Taco casserole for when you can’t hug

Like most of you, I’m separated from family during the coronavirus pandemic. Both of my adult sons live alone right now, trying to stay away from germs while struggling with the social isolation. One is staying in Chattanooga. One is in downtown Knoxville, right next to Church Street United Methodist Church. One is unemployed because... Continue Reading →

Sweet nativities in Kodak

Icy roads caused school to be closed on December 11, but that didn’t stop Kodak United Methodist Church from going ahead with its monthly community dinner. Pastor Melissa Smith says it was only the second time the congregation hosted “Kodak Church Night." Seventy people attended, including eight who are not church members. The idea is... Continue Reading →

A chili winner for the winter

Kendall Heath does not like “traditional” chili. So her mother, Staycie, took notice when her 15-year-old daughter came home talking about a white chicken chili that her friend’s mom made. Staycie found a recipe on a site called “Plain Chicken” that was such a hit in her family, she decided to enter the dish in... Continue Reading →

On pie and a pathway to healing

Tonight is the first time in a few years that Susan felt like doing a quintessentially autumnal ordinary meal photo, as she likes to say. Sometimes Susan and I think the ordinary things that used to seem fun and heartwarming will never hold any charm or interest again, with the losses we have undergone as... Continue Reading →

Making apple butter on Boozy Creek Road

Out on Boozy Creek Road in Blountville, Tennessee, something big happens every fall at Salem United Methodist Church. For the last 40 years, the church has made apple butter. But not just some apple butter. This year, Salem members sliced and cooked 200 bushels of Double Red Rome apples to make 450 gallons of the... Continue Reading →

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