Ladies of the Home League showcase their cooking skills - Part II

By Lucie R. Willsie Lifestyles Reporter

July 2, 2014

The Salvation Army’s Women’s Ministries-Home League is a national group that has a chapter right here in Mount Airy that meets every Tuesday.

The meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. with devotions led by the church’s pastor and with the meeting starting at 7 p.m. and lasting to around 8:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church on South Street. Its goals are for worship, fellowship, education and service, said Julie Stafford, one of the current members. The group is also designed to bring women to Christ and encourage spiritual growth.

Next year, Home League will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with some special plans and/or programs.

To join the local group, a woman, 16 years old or older, single or married, first needs to attend a minimum of four meetings, not necessarily in a row. Everyone is invited to attend the church services, at Home League or at the church. All ladies, 16 years and older, are invited to attend Home League. For more information, contact Myrna Collins, president of the local group, at 710-7333 or the church at 786-4075.

The meetings often include enjoy a few snacks. Stafford brought the Easy Sweet Pockets, a dish she made for the first time specifically for a recent league meeting. She got the recipe from Collins.

Norma Hawks, also a league member, brought the Green Beans with Potatoes and Corn dish.

“I’ve been making this dish a good while,” Hawks said. “And, I cook it a lot of times for our weekly meetings.” One reason she likes to make this particular dish is because the tastes and textures of the beans and potatoes and corn go very well together.

“The corn, especially, adds something to these food combinations,” Hawks said.

Hawks remembers starting to cook around the age of 12, helping her mom in the kitchen. She has now been cooking roughly 55 years. In fact, this same dish, she remembered, might have been the first dish she made, at her mom’s direction, of course. However, as she got better at cooking, her favorite is still one of her traditional dishes she remembers making — meatloaf.

She said she gets just as much nourishment for her soul by going to the Women’s Home League every week as she does for her body from the food the ladies bring to the meetings.

“It’s good to get together with each other,” Hawks said. “It keeps me going. We have prayer requests, do community projects, make a variety of things, and visit the hospital.”

Shelby Hicks, also a member of the league, brought the Apple Angel Food Cake. She got the recipe from her cousin in Georgia, even though she has been cooking herself for roughly 65 years or so and is known for her baking.

“My cousin said it tasted great and it was easy to make,” Hicks said. The mixing is the main “secret” to this dish. Most folks don’t mix cake dough long enough — a baking tidbit she learned from her mom, Beulah Parker. “(Other than that) there’s nothing to making this dish … I like dishes that are easy to make.”

LuAnn Boyer also likes to bake. She also said she learned a lot of her cooking skills from her mom-in-law, Myrna Collins, one of the leaders of the Mount Airy home league. Boyer has now been cooking roughly 20 some years, ever since she got married.

“My mother-in-law taught me (an important cooking piece of advice),” Boyer said. “She told me to use what I have in the kitchen.” So, one day, Boyer took a look at what was in her cupboard, and created her LuAnn’s Luau dish that she makes to this day.

One of the two “secrets” to making this dish special is the coconut yogurt, but it has to be Greek yogurt.

“This adds a special flavor to the dish,” she said.

The other “secret” is the Cool Whip, which makes the dish taste extra creamy.

Next time, however, Boyer brings her dish to the league, she wants to change the recipe up a bit. Next time, she plans on adding chopped walnuts.

“That’ll be the icing on the cake, so to speak,” she said.





1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix

1 can of apple pie filling, or any other fruit flavor of your choosing

Pam spray


Mix cake mix and fruit ingredients together. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch-x-13-inch pan sprayed with Pam. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven.




2 cups of green beans

1 1/2 cups of potatoes, boiled and quartered

Salt, to taste

A pinch of sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Corn, cut in half, amount to personal taste

(Chef’s note: Corn can be made separately rather than with the beans and the potatoes, if desired.)


Cook the beans in a pot, adding salt to taste. Add the sugar, again to taste. Next, add the olive oil. Cook until this mixture starts to boil. Then add the potatoes. If adding the corn to the beans and corn mixture, shuck and wash the corn and then add the corn next, boiling until the corn is tender. Continue adding water so the mixture won’t stick to the pot.




1 cup of coconut yogurt

1 cup of Cool Whip

Apples, chopped

Strawberries, quartered

Grapes, cut in half


A dash of sugar

2 strawberry Pop Tarts


Mix together the first 7 ingredients using a food processor. Place in a dish. Chop and/or crumble the 2 pop tarts and sprinkle them on top of the fruit/yogurt/Cool Whip mixture.




1 can of biscuits

1 can of pie filling, cherry, blueberry, or apple, or fruit of your choice



3 cups of Mountain Dew, or ginger ale, depending upon your taste

1 stick of butter, mashed up

1 1/2 cups of sugar


Preheat the oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the Mountain Dew with the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the butter. Flatten the biscuits, one at a time, but keeping them as round as possible. Fill the biscuit roughly about 1/3 to 1/2 full with the pie filling. (Chef’s note: Adjust the filling amount to the size of the biscuit dough.) Fold the biscuit in half and, using a fork, flatten the edges on the open sides. Place the filled “pockets” into a baking dish. Sprinkle the tops with some cinnamon and sugar, to taste. Pour the Mountain Dew, sugar and butter mixture into the bottom of the baking pan with the pockets already in it, but not so much mixture as to cover the pockets. Bake until the pockets are crispy, top and bottom, and the tops are lightly brown.




2 cans of peas, drained

1 can of corn, drained

1/2 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 package of cheddar cheese, shredded

Ranch dressing


Sour cream


Mix the first six ingredients together evenly. Then, mix equal parts of the Ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and sour cream together, to personal taste.




1 box of vanilla cake mix

1 can of crushed pineapples

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

5 eggs

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of sugar


Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.




1 can of beef stew

1 can of peas, drained

1 can of corn, drained

1 can of tomatoes, crushed

1 can of tomato paste

1 can of green beans, drained

1 can of potatoes, drained


Mix all ingredients together and bring to a simmer. (Chef’s note: The type of vegetables are optional and can be switched out depending on your taste.)

Lucie R. Willsie can be reached at 336-719-1930 or on Twitter at LucieR.Willsie.