The Last of the Season

During the week we made the last set of carrot cakes for the season. Heller did smell great at the end of the night. I will miss Father Vu stopping by to chat.

If you like math, over the six weeks, we used 170 cups of shredded carrots, 255 eggs, 35 lbs of cream cheese, and way more powdered sugar than seems possible. Since my recipe is Southern, lots of buttermilk was involved and even a touch of honey. AND of course love! Lots of Love!

As for Friday–the weather was amazing and the night went well. We served over 1200 fish dinners. For the Lenten Season, we served about 7000 dinners over the six weeks. All of this was made possible because of our great volunteers and our great patrons. Thank you for a wonderful Lenten Season. Happy Easter!

The Weekly Roundup

Behind the Scenes-We make the majority of our food in house and that includes the cole slaw. On Thursday nights a crew of dedicated souls comes in and peels, cuts, shreds and mixes carrots, cabbage, onions, special sauce, etc… Hundreds of pounds! And then like the mice in a Beatrix Potter book, they clean everything up and you would not even know they had been there (until you open the fridge and there is enough slaw to fill 1000 cups!) Watching them work you forget that this isn’t their day jobs. Tasting their efforts on Friday, you appreciate their dedication.

The Weather-Despite the Rain, we served over 1100 meals. In the drive thru we have gotten used to the rain and have adapted to it quite well. One customer quipped that we (the outside crew) were more penitential than the inside folks (we really appreciate our customers patience and their willingness to come out for a meal). Having said that, I am almost certain I am not the only one looking forward to dry weather this Friday…

Sharing Recipes-Each Friday morning during Lent we have a crew that does the potatoes. The potatoes are all washed and prepared (over 300+ each week). Several people have asked us about the seasonings that we use on the potatoes. It is 3 parts salt: 2 parts granulated garlic: 1 part pepper (the photo shows it before it was mixed). Yes, that container for measuring and mixing is kept each year!

We hope that everyone has a wonderful week. We hope to see you this Friday! (Our last Fish Fry of the Lenten Season)

Thank you St. Patrick!

What a lovely night! No rain and it wasn’t too cold! There was a very festive air throughout the Fry. St. Patrick interceded rather nicely for us (Perhaps it was because we put sprinkles on the cakes this week!). Simply put-a night of great fellowship and food! We served over 1000 meals!

This year we are trying to be more sustainable so thanks to some donors, we have biodegradable bags and some compostable containers. Apparently it has hit a chord with at least one customer to our fish fry. I received this last night.

Not going to lie, fish fry taste better in a compostable clamshell container.

Compliments to the preparers–I took the photos as they came out of the bags. Very photogenic presentation. And cheers to the cooks, fryers, choppers, and bakers.

So I leave you with images of the week-so many great volunteers and wonderful moments (and if you haven’t done the drive-thru–the parking lot crew is crazy delightful!)


One of the cool aspects of our FF is that we have both inside dining and drive-thru (apparently we made p. A-2 of the March 9th CH). The food is the same, the volunteer spirit is the same, but the vibes are different (in a good way). The inside is a little slower paced than outside and that makes sense. Last night in the hall, there was live music so folks could sit and chat for quite a while. Juxtaposed to the hall, we were serving cars in the Knecht Gym parking lot at quite a good pace. Freakishly good given the cold, cold rain. I didn’t count cars but by the end of 3 hrs, we had served 458 to-go orders and most orders were in an 1.5 hr period. The total for the night was 1091 (which includes about 90 volunteers). Honestly, when I walked in from working the drive-thru last night-it was a little surreal ☺️. It is a different kind of well-oiled machine.

When it comes to those we serve inside and outside, both have loyal patrons as well as those wanting to experience a fish fry. Whatever the preference, we are thankful to all who came and as always–all who volunteer.

This Friday is the Feast of St. Patrick and we will be serving fish! The Hall will be a little more festive and the cakes will be a little fancier. The weather is supposed to be rather lovely. So why not come on out or drive by for a meal–we will be here.

A Rainy Night in VA

Last night was the first Friday of the Month which is the day that our social outreach program distributes food to those in need. Fish Fry partnered with Social Outreach last night and was able to give meals to those who also received food assistance. So the drive-thru was a little busier than normal with some receiving groceries as well as fish dinners. In the drive-thru alone, we served over 700 meals! A huge thank you to all the very patient folks who did the drive-thru last night. We hope you had a positive experience. We appreciate your willingness to spend a little time with us on a rainy Friday night.

