There's a summer tradition in Durham dating back nearly a century, and it's enough to fill your appetite.
The Women's Society of Christian Service and volunteers with the have kicked off another year of their Baked Bean Suppers, an event held at the church hall at 6 p.m. every other Friday from late June through the end of August.
The suppers, which began in 1918, feature an array of home cooked caseroles, breads, salads and if you manage to save room — homemade dessert.
"This started many, many years ago in my grandmother's day," says Helen Pearce, recalling the days when her grandmother, Lavinia Davis, served suppers in the town's Methodist church. "All of this is homemade food. People come back year after year."
Volunteers have served as many as 125 plates during a supper, but average about 60 meals. While there are many familiar faces in the crowd, the door is always open to newcomers.
"We have people that come from all over, from North Haven and Guilford and Westbrook," says volunteer Karen Dyndiuk.
Tickets to the suppers are $8 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. The money goes directly to the church and recently allowed for the purchase of two stoves and a refridgerator in the church's kitchen.
Baked Bean Suppers will be held on July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 17 and Aug. 31. While the church hall is air conditioned it is no longer handicap accessible.