The Phoenix Reporter and Item (http://www.phoenixvillenews.com)

At The Table With ... Carol Berger


By Bette Banjack

Thursday, September 7, 2017

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 he was 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: banjack303@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.”