By Ginna Parsons
TUPELO – It’s not often you get to rub shoulders with a household name, but come Jan. 23, you’ll be able to do just that.
North Mississippi Medical Center will present Patricia “Sister” Wood Schubert Barnes, founder of Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls, as its speaker for the 2014 Spirit of Women event at the Summit Center in Tupelo.
Tickets are $25 for the 6:30 p.m. event and include dinner. Spirit of Women members who have paid the lifetime $10 membership fee will also receive a free gift.
“When I was born, my older sister couldn’t say my name. She called me Tissy, or Sissy, but it turned out being Sister,” said Barnes, 61. “All my family and friends called me Sister. When I got to college, the professors even called me Sister Wood. I think I was just meant to be a Sister, not a Patricia.”
It was actually her Grandmother Wood – her father’s mother – who taught her how to make the now-famous rolls
“She had a huge kitchen table – amazingly large – back then everybody did,” she said. “I remember baking things with her and she taught me to make her rolls when I was 12. She said now it was my job to make them for family gatherings.”
Barnes was happy to make the rolls for friends and family in her Troy, Ala., kitchen. And then a bake sale came a’calling.
“We had a frozen food fair at the Episcopal Church in Troy in 1989 and I made 20 pans of frozen rolls,” she said. “I’d always thought rolls needed to be made fresh, but this was a frozen food fair, so I froze them and they turned out fine and they all sold.”
The next year, food fair organizers asked Barnes if they could take pre-orders for her rolls and she said yes.
“They called and said they had 200 orders for them,” Barnes said. So she got a group of folks together and they filled all the orders.
The next year, they had even more requests.
So, Barnes – who was a Schubert at the time – decided to open a little bakery in downtown Troy in 1991.
“This was truly a God thing,” she said. “I feel like he just said, ‘Make them and I’ll help you sell them.’ Within six months, we had outgrown our little bakery.”
In 1994, construction was completed on the company’s first state-of-the-art bakery.
“I thought we’d never have to grow again,” she said. “Sometimes I pinch myself to realize we are selling our rolls all over the country and in different parts of the world. It’s just amazing.”
In September 2000, Barnes sold the stock in her company to Lancaster Colony, a specialty foods corporation in Columbus, Ohio. But she’s still a hands-on executive at the mega-bakery.
“I actually still make these rolls in my kitchen at home,” she said. “I think it’s important to keep my hands in the dough, to keep up with what’s going on.”
Barnes’ talk on Jan. 23 is called “Pure and Simple.”
“It’s about encouragement – don’t think your little contribution in the world doesn’t make a difference,” she said. “If you believe in yourself and have God on your side to help you, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
Doors for Spirit of Women open at 5:30 p.m. for visiting exhibits and shopping vendors. Several door prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize – a custom set of jewelry created especially for Spirit of Women by designer Laura Marlowe.
For ticket information, call (800) 843-3375 or visit www.nmhs.net/spirit_of_women by Jan. 19.
• What: NMMC Spirit of Women, featuring Patricia “Sister” Schubert
• When: Thursday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Summit Center in Tupelo
• Cost: $25.
SISTER SCHUBERT RECIPES
Creamy Ranch Quiche
6 defrosted Sister Schubert’s Pre-Baked Dinner Rolls, split in half
3 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted
3⁄4 cup Marzetti Ranch Veggie Dip
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh spinach or parsley
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped bell peppers, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Using a rolling pin, gently press each half roll to flatten it. Brush with butter and transfer to the muffin cup, lining it with the bread to form a cup.
Prebake the cups for 3 minutes. If there are any holes in the cups, press dough together.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together veggie dip, flour, and eggs. Add spinach, cheese, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into each cup and bake 10 to 13 minutes or until the filling is set. Allow quiches to rest a few minutes then remove from pan and sprinkle each quiche with diced peppers and serve.
6 large eggs, beaten
21⁄2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh spinach
6 Sister Schubert Whole Wheat Dinner Yeast Rolls, baked and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound sausage, cooked, drained and crumbed
11⁄2 cups shredded white or yellow Cheddar cheese
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Butter a 9 x 11- inch baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Heat oil in a medium skillet; add onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook, tossing constantly until wilted. Place mixture in a colander and drain well by pressing spinach with the back of a large spoon. Transfer spinach to a clean cotton tea towel and carefully squeeze out the remaining moisture. Transfer spinach mixture to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Place bread pieces into prepared dish. Top with spinach, sausage and half of Cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over all and top with remaining Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until casserole puffs and center of casserole is set.
If top of casserole is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil during baking process.
Allow 8 to 10 minutes of resting time before serving.