(Slideshow expanded with many more photos.) Once a year, members of this Burmese congregation dole out home cooking. The personal touch is everywhere in evidence: In the wrapping of the spring rolls, in the mixing of the elaborate salads, in the snipping of chili peppers to add a kick to just-griddled parathas. Many dishes are made to order, mixed by hand (gloved hand) immediately before serving for maximal stimulating freshness.
Dishes that have been prepared in advance can be equally engaging. Davoy kanut, shown here, is a mix ("kanut") of vegetables served over rice noodles. Its namesake, and the chef's previous home, is "an attractive town halfway down Burma's tail-of-the-kite south coast," Naomi Duguid writes in Burma: Rivers of Flavor. Nowadays it's better-known as Dawei. This rendition was well-supplied with eggplant, ladyfinger (that is, okra), long bean, and cabbage; young jackfruit and banana blossom were more difficult to detect. Finishing touches include fried onion, roasted sesame seeds, and two different chiles, one for heat, one for flavor.
At one time the fun fair was held in a canopied backyard. In recent years the event has been confined to indoor meeting halls, which afford a little less space but dampen spirits not a whit. For photos of many more items from multiple fun fairs, indoors and out, see the slideshow.
Myanmar Baptist Church Fun Fair
St. James Episcopal Church, 84-07 Broadway (St. James-Corona Aves.), Elmhurst, Queens
(The 2016 fun fair was held on September 3)