Now, they're back, and determined to make this year's "A Taste of Houston" the most successful one to date.
Set for Tuesday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, the food tasting offers participants the chance to eat foods prepared by people from all over the community. Tickets are $10 and available at the door.
This year, 24 cooks are preparing recipes to feed at least 300 hungry folks. They will be making and serving an assortment of appetizers, salads, vegetables, meats, breads and desserts. Grocer's Pride is donating bottled water.
"Nobody ever goes back for seconds," said Melissa Allen, who will be preparing bread pudding for the event. "They're all so full from the first trip."
Dishes this year include Bully's Bread Pudding, Brunch Apricots, Barbecue Chicken Salad, Horseradish Ham Cubes as well as coconut cakes, smoked turkeys and peanut brittle.
All money from the tasting goes toward paying down the debt on the Family Life Center. The amount owed is $125,000.
"I'd like to have this paid off a year from today," said Jerry Thompson, chairman of the church council. "I'm serious. That's a tall goal, I know."
In addition to proceeds from the food-tasting tickets, organizers will also be taking in money from the sale of the church's new cookbook, "Favorite Recipes from Family amp& Friends." The spiral-bound book contains more than 400 recipes collected from people in the community and will sell for $20.
"We think the sale of the cookbooks and 'A Taste of Houston' will bring us about $10,000," Thompson said. "It's practically 100 percent profit because everything's donated."
For more information about the event, call the church at (662) 456-2203.
An assortment of bread puddings
"Favorite Recipes from Family amp& Friends" will be available at the food tasting for $20.