“It Ain’t No Step for a Stepper” | Why I Volunteered

Plus: my tried-and-true artichoke dip recipe.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Mahatma Gandhi

There are so many volunteer opportunities but, with limited hours in a day, one must pick and choose carefully. Because of this fact, I have narrowed most of my volunteering to two organizations: my church, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and the Friends of Dreamland Ballroom.

It doesn’t seem possible, but I’ve been a volunteer usher, at my church, for over 20 years! My service as an usher began accidentally.  I was (and continue to be) early for church, always dropping off a child or (in recent years) a grandchild who is either singing in the children’s choir or serving as an acolyte.

These days, my eldest son, Gray, sings in the adult choir. In support of his choir’s hard work, I recently, said, “Yes” when asked, if I’d get on the list to cater a small group of parishioners and choristers after a Sunday Evensong (and volunteered husband Grady, too.)

When our assigned Sunday came about, so did a special performance of guest organist William K. Trafka. The regular small service was promoted to a special service and the number of expected guests doubled! No problem, “It ain’t no step for a stepper.”

Grady and I are comfortable in a commercial kitchen, having met over 35 years ago at our restaurant jobs (he was the busboy, I was the waitress), but catering any size event always involves more work than you first think, especially if your an eternal optimist like me.

We did however have the foresight and common sense to skip church that morning and grocery shop. In the afternoon, we prepped and then arrived at the church around 3:00 for our 6:00 serving time. Yes, it took all day, but it was a productive day, which always makes one feel good. And as weird as this may sound, this volunteering, standing on your feet, and cooking for 50 people in some innate way, felt creative and therapeutic.

For those who loved my artichoke dip (and there are many), here’s the recipe:

Kerry’s Artichoke Dip Recipe

  • One can of drained, rinsed, and quartered artichoke hearts
  • One cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • One cup of mayonnaise
  • Garlic to your liking; powdered, granulated, or fresh

Mix ingredients together with rubber spatula, spread in bottom of un-greased 8×8 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees, 15 minutes, till lightly brown on top and around edges. It’s better to err on undercooked than overcooked. Serve with club crackers or Glutino gluten free original crackers.

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