The American Hungarian Friends of Scouting’s (AHFS) traditional Scout Banquet this year was again prepared to be Take-out only because of Covid. However, scout parents and friends started the preparations with even more enthusiasm. Before the last weekend of February 2022, the cooking took place for four days in the kitchen of St. Emeric parish. For the 9th time, Judith Gyorky organized this year’s luncheon along with assistant Krisztina Tábor. Judith took some time from the activities to answer some questions:

Judith, can you say a few words about this year’s Scout Banquet? The scout lunch is one of the fundraising events of the AHFS, the aim of which is not only to raise money for scout programs, but also to introduce Hungarian flavors and to strengthen the togetherness of the Hungarian community. Since we only had lunch to take-out this year, we missed the festive program, which would have included the presentation of our newly trained scout leaders.

We know there are wonderful new flavors on the table every year. What was this year’s menu?  Of course, we prepare Hungarian cuisine, this year the first dish was Hungarian mushroom soup and green salad with homemade dressing. For the main course, we made pork loin Hunter’s style garnished with bread dumplings. For dessert, we served apple strudel, which Louis Mezosi from Transylvania Bakery baked for us.

Sounds great, was it as delicious as it sounds? How many meals were prepared this year? Before Covid, when the Scout Banquet was held in the church hall, we cooked for about 330 people. The number for take-out was a bit more limited, 250 servings were made. And to answer the first part of your question, we’ve already received feedback that this year’s lunch was very tasty.

It was no small job to put together all this work. Was it difficult to recruit help? Not at all. Scout parents, former scouts, and even friends came to help. It’s true that this is serious work, but at the same time it is a very good way to pass the time and forge new friendships. Preparations and shopping had already been done, the kitchen work started on Thursday, the scout parents came on Friday, and boy and girl scouts, scout leaders and parents came on Saturday. In addition to cooking, the main work this year also included portioning and packaging.

What was unusual about this year’s Scout Banquet? Left out was having lunch together, the program, music, and the raffle, although the new leaders were honored and recognized during Friday night’s scout meeting. Covid left its mark on it a bit, but we feel conditions are starting to get better. Not too many lunches were delivered as an option, most people came to pick-up in person, and we also sold a few portions during the Hungarian School on Monday night. Many people thanked, praised, and appreciated the effort. We feel people are searching for community get-togethers again and they hope we have a “regular” Scout Banquet next year.

So be it. Thank you very much for your work and to everyone else who helped.