The Orthodox churches in Johnson County Kansas each have wonderful festivals which combine food, entertainment, crafts, and tours of the church. I have attended all three bazaars and had the most fun at St. Petka Serbian Food Festival and Bazaar at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Lenexa, Kansas. Part of the treat was the excellent tour of the church's sanctuary, which was conducted by one of the cooks who was filling in for the priest.
The St. Petka Annual Serbian Food Festival and Bazaar started over 30 years ago as a very small bake sale. Over the years, the ladies of the church started preparing the pastries and other dishes at the hall. Little by little, the event got bigger and better. The festival is now fills an entire day on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and is attended by more than two thousand people from all over the metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri area.
My favorite dish sampled at the Food Festival was the lamb. The very generous serving was heavily flavored with garlic. Linda had serbian sausage and we both had side dishes: krompir salata (serbian potato salad with oil/vinegar dressing) and knedle od krompira (potato dumplings with sauerkraut and cottage cheese). Their flavorings were delicate, but I enjoyed both.
But the best thing about the food at St. Petka Food Festival are the Serbian pastries and breads. Not just the good fresh baked pastries, but also the unbaked ones ready to be taken home and frozen for later baking. The cheese, cherry and apple strudels keep in the freezer up to a year and come out wonderful when baked at home.
St. George has a smaller, food only Serb Festival on the first weekend in June.
copyright 2009-2013 by Keith Stokes