Strawberries seem to be a Ledyard tradition with , a Ledyard business that began 100 years ago by selling strawberry seeds, and the Ledyard , which has been hosting a strawberry supper during strawberry season for as long back as anyone can remember.
The church's strawberry supper is actually a ham and been supper with strawberry shortcake served for dessert.
"The tradition goes back to the early half of the last century," according to church documents. "Over the years, several generations of church members have given their labor of love to enhance the event."
Supper history says that Anna Geer and Bessie Gray "were the primary cooks in the early years and their baked beans were the talk of the town. Their recipes have been carefully followed by succeeding members of the Women’s Fellowship."
Midge Holdridge suggested the strawberry shortcake dessert.
And this year, in the tradition of celebrating the strawberry, Holdridge's offered garden tours during the hours before, during and after the dinner. There was a buffet of strawberry desserts, punch and wine to complement the greenhouse that was in full bloom.
was at the dinner again this year and she said she used to come for the strawberry shortcake but now that she has strawberries growing in her own yard, she comes back each year for the full meal.
Anna Geer's Beans
1 lb. yellow eye beans or (kidney)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 small onion
1 cup white sugar
2" to 3" square salt pork (as lean as possible) - score the pork through the rind
Wash and soak beans overnight. The next morning, bring the beans to a soft boil - add soda when boiling the beans. When you blow the skin from the beans, they have boiled enough. Done't over boil - one to one and a half hours should be enough but ONLY UNTIL THEY ARE BARELY SOFT. Too much boiling will make them mushy.
Put into a baking pan - slow cooker works well - with all of the ingredients, putting the scored pork on top.
Bake at least 6 hours (325 degrees) covered.
Be sure to add waer as needed. Check every hour or so. If this is not done, the beans will also become very mushy.
Bake larger amounts for best results. Can be frozen.