Frozen In Time: Holy Spirit Bouja [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Frozen In Time" series we decided to escape the cold by warming up with a bowl of bouja.
Church of the Holy Spirit has been hosting bouja feeds for more than half a century. It's a fundraiser that started at St. Mary's in the 1950s.
Bouja is soup that contains carrots, lettuce, celery, potatoes, onions, beans, chicken, pork and beef. It's made by the gallon in large kettles the church bought from the St. Cloud Prison. When the bouja feed first started the soup was boiled in an outdoor cauldron above a wood fire.
A typical 300 gallon recipe calls for about 600 pounds of potatoes, 200 pounds of cabbage and 150 pounds of carrots.
More than 20 volunteers cut, peel and chop the vegetables and meet for the soup. The event has become so popular that the church dedicated a small building for the sole purpose of making bouja. The regulars know it as the "Bouja Shack" located next to the parking lot of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School.
There are many volunteers who have been helping with the event for decades. Henry Cash is a longtime volunteer who started in 1958. He says he's noticed a trend, "it sells a lot better when it's cold."
The bouja feed happens about 13 times each year. Don Sauer is a bouja pioneer. He says, "we do it five times in spring and eight times in fall."
The church typically raises about $20,000 from the event in the fall and between $7,000-$8,000 in the spring.
Sauer says they usually have people lined up waiting for the bouja with gallon pails. The next Holy Spirit Bouja is slated for March 16th.