At The Ta­ble With ... Carol Berger

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE -

When I walked in to Pthe ACS (Phoenixville Area Com­mu­nity Ser­vice) fa­cil­ity on Church Street at Gay Street in Phoenixville, it was like en­ter­ing a gro­cery store. The mis­sion state­ment of PACS is that it “strive[s] to end poverty in our com­mu­nity by con­nect­ing peo­ple in need with re­sources for food se­cu­rity, fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and bet­ter health” PACS, a 501(c) (3) or­ga­ni­za­tion, is al­ways in need of vol­un­teers, so if you have some free time, con­tact them. Food do­na­tions are ac­cepted — even a jar of two of peanut but­ter would be gladly ap­pre­ci­ated.

PACS pro­vides ser­vices to Phoenixville Bor­ough, Schuylkill Town­ship, East Pike­land Town­ship, West Pike­land Town­ship, Mont Clare and Oaks. At the helm of this very suc­cess­ful agency for the past 15 years is Carol Berger, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. She re­ceived her mas­ter’s in so­cial work from the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. Carol did her un­der­grad­u­ate stud­ies at Al­bright Col­lege in Read­ing.

While at Al­bright, she met her hus­band of 37 years, David Edle­man. They re­side in Sch­wenksville. David is in the ac­count­ing busi­ness. Both are very ded­i­cated to their work, each putting in long hours at their jobs. To­gether, they coun­sel a group at their church, St. Teresa of Cal­cutta Par­ish on Swamp Pike. The group is called PREP, which pre­pares fifth-, sixth- and sev­enth-graders for their con­fir­ma­tion. Both re­ally find this work quite re­ward­ing. Of­ten, they en­counter stu­dents from pre­vi­ous years who thank you them for mak­ing them bet­ter peo­ple. Carol and David be­lieve this en­deavor has made them bet­ter peo­ple.

Both Carol and David are the mid­dle chil­dren of a three-child house­hold. Their birth­days are two days apart, with Carol be­ing the el­der. On oc­ca­sion, she uses that as her play­ing card.

The ma­jor fundraiser for PACS is the 11th an­nual Empty Bowls event, be­ing held Nov. 3 this year. Last year, 500-plus din­ers had the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect from 600 pot­tery bowls. Bowls are do­nated for the event by pro­fes­sional artists and pot­tery schools, as well as in­di­vid­ual pot­ters. You get to keep your se­lected bowl with your soup served in other con­tain­ers along with a se­lec­tion of hearty breads.

On av­er­age, the PACS food pantry serves 325 each month, reach­ing about 1,500 house­holds each year. I am pleased to re­port for the 2016 Down­town Kitchen Food Chal­lenge — Af­ter the Hol­i­days Chal­lenge that PACS was one of three agen­cies to share in the bounty. Both Carol and David were a ma­jor help on the day of dis­tri­bu­tion.

With both so busy, the sub­ject of din­ner time is of­ten de­bated. Just re­cently, David stated that he­was go­ing to learn to cook, which Carol is all in fa­vor of — and hopes he lives up to his state­ment. She is def­i­nitely go­ing to en­cour­age his ef­forts. She knows he can do it if he sets his mind to it.

PA DUTCH LEMON SPONGE PIE

A fam­ily fa­vorite 1 tbsp. but­ter Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon 1½ cup gran­u­lated sugar 3 eggs sep­a­rated 3 tbsp. all-pur­pose flour 1½ cup milk 9-inch pas­try pie shell un­baked

Cream but­ter and sugar to­gether. Add in flour, lemon juice and lemon rind. Beat egg whites un­til stiff and set aside. Beat egg yolks, and with milk, stir into but­ter and sugar. Gently fold in eggs whites. Pour mix­ture into un­baked pie shell. Bake for 15 min­utes at 425 de­grees. Re­duce heat to 350 de­grees and bake for ad­di­tional 45 min­utes. Cool. Re­frig­er­ate — that is if there is any left.

En­joy!

Let me hear from you: ban jack 303@ ver­i­zon. net. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cook­ing with Bette Ban­jack,” as well phoenixvil­lenews. com (search bar: Ban­jack) for this col­umn. Find Bette on Face­book by search­ing “Bette Ban­jack’s Down­town Kitchen.”

Carol Berger

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