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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit



As I read through White Oak Hill Free Will Baptist Church's new cookbook, "Fruit of the Spirit," I kept thinking of recipes I could make for homecoming at my own church in a few weeks.

The 160-page, three-ring binder book is packed full of casseroles, salads and desserts like the ones I'll find on the tables of the Free Will Baptist church I attend. And that's a compliment.

Quite often, I'll get calls from readers who want to purchase a local cookbook, usually a church cookbook, for a bridal shower gift, and they want some direction on where to buy one. They want to be able to share recipes from our region. This cookbook has the variety of recipes that would get a young couple cooking or provide some variety for those of us who have been cooking for years.

I wanted to make a salad to go along with my easy Sunday lunch, so I made Earlene Pitts' Fruit Salad. I knew it was similar to another recipe I make, but this new one uses vanilla pudding instead of cornstarch and sugar. It was so easy! I also added something new to this salad: strawberries. It was a delicious addition to our meal and was also good as leftovers Monday.

As you read through the 478 entries, you'll find recipes for salads similar to the one I made and casseroles made with broccoli, potatoes, squash or sweet potatoes. There's even a turnip casserole in the book!

Many of the main dishes are simple meals you can make after work including Green Pepper Steak, Walking Taco and Chicken Honey Nut Stir Fry. Others, such as Country Style Chicken Kiev and Chicken and Broccoli Braid, you can save for the weekend when there's more time to cook.

Of course, there are plenty of desserts. I'd love to try Marie Dew's Blueberry Tart. Her recipe is marked with a cross, indicating the recipe was submitted in her memory.

Judy Alford's Crunchy Brownies have mini chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, pecans and toffee bits mixed in. Don't you know that's delicious!

"Fruit of the Spirit" is a project of Women Active for Christ and costs $15. To purchase, call Teresa Medlin at 235-3287 or Sue Keeny at the Bailey church at 235-3868.

Proceeds from the book will benefit mission projects.


Fruit Salad
  • 1 (13 oz. ) can pineapple chunks (drain and reserve juice)*
  • 1 (6 oz. ) can mandarin oranges (drain and reserve juice)*
  • 1 (3 oz.) package of cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
Cook juice with 1 package of vanilla pudding (not instant) until the pudding clears, stirring constantly. Cool. Add pineapple, mandarin oranges and any other fruit in season (peaches, pears, melons, strawberries or grapes). Refrigerate.
*I used the next biggest size of both pineapple and oranges because I couldn’t find the smaller size cans. I used all the juice from each, so I had a lot of syrup to mix with the fruit. I added in two diced apples, a sliced banana and a cup or two of sliced strawberries.

Earlene Pitts


Chicken Honey Nut Stir Fry
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots, diagonally cut
  • 2 ribs of celery, diagonally cut
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
Cut chicken into thin strips and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine orange juice, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger; mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and celery; stir fry about 3 minutes. Remove vegetables and set aside.
Pour remaining oil into skillet. Add meat; stir fry until chicken is no longer pink. Return vegetables to skillet; add sauce mixture and nuts. Cook and stir over medium high heat until sauce is thickened.
Serve over rice.

Pam Deans

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