By Ginna Parsons
TUPELO – The ladies at St. James Catholic Church are hoping you’ll notice a little something different in the frozen casseroles and soups they’ll be selling at this year’s food bazaar: consistency.
For the past month, different teams have been gathering two to three days a week in the church’s kitchen to prepare the foods that will be sold at the annual event.
“This helps improve the quality and the consistency, and it’s actually cheaper to cook in bulk,” said Susannah Davis, chairman of the event. “In the Catholic Church on Sundays, you get the same readings no matter where you are, so at this sale, we want everybody to get the same casserole.”
This year’s rummage sale and food bazaar will be Saturday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Catholic Life Center. Cash and checks will be accepted.
At the food bazaar, you can expect familiar stand-bys like sour cream enchiladas, squash casserole, turkey and dressing, jambalaya, chicken pot pie, loaded potato soup and the Christmas cookie medley. And there will also be a large selection of fresh breads, cakes, pies, candies and other goodies.
Prices for frozen goods range from $8 for a 8×2-inch pan to $14 for an 8×8-inch pan to $20 for a 9×13-inch pan. Jambalaya is $20 a gallon and potato soup is $15 a gallon.
The ladies have added five new dishes this year: Leslie’s Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole, Spicy Delta Spaghetti, Taco Soup, Brunch for a Bunch and Chicken Tamales.
The casserole is made with chicken, wild rice, sour cream, cream of celery soup, green beans and mushrooms and is topped with french-fried onions. The spaghetti has spicy Italian sausage, Ro-tel tomatoes and extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. In the taco soup, you’ll find ground beef, corn, black beans, pinto beans and tomatoes, and the brunch casserole will start with seasoned hash brown potatoes and add sausage, eggs and cheese.
The chicken tamales are a recipe from church member Raquel Thompson.
“I grew up eating these in Mexico,” Thompson said. “It’s a very popular dish at celebrations – parties, weddings, Christmas, big events.”
Davis said the tamales were a way for the church’s Hispanic community to participate in the food bazaar.
“We just thought it would be a neat addition for St. James to do the tamales,” she said. There will be mild and spicy tamales available and they’ll sell for $8 for a half dozen or $10 for a dozen.
One other thing St. James is trying out this year is more emphasis on the pre-sale of some frozen items.
“Last year, we sold more at the pre-sale than at the actual event,” Davis said. “We sold out of potato soup before the sale even began. By doing some pre-sales this year, we thought we’d be able to keep up with demand.”
The pre-sale is over, but don’t fret. There will still be plenty of frozen casseroles and soups and fresh baked goods to be had on Nov. 2.
“Last year, we made between $3,000 and $4,000 in profit,” Davis said. “This year, we’re shooting for $6,000.”
Proceeds go to families in the church and in the community in need, scholarships, Parkgate Pregnancy Clinic, the Cub Scouts and other churches, with an emphasis on buying a new van for the church.
For more information, call (662) 842-4881.
• What: St. James Ladies Club Rummage Sale & Food Bazaar
• When: Saturday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Where: Catholic Life Center, located on the north side of St. James Catholic Church, 845 Lakeshire Drive, Tupelo
• Other: Cash or checks only
• Info: Call (662) 842-4881