I have a great and nostalgic affection for the Friday night fish fry, having grown up in a good Irish & German Catholic family who loves their Lenten fish fries only a smidge less than they love praying the rosary, farming the land, and drinking a really good beer. The church was where you gathered to talk family, politics, and eat good food. It was your social network.
We have good friends here who try to hit a different fish fry each Friday of Lent. We decided last week would be our week to tag along, since I had a particular fish fry I was itching to try. The last time I sat in with the Food Critics on Walt Bodine, we focused the second half of the program on baking - and our expert was Father Craig Maxim, who is both a baking instructor at the Johnson County Community College and the pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawnee. When we spoke before the program, he promised homemade Hot Cross Buns at his parish's fish fry during Lent and he really didn't have to say much else. I was sold.
The fish fry itself was only $7 for adults & $4 for children under 12. It featured fried fish, fried shrimp, baked fish, and a whole host of sides from boiled potatoes to three-bean salad. The desserts were plentiful and the choices a bit overwhelming, but the star of the show had to be those Hot Cross Buns. Studded with currants and "crossed" with white icing, they were sticky and fresh and very very good. I had seconds and then, like a good Catholic, guilted myself out of thirds.
Sacred Heart Fish Fry
each Friday night during Lent
from 5pm - 7pm
at the Worship Center at Sacred Heart
21801 Johnson Drive in Shawnee, KS