Holiday Helpers: St. James Ladies Club readies for annual food bazaar, rummage sale

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Parishioners at St. James Catholic Church realize folks are busy these days, especially during the holidays.
So, they’re here to help you.
They’ve been working for weeks to prepare frozen casseroles, soups, chili, turkey and dressing, and cookies as well as fresh baked goods, including breads, cakes, pies and candy, to sell at the annual St. James Ladies Club Rummage Sale & Food Bazaar.
The event is Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Catholic Life Center located on the north side of St. James Catholic Church on Lakeshire Drive in Tupelo.
The event is two-fold: Part of it features the frozen and fresh foods. The other part is a rummage sale, where you’ll find new and used furniture, clothing, toys, appliances, books, electronics, housewares, bedding and linens, home decor and “white elephant” items.
For the food bazaar, two new dishes have been added this year: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and Loaded Potato Soup.
“The Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas is actually an old recipe that we’ve brought back and updated,” said Susannah Davis, who is coordinating the food bazaar. “People really love anything Mexican. The other new recipe is a Loaded Potato Soup that I found in a Junior League cookbook.”
Also on tap this year are old favorites, including Bandito Chicken Casserole, Baked Ziti Pasta Italiano, Hallelujah Southern Turkey Dressing, Jamin’ Jambalaya, Chicken Pot Pie, Paula Deen’s Squash Casserole, Backwoods Chili, Breakfast Casserole, Cranberry & Cream Cheese Salad and the Christmas Cookie Medley, featuring Peanut Butter Blossoms, Fantasy Fudge and Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“The cookie medley was a really popular thing last year,” Davis said. “Each one is individually wrapped and frozen. It’s so easy for people to pull them out at Christmas.”
It takes all the congregation’s members working together to produce all the food that will be offered at the food bazaar.
Some, literally, work together.
Parishioners Nikki Ivancic, Debbie Spitler and Laura Fava get together for one day each year and knock out a bunch of casseroles.
Ivancic said this year they decided to make the Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas.
“We made 16 recipes, which is probably 25 or 30 pans,” she said.
“It’s fun and it’s good fellowship,” said Fava, who opens up her kitchen for the cooking.
“We get in there and mess it up and have a ball,” Spitler added.
Davis said the bazaar is the perfect place for busy families to shop before the holidays get here.
“People don’t cook like my mama did or my grandmother did or like I do,” said Davis, who prepares home-cooked meals every night for her family. “They don’t have time to. They’re busy with kids on the ball field or the soccer field. But they still want to eat well. This works well for people who are pinched for time, especially during the holidays.”
Davis said the food bazaar brought in $6,500 last year, which was used for Vacation Bible School, religious education, college scholarships and Catholic charities, among other things.
“All the proceeds go to help those in need and to fund programs at the church for the youth and other parishioners,” she said.
For more information, call (662) 842-4881.
ginna.parsons@journalinc.com