Recent posts

  • First taste of fall: Sweet Potato-Chocolate Chip Cookies - I’m on a small team of people who run a food ministry in north Knoxville, Tennessee. Our friend Marci Villanueva created these cookies because we need to use up sweet potatoes stored in our freezers, but also because we wanted to provide dessert a little special for last Saturday’s free takeout lunch. The sweet potatoes... Continue Reading →
  • Today, Shades of Grace served its 10,000th meal since March 13 - August 27, 2020 As the people lined up for their breakfast this morning in an alley, Shades of Grace United Methodist Church quietly celebrated 10,000 meals served since the pandemic became a reality in Kingsport, Tennessee. “We’ve never missed a single day of serving,” said the Rev. Will Shewey, even though COVID-19 forced Shades of... Continue Reading →
  • Breakfast in Bishop: Feeding 120 people on a shoestring - For the first time since the pandemic started in March, I went on an overnight work trip last week. I visited Alexander Memorial United Methodist Church, where every Thursday a small team led by Pastor Daniel Bradley cooks and delivers hot meals to hungry neighbors in and around Bishop, Virginia. The church struggles financially. Last... Continue Reading →
  • Love lemon? This whippersnap is for you - In our last post, we shared a new feature on our denominational website, Our United Methodist Table, and a vintage recipe for Potato Puffs. Here’s another vintage recipe — from 1978 and Macedonia United Methodist Church in North Carolina — for Lemon Whippersnaps. Let us know if you try it! You may reach me directly... Continue Reading →
  • Ode to church cookbooks - Oh, how I love those sacred recipes from covered-dish dinners and bake sales of lore, where many are gathered with plastic comb binders and the culinary saints whose names are preserved on the pages will be blessed from tabletops for generations to come. Just kidding, sort of. I have loved cookbooks since my 20s, when... Continue Reading →
  • Alone in a greenhouse: Time that nourishes - The Henderson Settlement campus is nearly empty this summer. But tucked away in one of five greenhouses is Casey Smith with a water hose. She’s nurturing the vegetables and greens she planned and planted before everyone realized the pandemic is going to stay awhile. “God gives me the ability to do it,” she says. “I... Continue Reading →
  • The memory-making power of Dad’s skillet - Eston Boles was a great cook, his daughter remembers. He had to be, because he was the eldest of 13 children born to tenant farmers in Spring City, Tennessee. “His mother taught him to cook to help her,” says his daughter, the Rev. Sherry Boles. When Sherry’s parents married, they moved to Chattanooga, but Eston... Continue Reading →
  • Chaos, forgiveness, and great burgers - It took me all week to write this, because I was ashamed. On Sunday night, we resumed our “Second Sunday Dinner Party” after canceling it for two months due to COVID-19. This dinner was so, so different than the monthly meals our friends and I have prepared since December 2018. The obvious difference is fear... Continue Reading →
  • How the little girl in the photo became a cake decorator - You could say Alex Shelton has a bun in the oven, but for the moment, she’s taking a break from baking cakes. That’s because this talented cake decorator is expecting her second child, Sophia Grace, on June 18. She’s staying off her feet until the baby comes, yet the requests for sugary fantasies have not... Continue Reading →
  • So we got your attention? - It’s been a while since we posted about chocolate gravy from Camp Lookout. Several people responded, saying they have great memories of chocolate-infused Southern breakfasts. We reached out to three of them to find out more. Click here for the chocolate gravy recipe. Soppin’ chocolate “My grandmother used to call it ‘soppin’ chocolate,’” said Bernice... Continue Reading →

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