Eternal Gender Rolls

Presiders get their nourishment from cornmeal dusted kaiser rolls.  Nurturers enjoy mini-croissants.

You might ask how I have learned this mystery of the kingdom, and I would answer:  through the careful observation of traditional rolls in the church.  Now and then the men in my ward decide to do something nice for the women.  Maybe it is Enrichment night, maybe it is the Relief Society birthday party.  The occasion doesn’t matter, because the menu is invariably the same:  mini-croissants filled with chicken, grape, and cashew salad, served with cut fruit, with small brownies about 1 inch square for dessert.  This dinner always takes place in the gym, and we menfolk set up the round tables with nice tablecloths and china brought from home.  

Sometimes the Relief Society returns the favor, and prepares a nice meal for the men of the ward.  The venue is the nursery room (presumably because that is where messes are allowed, and where one feeds and waters people who smush goldfish crackers into the carpet).  We sit at long tables covered with paper, and queue up in the chow line to serve ourselves on paper plates.  We get kaiser rolls onto which we fork great heaping quantities of smoked beef brisket drenched in barbecue sauce.  We serve ourselves potato salad and cole slaw, dipped directly from the tub it was bought in.  Dessert is make-your-own ice cream sundaes, and nobody counts the scoops.  

Since this has been the tradition for as long as I can remember, it is safe to say that this is how it always should be.  I expect to eat barbecue on a kaiser roll for time and all eternity.



  1. You guys actually have PH activities? Wow? Sounds fun.

  2. Yeah, here in NTexas, priesthood activities are restricted only to basketball, illicitly conducted when there’s a free slot in the building (which availeth the non-players nothing).

  3. Queno,

    I know about those illicit games at the K building. H Stake pretty much banned BBall last year. We have not had a PH activity locally for a few years now.

  4. Bill Anderson says:

    We always use our entire PH activity budget on the yearly thanksgiving dinner for the ward. Who knew it could be used for quorum activities?

  5. Stephanie says:

    Mark, I think the part you missed about this is that in both cases, it is actually the women who plan, purchase and prepare the food. :)

  6. Oh, timely post! Friday night the Presiders are fixing the RS birthday dinner for the Nurturers in our ward- the meal? Smoked beef brisket and potatoes…

    Evidently, they crossed their wires somewhere. :D

  7. sister blah 2 says:

    #5–Indeed. Few things in the church seem less plausible than men all having a secret much-practiced favorite recipe for chicken salad sandwiches. And I’m including the Flood and 6-literal-day creation.

  8. Stephanie,

    True. But only because those tasks are delegated.


    I am shocked and appalled, etc. What’s next, unisex bathrooms?

  9. Sisters, please. Give us men a break. Although we are genetically incapable of nurturing, we can read a recipe. I have personally made the chicken salad for the mini-croissants.

  10. Jennifer in GA says:

    I made chicken salad (but with pecans) on mini-croissants to feed the multitude of family and friends who were in town for my daughter’s baptism just yesterday. And I had at least ten guys come and tell me how much they loved it. ;)

  11. Wow. All these different kinds of rolls sound pretty fancy. When I was elders quorum president, we would have three or four activities during the year, but we prided ourselves on having a minimal amount of preparation, decoration, and organization (read: we didn’t have the women do anything). I think we once had pulled pork on hamburger buns with sesame seeds. Now, that was fancy.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Mark IV, I have honestly never seen the men do it in either of my last two stakes. Perhaps I should move to your stake . . .

  13. Researcher says:

    With all my years in Relief Society, I’ve never had chicken salad with mini croissants OR made brisket for the brethren of the ward. And one-inch square brownies? Never seen ’em. Now I feel like I’ve missed some religious ritual. Thanks a bunch. Might as well give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice in.

    By the way, we were invited to a ward event when we were traveling in the UK and everyone brought a quiche or a sponge cake. No gender rolls there!

  14. mini-croissants filled with chicken, grape, and cashew salad

    GAG. I have no idea how this dish became a staple in the church. It must be in one of the leadership manuals that wards have to serve this abomination at every activity that aspires to be described as “classy, or “elegant”. Maybe I’m missing something – is the old chicken-grape-nut combo universally loved by LDS women?

    I mean, we’re eating on a basketball court here. How about hamburgers?

  15. In all the wards I have been in, the only priesthood activities we could get away with were work parties i.e. moving the Brown’s or doing yard work for Sister Jones.

    We tried to plan a EQ activity once but nobody could get out of the house without the wife. If you bring the wife you have to bring the kids too so people without babysitters aren’t left out. If you bring the wife and kids it is pretty much a ward party. If it is going to be a ward party you might as well leave it up to the activity committee.

    EQ budget is also only $50 for the year. It is pretty hard to pull something off with that slim of a budget.

  16. Maybe I’m missing something – is the old chicken-grape-nut combo universally loved by LDS women?

    I don’t know about universally, but I love it. Also those Costco brownie bites. Mmmmm.

    Strangely, I don’t remember the men of the ward ever putting on a dinner for us women, or vice versa. : /

  17. No comments on gender rolls, but the grape/chicken salad things are rampant here in the Puget Sound as well. Given the alternatives of my youth, however, it sounds good. All we ever had were funeral potatoes, green Jello, and red Mormon punch.

    # 13 & # 16, could be talking about different brownies. The Costco brownie bites are round, but delicious to the taste, and desirable above all other Costco baked goods.

  18. Struwelpeter says:

    When I was an Elders Quorum President, I proposed as a ward activity a “Battle of the Chefs” amongst the three culinary experts in the quorum, one the owner of a Southern BBQ restaurant, one the former chef at a high-end Mexican beach resort, and the other a chef at a very good Chinese restaurant. The men of the ward counsel thought it would be great but the women rejected it as threatening to the self-esteem of the sisters of the ward to find out that their domestic sphere was being so successfully invaded. There was so much wrong with that objection that I didn’t know where to begin.

  19. Then there are the other gender rolls; the ones that on women often settle under the belly button and under the bra strap, and on men are usually seen over the belt.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for the lovely visual, Idahospud.

  21. Oh Spud! Too funny! And oh so true…