Banana Croquettes, a KY Church Dinner Treat

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Have you ever eaten banana croquettes? Chances are if you’ve been to a church dinner in Kentucky, you’ve had the opportunity to give them a try. 

My little country church had Homecoming Day today. Once a year we invite everybody who has spiritual roots in the church to come “home” for a special service. That can be a lot of roots since our church was celebrating 201 years. In years past, we’ve invited former pastors back to speak to us, but since we’ve now had the same pastor for around thirty years, we don’t have a large pool of former pastors to pick from. So the last few years my husband’s Southern Gospel group, the Patriot Quartet, have been delivering the Gospel in song during the morning service. 

My husband has been singing in groups for forty years. When he started singing, most all the country churches in the area had Homecomings. They’d have preaching in the morning and singing in the afternoon. Sometimes there would be four or five singing groups. That could get looonnnggg! Especially when you had three kids to make sit quietly the way I did then. Over the years, the attendance at afternoon services shrank and shrank until most churches quit having the singing services in the afternoons. Now the group generally sings in the mornings and then enjoys the church dinners. Oh, those wonderful church dinners. You can see a couple of our church youngsters loading up on desserts here and that was just one of the dessert tables!

But those dinners have changed too. Now you see a lot more dishes cooked at Kroger and the chicken nearly always is Famous Recipe or Colonel Sanders or sometimes Kroger too. But when I first got introduced to Homecoming dinners, the chicken was skillet fried before church on Sunday morning and the cakes and pies were homemade. Country cooking – yum!! 

One of the dishes you could always find at a church dinner was banana croquettes. I love banana croquettes. I used to make them, but making banana croquettes is a lot of trouble and messy. Now I skip the salad dressing and just dip my banana in peanuts in an individual serving just for me. But at a church dinner you can sometimes find the real thing. Some people make a fancy salad dressing, but most people just slice the banana into sections. Sometimes lengthwise too. Then they coat the banana in salad dressing. (That’s the messy part.) Last, they roll them in chopped or crushed peanuts. (More messy part.) They don’t keep well, so you have to eat them all right away. I’m usually up to the challenge if I make it through the dinner line in time to snag any of them. We have a member now who always makes banana croquettes for our dinners. But today her dish got mistakenly put on the dessert table and most people missed it. But a couple of those peanut covered bananas were the perfect dessert for me. 

Have you ever made or eaten banana croquettes? Been to a country church dinner? If so, what was the dish you liked best? We had some great desserts, besides those banana croquettes. One an old fashioned chess pie. That’s what my son ate and he told his kids it had no food value, just sweet and good. But the value of food is not always nutrious. At a country church dinner, sometimes the food makes you remember. Like the wonderful lady gone on to celebrate homecoming in heaven now who used to always make two chess pies every homecoming day. 

Ahh, the memories food can give us. Hope my grandkids will have some good memories of Goshen Homecomings when they get older. My oldest granddaughter here did try a piece of cake that she said was the best chocolate cake she’d ever eaten. So there’s one good memory!