Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Linton Noodle Dinner As Popular As Ever

Father Joseph Erbacher, left, and Father Biju Thomas help Evelyn Erdly and Irene Skomp stir pots of noodles during the Nov. 2 noodle dinner at St. Peter Parish in Linton. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

In the middle of a sunny afternoon on Nov. 2, a steady stream of people came to the parish hall at St. Peter Parish in Linton for noodles. Many ate in; just as many, it seems, carried out enough noodles with beef or chicken – and all the fixin’s – to feed large families. As it always is during this annual fundraiser, business was good.

“We had a large crowd when we opened and through the lunch hour,” said Father Biju Thomas, administrator of St. Peter Parish and Holy Name Parish in Bloomfield. “It has slowed down some now, but we will have another big crowd for dinner.”

To at least one visitor, it seemed as though a good number of people decided to beat the rush and enjoy either a late lunch or early dinner. By 4 p.m., the tables at the hall were about half full of diners, and more were arriving.

To give you an idea of the reputation of the noodles, the members of St. Ann’s Alter Society who make the noodles and organize the dinner had set aside 1,057 bags of dry noodles to sell during the event. They sold out in about four hours.

Many folks buy dry noodles for use later – maybe at Thanksgiving or Christmas – but the full meal is this event’s real calling card. For only $8 per adult, diners get a huge helping of noodles with either beef or chicken; fresh coleslaw; green beans; a dinner roll; dessert; and a drink.

Full meals are available for takeout, and noodles are sold by the pint, quart or gallon. A bake sale offered tables of fresh baked goods.

“Every year, the ladies in the Altar Society work very hard to make this dinner successful,” Father Thomas said. “You can see how the community turns out. It is wonderful for everyone.”

Irene Skomp, who is serving her first year as president of the Altar Society, was quick to thank her predecessor. Evelyn Erdly had served many years as president of the group and, as a result, as the chief organizer of all things related to the dinner.

This year, she served as a mentor.

“Everything has been great,” Skomp said, “because Evelyn has been tutoring me every step of the way. This is a big job, and I was able to see what a wonderful job she did of organizing everything. I am very grateful for her help.”

Erdly said she looked forward to continue volunteering for the dinner in the future. “I’ll be here, the Lord willing,” she said with a smile, “but just as a helper.”

Beginning in August, members of the Altar Society gathered in the parish-hall kitchen three days a week to make egg noodles. Skomp said she marveled at how things came together.

“A few of us showed up a little early, but everyone arrived by 7:45 a.m.,” she said. And once we got started, everyone knew exactly where to be and what to do.” In slightly more than two hours – on every noodle-making day – Skomp said the ladies made 15 dozen eggs’ worth of noodles.
This year, the volunteers made 269 dozen eggs’ worth of noodles, which translates to 178 gallons. As in past years, the Altar Society donated 24 gallon bags of dry noodles to Linton’s First Christian Church for its annual Thanksgiving dinner, and they donated six roasters of noodles to the local Toys for Tots campaign for its Christmas dinner.