This blog is posted by "Elijah's Table," a joint project of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration (1 Hood Road, Derry, NH) and Etz Hayim Synagogue (1-1/2 Hood Road, Derry, NH), both located on Hood Road in Derry, NH. Twice a month we provide free, family-friendly dinners, which are served in a relaxed atmosphere. There are other organizations in the Derry, New Hampshire area that also offer free and delicious meals to the public. Please see the calendar on the right-hand side of this blog for a list of upcoming meals. And don't forget the offerings of the Sonshine Soup Kitchen (described on the left-hand side of this blog) and The Derry Salvation Army!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A cornucopia of blessings.

The Community Meals Network 's Thanksgiving Day dinner (held at the Church of the Transfiguration on Thanksgiving Day) was a huge success.  And by that I mean there was great food, great decorations, great music, and many smiling faces -- volunteers and guests. 

What is the Community Meals Network?  It is a group of organizations devoted to delivering free meals in a welcoming environment to the public.  Those organizations are:  Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Etz Hayim Synagogue, First Parish Church, Saint Jude Parish Community, St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church,  Sonshine Soup Kitchen, The Salvation Army, and West Running Brook Middle School.

And what is it all about?  It is not just about food, but about providing a community space, a place of the heart, where people can gather and enjoy each other's company and good will.

Here are some highlights:

Centerpieces and decorations made by Etz Hayim Synagogue teens and West Running Brook students.  Gorgeous!

The chef.  We couldn't have done it without you.

Volunteers arrived early to set up the tables, and made friends over coffee. 

Etz Hayim Synagogue teens helped serve.
Pie x pi.
A "Thanksgiving blessing mix" delivered by three angels (see below).
The early shift.  There were waves of volunteers.  This was the first shift.
The terrific young men who joined us for the day.
More wonderful young men.  The day wouldn't have been half so wonderful without you.
The three angels (see above).
Making butter patties.
Singing ALL THE VERSES to "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

Napkin Folding 101.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Memo to self: "Take a note of kindnesses."

I knew I should have written it down.  One customer said something like, "it was all delicious, from the eggplant to the dessert."  But I didn't, thinking I would remember her exact turn of phrase.  There is a lesson here:  take a note of kindnesses.  
It was a great evening, with great food and great customers.  Please join us at the Community Meals Network Thanksgiving dinner, being held at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thumbs Up For Trying New Things.

Hi everyone.  Last week at Elijah's Table, I served chili dogs without the dogs (but with the beans and cheese) -- among our other dishes.  I made the chili with three different kinds of beans, some veggies, and a whole lot of different spices and, to my surprise, no one was reluctant to give it a try and every last drop of the chili was eaten before the evening ended.  I love that our clients are willing to try new things. 

I'm thinking of making chili as the main course some time during the winter when its heft and warmth can soothe frozen toes and fingers, and serve it on baked potatoes. Let me know what you think.

BTW, we also had fresh salad, tuna salad, and fruit -- and a ton of dessert.  It was a really nice meal.

Thumbs up for chili dogs (without the dogs)!

More upward thumbs.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

This Old Community Dinner

A work colleague is a folk singer and composer.  One of his songs, "This Old House," is about his annual pilgrimage to a family vacation home where wonderful times are had and memories made.  I'm thinking of that song tonight, as I reflect upon my good friends who I can count on once a month to make our wonderful community dinner work.  See what I mean:

Below are some pictures from tonight (when, by the way, we had yummy buttery corn on the cob, delicious salads, cheeses, and dessert).  Tab down to the next entry to read about our upcoming fantastic festival and yard sale on August  23.

This fellow just decided to play some music for us!

Grandfather and granddaughter, and a box of cookies won at our monthly raffle.

A couple, and a couple dozen free bags of bread for their chickens.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Etz Hayim Synagogue is having a Fair and Yard Sale on August 23.  Food, music,  good stuff to buy, things to win, great fun.  A portion of the proceeds will help fund Elijah's Table.  Please join us, have a great time, and help keep this wonderful community meals program afloat!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We are the bestest!

Got home about an hour ago.  We had a great crowd tonight, with lots of new customers and a few new helpers.  And we had a great summer dinner:  wonderful Greek salad with feta cheese, pasta salad with veggies, garlic bread, tuna casserole, hard-boiled eggs, coleslaw, watermelon, and dessert.  One visitor said that ours was the best food of all the free meals available locally.  Another visitor said that we were the best vegetarian restaurant in town.  What wonderful compliments!  Please join us next time.

The Three Musketeers.

Maggie said we are the best vegetarian restaurant in town!

These guys drank A LOT of grape juice.

New volunteers.  They cooked, they served, they cleaned up, and they smiled the whole time! 

Thumbs-up for the home-made garlic bread.

The Elijah's Table "wave."
A patriotic couple.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let us spoil you!

It was a rainy Sunday, so we were happy to see a few new guests in addition to our returning customers.  I especially adored the two sweet kids who kept saying we were spoiling them.  Please join us next time: We WANT to spoil you.  You deserve it!

Waiting for our guests.

On being presented with various desserts:  "I'm being spoiled."

Sunday, May 17, 2015

ET rules!

It's Spring!!!  We've moved to a summer menu (noodle kugel, egg salad, salad, fruit), which people are crazy about.  (Our chef must put something addictive in the kugel!)  It was warm and bright outside, all traces of our brutal winter gone.  And warm and friendly inside.  So it was fitting that we had tons of sweets to give away to our sweet guests.  Please join us next time.  After all, "ET rules!"

Dad and daughter with chocolate chip cookie "door prize."

Two volunteers.  One of these guys is "Frank."

Two volunteers.  Can you find Frank in this photo?

Lovely ladies, with lemon truffle "door prize."

Sweet music.
ET rules!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring has sprung, and so have our guests!

Sixty degrees outside and we had a full house. Eggplant, tuna casserole, salad, cheesy broccoli, fresh green beans, assorted breads and cakes.   Piano music and door prizes (that is, free cakes).  Let's do it all over in May, okay?  See you then.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Vegetable Stall

The Vegetable Stall, by William York MacGregor (1884), in National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Hope to see you at Elijah's Table:  on the 12th at The Church of the Transfiguration or on the 19th at Etz Hayim Synagaogue.  There will be good food and great fun. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Our own kind of "March madness"

Hannaford is my new  favorite store.  The folks there donated a TON of bread and desserts to our community dinner and, after dinner, we had great fun giving away what we couldn't eat.  Thank you so much, Hannaford, for giving so much to the community!   

But, FYI, we didn't  JUST have cake.  We also had a fantastic meal, with wonderful fresh veggies and fresh fruit.

Some scenes from our own form of March madness follow.  Please join us in April.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Warm smiles.

I never know what to expect when it's cold and rainy: will the weather cause people to stay indoors, or brave the cold for the warmth of company and a home-cooked meal? I shouldn't worry because as one of our wise volunteers said tonight, "If even one person comes, it's wonderful."  We had more than one guest; we had a small crowd of people and these people have become our friends. 
Volunteers came out in full force.
A whole family of volunteers.
Lavender smiles.

Raspberry smiles.
Raspberry triangle cookies.
A wonderful volunteer (in red jacket) drove
these intrepid guests home.