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Church campaign: Eat more ham

  • 20 July, 2015
  • Michael Morain

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If RAGBRAI readers didn’t see the signs for hamballs at the Our Savior United Methodist Church here, they couldn’t have missed Brayden Pritchard urging people to turn toward the church as soon as they hit town. With a dyed-red mohawk like a rooster’s comb and a rubber beak with a wattle, he shouted the church’s simple ad campaign: “Eat more ham.”

And when they said “more,” they meant it. The church’s motorcycle-riding pastor Deb Parkison hit the kitchen by 4 a.m. to help thaw and cook the 400 pounds of hamballs the congregation had started making and freezing two months ago. The secret’s in the sauce: tomato soup, mustard, a little vinegar and a lot of brown sugar.

Our Savior United Methodist Church members Rita Cue, Holly Witham and Kim Fryman load up another tub of hamballs.

Our Savior United Methodist Church members Rita Cue, Holly Witham and Kim Fryman load up another tub of hamballs.

“They’re pretty tasty little morsels,” said rider Jerry Sterkel of Waterloo, Neb.

Nancy Gordon of Dubuque was more skeptical, but even she liked them. “I’ve always passed on them,” she said. “The words (‘ham’ and ‘balls’) just don’t sound right together.”

Gordon rides with the Muslim women of Team Shirzanan, whose members also lined up for the meal. They had heard there would be pizza but struck out.

Proceeds from the meal will help pay for the church youth group’s service trip to eastern Kentucky.

Hundreds of RAGBRAI riders feasted on hamballs in the fellowship hall at the Our Savior United Methodist Church in Manson.

Hundreds of RAGBRAI riders feasted on hamballs in the fellowship hall at the Our Savior United Methodist Church in Manson.

Hundreds of RAGBRAI riders feasted on hamballs in the fellowship hall at the Our Savior United Methodist Church in Manson.

Hundreds of RAGBRAI riders feasted on hamballs in the fellowship hall at the Our Savior United Methodist Church in Manson.

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