask them to come sit when the prophet himself speaks. As they grow, they start sitting and coloring or doing conference activities - listening for words and such. Eventually, they are sitting and maybe even taking notes, without ever haven been told they have to stop playing with Legos during church. We usually are in the Relief Society room with a tv instead of in the chapel. We want light for note taking - and not dark for napping!, room for the kids to play, and a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.

I started by packing lunch for just our family. One conference, my family was sitting there eating a nice lunch, including fried chicken when we noticed the missionaries with their Ramon. Ramon?!! I consider ramon akin to styrofoam with broth, although some of my kids seem to like it. Anyway, it was just so sad, and I vowed, Never again.

I started fixing lunch for my family and the full-time missionaries for between sessions both Saturday and Sunday. Nothing really fancy, it just takes me forever. I usually just bring sandwich fixings and let them make their own sandwiches. Traditionally, we have egg salad, tuna salad, ham , turkey, (presliced deli meats, not I roast and slice), cheese, lettuce, and PB and J. I also bring strawberry jello with sliced strawberries, a 7-layer type dip and chips. I spend a small fortune, but we think it is well worth it. On Sunday, I usually bring beans and wieners, too. My grown children in the area often bring something to the table too, even if they watched conference in another location. This conference we fed a dozen missionaries both days. We enjoy it.

On Saturday, we go around to a nearby park - if the weather is good. On days when it is wet or windy, and on Sundays, we eat in the multipurpose room next to the kitchen.

The old guy that watches over the building used to be leery of us, but soon he learned that we always leave it cleaner than we find it. Now, he is very welcoming and helpful. Of course, we invite him to lunch too, and sometimes he has something.

One ward used to entice their youth to morning session by fixing them breakfast at the church before meetings. It was hard to sit through conference with the smells still wafting through. I started making breakfast crossant sandwiches for my family so we wouldn't feel like we were missing out on something. Although WE eat ours at the beginning of morning session. I make them the day ahead. When I get up in the morning, I pop them in the oven to warm while I dress. yummy! We look forward to them every conference. It also helps get slow pokes out the door, because they know they will have breakfast at church.

I like to think that feasting on the food helps us to feast on the Word as well. My kids always seem delighted when it is conference time again. There were times when they were disappointed that when someone said "conference," they meant Stake Conference, even though Stake Conference means a shorter meeting than usual, instead of General Conference's 8 hours of church on the weekend- or 10 for the priesthood.


  1. Two blogs I read talking to each other... How cool! (Eva Aurora)

    Anyway... I have to plead some ignorance here... And since most of the time, I direct my LDS questions towards Eva Aurora, I'll make it your turn now...

    What exactly is Conference? I take it that it is something more significant that a "weekly mass" (ok.. I'll use Catholic terms that I am familiar with... I don't know if they coincide with each other or not..)

    Respectfully asked...
    The Father of five

  2. we are cable watchers. I was getting frustrated with the kids wandering, so we now pass out spiral bound notebooks, and comprehensive notes get prizes. Usually chocolate. I must say,it has worked for us.

    Although your way sure sounds much more fun.

  3. I LOVE that idea!!! I am going to adopt it for the April conference. It will take more than the usual amount of organization for me, but I love that the kids and grandkids enjoy conference because of all the work you have put into making it enjoyable. There's no question that hungry little tummys make it hard for children to be quiet and concentrate, and I want my kids to not view Conference with dread.

    I will also adopt pa(m)checo's ideas for the older ones, as well. Thanks for sharing those ideas.