Recent posts

  • That time we were so green about cooking mustard greens - About a year ago, we ended up with a last-minute mess of donated collard greens we wanted to serve at our takeout lunch ministry. We knew just who to call for guidance. JaNaé Swanson-Brown says she learned to cook her Southern-soul collards by first watching her mother and grandmother in Millen, Georgia, and then perfecting... Continue Reading →
  • After the shrimp creole, they were Valentines for life - “It’s not gourmet. It’s just simple.” That what Ann Low Reego said about the shrimp creole recipe she shared with us, along with a love story to make us smile. This dish really is easy to make, and the results are simply lovely – lovely enough to serve on Valentine’s Day for 47 years in... Continue Reading →
  • The community dinner of my dreams (video) - Remember community dinners before COVID-19? Those days will return, and I’ll bet they’ll be even more successful and appreciated. I saw this wonderful video from United Methodist Communications more than a year ago. A pastor in Toledo, Ohio, opened up his house to offer “LifeLine Toledo,” a big dinner ministry reaching people well beyond the... Continue Reading →
  • Surprised by the broccoli salad - A month ago, we went on a quest for a great broccoli salad to serve at our free community drive-thru lunch. Several tasty suggestions were shared, but we chose this recipe from the collection of a 102-year-old woman who lived in Kenbridge, Virginia. We didn’t expect all of our 90 guests to like it, but... Continue Reading →
  • 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 →

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