By Ginna Parsons
TUPELO – There was a time when the women at All Saints’ Episcopal Church were just about the only ones around who prepared frozen and fresh foods to sell to the public for the holidays.
But as more and more groups began organizing food festivals, the Episcopal women found they had a lot of competition to deal with, especially when choosing a date.
“Last year, to avoid other bazaars, we had the event on Oct. 27 and that was the same day as the Race for the Cure and Celebration Village,” said Mona Warlick, this year’s chairman. “Our traffic was down a bit.”
This year, the ladies – and gentlemen – have chosen Saturday, Oct. 19, for the annual Food Fest, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon in the Parish Hall at the church on Jefferson Street in downtown Tupelo.
Offerings will include frozen meat and vegetable casseroles, such as cranberry Dijon chicken, eggplant, corn pudding, broccoli supreme, sweet potato, chicken spaghetti, talarini and chicken and dressing.
“We’ll have all sizes of frozen casseroles, but we’re emphasizing smaller servings for singles, seniors and empty-nesters,” Warlick said
In the soup category, they’ll have vegetable, white chicken chili, gumbo, black bean chili and red beans and rice, among others. They’ll also offer a wide variety of fresh baked breads, cakes, pies, cookies, candies and dried soup mixes.
Once again, the group will be offering tailgating items this year, like grilled ribs, brisket, pork chops and chicken, an array of dips, black-eyed pea salsa, cheese balls and bruschetta.
“I think there’s a good variety of foods,” Warlick said. “The grilled meats are excellent. And we hope to have some appetizers available for tasting.”
They’ll also be selling copies of the church cookbook, “Cooking with the Saints,” as well as aprons and T-shirts.
One thing that will be new this year is the acceptance of debit and credit cards at the event.
“I think by accepting debit and credit cards, people will feel like they’re able to spend a little more,” Warlick said. “We shall see.”