The date is Oct. 17 and of course, the place is the First United Methodist Fellowship Hall, where dozens upon dozens of the best cooks around will have their very best hot and ready to serve for the occasion.
There are two luncheon seatings, one at 11:30 a.m. and another at 12:30 p.m. and church members are out and about offering tickets, but you may also visit the church office to reserve yours. Church office hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with the office closed from noon until 1 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Fridays. Tickets are $10 each.
There are so many favorite dishes offered each year, and this year is no different, said Martha Olvera, who’s one of the many members in the church preparing for the event.
It takes everyone working for the event; the men of the church as well as the women are very involved, helping in numerous ways, delivering dishes, doing the preparation work in the fellowship hall, the cleaning and of course, the ever important cooking, to name just a few of the tasks involved.
As always, the First United Methodist cooks aren’t stingy with their favorite dishes, and have gladly provided some of the best for you to try at home.
From Kaye Spears’ mother, Melba Hagen
Old Witches’ Magic Nut Cake
One 16 ounce pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Two and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Two and 1/4 cups sugar
One and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
One and 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
One cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
Beat together the first four ingredients. Add other ingredients that have been sifted, except for the raisins and nuts. Then add raisins and nuts. Bake in a 13 by 9 inch pan at 350 or until a toothpick can be removed clean.
One 8 ounce package cream cheese
Six tablespoons butter
Two teaspoons vanilla
One box confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Beat together the cream cheese and softened butter. Add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and beat until creamy. Spread frosting over cooled cake. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
From Martha Olvera’s mother, Mary Granger
Sweet Potato Casserole
Three cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
One cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Two eggs, beaten
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 half cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the following together for the topping:
One cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
One cup chopped nuts
1/2 stick margarine, chipped into bits
Mix together the first seven ingredients until well blended. Mix ingredients for topping together and sprinkle on top. Bake 45 minutes at 350 and serve.
From Valerie Cooper:
Orzo with Spring Vegetables
Eight cups chuicken broth
Four cups water
One pound orzo
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Four cups thinly sliced baby spinach leaves
One and 1/2 cups thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
One bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Eight ounces feta cheese
Juice of one lemon
Bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add orzo and cook according to package directions and drain.
Mix warm orzo with ½ half cup olive oil and set aside until orzo is coated, then toss with the spinach, tomatoes, olives, basil, nuts and cheese. Add 1/4 of the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. If mixture is too dry, you can add up to 1/4 cup more oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix lightly, but well. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to two hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.