Peters Library hosts potluck dinner featuring local foods

Published Aug 5, 2013 at 11:22 am (Updated Aug 5, 2013 at 11:22 am)

The focus was on locally-grown fruits and vegetables at the fourth-annual local foods potluck dinner held Aug. 2 at the Peters Township Public Library. The yearly event is hosted by the Cooking Club and Go Green club, although anyone in the community was welcome to attend.

“People look forward to this every year,” said Jennifer Garrett, president of the library’s Go Green Club. She said it seems to be the one event people return to every year. She said the concept of the dinner is simple: “Pick a vegetable or fruit and make something.”

This year, 14 different dishes, most prepared with foods from either the garden or local farmers markets, lined the tables at the library and were quickly devoured by around 20 attendees.

Garrett and her husband, Chris Umbel, made what she called “deconstructed stuffed peppers,” as well as zucchini bread made with zucchini from Umbel’s cousin’s garden.

For the peppers, Garrett sliced up some sweet and hot peppers from a local farmers market and topped them with sausage and cheese and baked them on a sheet pan.

Pam Kuhn of Peters Township made a variation of an Italian Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, mozzarella and green peppers for the potluck dinner.

“I’m half Italian,” she said, adding that the ingredients for her salad came from a local farmers market and she picked the basil from her own garden.

Judi Caplan of Chartiers Township made a crustless zucchini torte with eggs, cheese and wild chanterelle mushrooms. She said the zucchini came from her neighbor’s garden. “I shop there,” she joked.

“I love potluck suppers,” said Phyllis Permar of Peters Township. Permar brought pickled beets she grew and canned herself and hard-boiled eggs to the dinner.

Bunny Schorr of Mt. Lebanon made “Aunt Faye’s stuffed cabbage” for the potluck.

“The recipe’s been in my family for 70 years,” she said, adding that she stuffed Savoy cabbage with a mixture of beans and rice and topped it with a homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Frank Chacko of Washington deviated from the fruits and vegetables theme for the night and made what he called a “fast and easy meatloaf.”

“I was in a quandary for what to make,” Chacko said, recognizing that the theme of the night was locally-grown foods, but he said, “Everyone else was bringing vegetables so I thought it’d be nice to have some meat.”

Judie Burrows of Mt. Lebanon came to the potluck dinner for the first time this year.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. Burrows made a salad with yellow tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, almonds and a vinaigrette dressing.

Brenda Moore of Peters Township found a different use for zucchini. She said one of her neighbors gives her zucchini every year and she always has a lot of it. This year, she made a curried zucchini soup from a recipe she found in a book at the library.

“Zucchini this time of year is really coming on,” she said.

No potluck dinner would be complete without dessert. Mary Tauffer of East Washington brought chocolate covered strawberries. She said she made them by melting German chocolate into which she dipped fresh strawberries purchased from a farmers market. She then finished them off with black and gold sprinkles.

For more information on the library’s Cooking Club and Go Green Club, visit

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