International Dinner benefits youth with a mission

World meal served March 3 in Auburn
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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Fare from around the world is featured Saturday in Auburn, when First Congregational Church presents its sixth annual International Dinner.

More than 20 countries will be represented, with church members serving dishes from China, Portugal, Jamaica, Greece, India and more. Courtney Lamb, 15, is making Mulligan stew with her family. She describes it as “a mix of pretty much anything they might have had in their refrigerator,” and looks forward to representing her own Irish heritage.

“It’s fun because you get to learn about all the different countries and their cultures, and you get to feel like you know a little more about the world – and it’s all in one place,” Courtney said.

Each table will be decorated according to country, and youth leader Mariah Callison said the hall will be covered with an array of flags.

The event has grown in its six years, and Callison recommends coming early, as it gets pretty crowded as people settle in for an evening of food and fun.

“We have entertainment, too,” she added. “We have belly dancers, we have this incredible family of fiddlers, and then clog dancers. People will come and they’ll eat, and then who wants to leave?”

The dinner will benefit the Senior High Youth Group, which this year will send seven teens to Chicago for the National Youth Event at Purdue University. The conference draws church leaders and thousands of youth every four years. Before the conference, the teens will have several days of service work, such as volunteering in homeless shelters or cleaning up parks.

Previous International Dinners have helped send youth to Costa Rica, New Orleans and on service projects throughout California. Ally Crow, 16, went to Costa Rica with the group in June 2011. While there, they helped repaint a teenage mothers’ home and volunteered at a homeless shelter for mentally disabled men.

“It really opened my eyes to how different countries live,” Ally said. “It means more than anything to be helping somebody and see the look of appreciation on their face.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at



International Dinner

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 3

Where: First Congregational Church, 710 Auburn Ravine Road, Auburn

Cost: $12 adults (no-host bar); $6 children under 12; under 5 free. Ticket price includes 10 samples (five with children’s ticket). Additional sample tickets $1

Tickets: Jan Waaler, (530) 320-8112 or



Cabbage burgers

Kierstin Riley, 14, Rocklin, will serve this dish at the International Dinner in honor of her German heritage and in memory of her grandmother, Ester Riley. Kierstin said making this dish using her recipe has become a tradition. “We make them every Christmas – it’s just something that’s a lot like comfort food, but it’s better than that because you know it’s part of your heritage.”


One large head cabbage

1 pound ground beef

1 pound lean ground pork (or another pound ground beef)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

Two boxes hot roll mix

Onion and garlic to taste (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut cabbage into shreds about ¼-inch thick, place in large pot, drizzle with oil. Cook on medium to low heat until transparent. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook meat with onion and garlic (optional), drain and mix with cabbage.

Follow directions on dinner roll mix. Roll dough out to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Cut into 4- to 6-inch squares. Place 2 heaping tablespoons cabbage mixture on each . Pull sides across and pinch sides together.

Lay face-down on ungreased pan, lightly butter tops, bake at 350 degrees until brown (about 20 minutes).