Monroe County church produces cookbook

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

All that the people of New Hope Baptist Church need is an excuse to cook. So say the ladies of the church who have put together a new cookbook, “Fruit of the Spirit.” It’s available for $12 at Amory Lawn and Pool, Amory Flower Shop, the Front Porch in Sulligent, Ala., or from any member of the church.
“I think there’s 310 recipes in it,” said Jacque Umfress, cookbook committee chairman. “They came from church members, family members. It’s got recipes my kids loved growing up, things like that.”
Donna McMillen, the co-chairman who is married to the church pastor, Tim McMillen, said the committee was interested in perpetuating the history of the church, which is located in the Parham community outside Hatley.
“We wanted to preserve all these wonderful, old family recipes,” she said. “We have such good eatings at this church and we didn’t need to let that fade away.”
The women started on the cookbook during spring break.
“We put out the call for recipes and they started rolling in,” Umfress said. “We had them all in and typed within a month. We got a lot of recipes from older ladies in the church that we were looking for. And we got recipes from Bill Edwards, and he died two or three months ago, after we started all this. That’s something we couldn’t replace.”
Proceeds from the cookbook will be used for care baskets for patients in the critical care unit at Amory and Tupelo hospitals; welcome-wagon baskets for people who are new in the community; and for Operation Christmas Child.
Alzheimer’s dinner
The ladies got the chance to try out some of the recipes from the cookbook last week when a group of them prepared about 45 dishes to serve to residents of the Alzheimer’s unit at Golden Living Nursing Home in Amory and their caregivers.
“This makes four or five years we’ve done the dinner for them,” said Eunice Stevens, who was saved in 1952 when the church was located across the road from its current location. “I have a sister there at the nursing home and Robin Frettwell, one of the caregivers there, and I started it. It kind of set me on fire.”
Dishes, including casseroles, salads, cakes, pies, breads and soups, lined a long countertop in the fellowship hall and spilled over onto a table.
“At least once a month, we have a potluck at the church,” Umfress said. “And we cook for Pastor Appreciation Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do a dinner for our graduates each year. If somebody passes away, we do a big dinner for the family. You name it, and we cook for it.”
For more information, call (662) 640-8122.