As always a huge shout out to our volunteers–last night was community and fellowship at its finest. Watching our drive-thru crew have so much fun taking orders and delivering meals–while the cold rain came down was pretty inspiring. It is such a wonderful event to part of–and we always need more volunteers.

Thursday–Getting ready for Friday’s all day rain. In order to fry-the fryers must be dry. All this was set up on Thursday. By 10 pm on Friday night–it was all taken down.

Friday Morning & Early Afternoon Operations-On Friday morning, over 330 potatoes were washed, prepared, and baked. Hundreds and hundreds of cups of cole slaw and tartar sauce were made, and so many stations were set up.

The Closing-As the last car drove thru the line, Dr. Austin Middleton, my favorite bagpiper sent us home…or at least inside out of the rain.

The After Party–It just sounded better than, “The Clean Up. ” After the last meals are served, everything has to be cleaned up and put away. This happens for all six weeks of our Lenten Fish Fry. We have volunteers who come in at the end of the night and wash dishes including bins that held raw fish. Others who mop all the floors, put up the chairs and tables, and take down all the stations. Our fry crew filters all the peanut oil (and whatever is usable for next week-will be saved) and cleans all the fryers.

So have a wonderful week and we hope to see you on Friday.

If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours. -Dolly Parton

Wow & Thank you!

Our 14th annual Lenten Fish Fry has begun. We served over 1200 meals. Thank you to all of our volunteers–you made that possible! It was wonderful to welcome so many new folks and reconnect with others. There are so many different jobs of which we have highlighted a few in this gallery. If Fish Running and Fish Breading were Olympic sports–Saint James kids would win.

We are also working on decreasing our carbon footprint. Working with our Creation Care Ministry and the Scouts, we have two new initiatives. First, we have recycling bins for cans bottles, and plastic (so keep a look out for those when disposing of waste). Second, we also have biodegradable and compostable to-go bags for the drive-thru. And since people always ask-we use wild-caught flounder.

Have a great week! We hope to see you Friday!

Our 14th Fish Fry begins this Friday

During Lent, let us find concrete ways to overcome our indifference.–Pope Francis

This Friday marks the 14th first Friday of our fish fry! Come be part of our community! Eat delicious, homemade food (donations provide support for community programs), Volunteer, or just Hang out in fellowship. Please note-you don’t need to be Catholic to eat or volunteer at our fish fry. All are welcome!

March 25, 2022-Thanks and Prayer

Friday was quite amazing. We were blessed with so many volunteers—some visiting from afar! Thank you to all of them! Our Blessed Virgin Mother was on the minds of many because it was The Feast of the Annunciation, a day for celebration. It was also a day of prayer to Mary. Around the world, including by the fryers, people took time out of their day to pray together a Prayer for The Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for Russia and Ukraine.

By the end of the night, we served 1395 meals. We have found our rhythm with the drive-thru and in-person. Thank you to all who made our fry part of your day. We hope to see you this Friday! For those who want to experience the best volunteer Fish Fry and tasty fish and fixins-please come!

Bill and Mary Beth, two of our fish bakers! Psst-the baked fish is really good.

March 18, 2022-Great Weather, Great Fellowship

Father Scalia takes note of Father John Paul’s fish frying skills. Scott just keeps frying and frying and frying…
And some of the hardest workers of the night—the fish breaders! Ella and Penny easily breaded over 200 fillets before their shift was over!

On the eve of the Feast of St. Joseph, we welcomed parishioners and members of the community to our fry. Families were able to hang out both inside and out. Some ate outside-picnic style. A few convertibles even had the tops down! It was a great night for community, fellowship, and positivity. May peace come to all in the world and the love and good of St. Joseph guide us all.

March 11, 2022-Before, During, & After

Before-Meaghan, our amazing volunteer coordinator checks in with the early crew;

During-Father John Paul takes a turn at frying fish;

After-Kim and Julie, the dynamic duo who keep us all going, start inventory just before midnight…

Thank you to the band. It was amazing! Thank you to all of our volunteers. We served 1303 meals. Finally, thank you to everyone who made our fry part of your day. May God Bless All of you this week and beyond.

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