Nikolai and I have been toying with the idea of finding a church for months now.  Neither of us have regularly attended one since before our relationship started.  We talk about it, search google maps for churches in our area, discuss how we ought to go as we eat pancakes and bacon at 11 on Sundays, in our pajamas.  We make lovely plans late Saturday night, drowsing into sleep talking about where to go in the morning.  It’s been fun.  We discuss a lot of pros and cons to going, different theologies, doctrines, practices, interpersonal issues, etc., but my one big reason for going is: Potlucks.  If you grew up in a potlucking church, you are among the luckiest bastards on earth.  If you did not, I’m so, so sorry.  Church ladies know potlucks.  They know casseroles.  They know jell-o salads, cookies, pies, pasta salads, fried chicken, baked beans.  It all comes in an 8×10 pyrex pan, and it will all blow your mind.  The food combinations. . . the strings of ingredients. . . look, if weird combinations like mayo in chocolate cake upset you, try the casserole/salad/jell-o concoction before you inquire.  Then, when you’re deeply in love with the flavor, you won’t be as freaked out by what’s in it.

I myself have only a small selection of casseroles in my head.  I can freestyle pasta salad quite easily, but I leave the jell-o to the masters.  Mistresses?  Whatever.  I can do pizza spaghetti casserole, sausage and celery casserole, and chicken and broccoli casserole.  Variations on all of these are relatively simple, and the results are delicious and wonderful.  They’ll make you find religion.  Well, maybe you found them because of religion.  I won’t fight it.  But I have made a casserole today.  Not for church, but for a potlucky thing a friend is throwing together.  I am making sausage ‘n’ celery casserole.  It’s baking now.  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm