It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to a Homecoming Sunday celebration, Antioch Baptist Church gets it right. After all, the church has been around since 1858 so they’ve had a lot of practice.
Antioch member Evon Hull predicted that the pot luck lunch would begin promptly at 12:30. According to Hull, “We Baptists don’t mess around when it comes to food.” And indeed, she was right. The folks at Antioch did not mess around.
The long, long buffet table was heavily laden with platters and slow cookers filled with all manner of scrumptious food anchored with an imposing centerpiece that was two hay bales high and covered in pumpkins, fall squash and gourds, apples and autumn flowers.
Filling a plate required serious decision making skills. It wasn’t enough to decide on meat loaf or potato salad or devilled eggs. An additional decision was required to choose between the half dozen or so of each of those foods on offer.
The dessert table was equally difficult to navigate. How could a newcomer even begin to choose between the dozens of cakes, pies and other sweets? There was even fried ice cream among the offerings. An Antioch member of long standing suggested that the blueberry congealed salad was a “don’t miss” favorite. Not a salad at all but a dessert that’s not quite a cobbler and not a pie but with a topping not unlike banana puddings sometimes have, it was delicious if hard to categorize. Antioch insiders seemed to know which desserts would go quickly and made a point to get there early. Some of those recipes follow.
But on one point, Evon Hull was a little off. Lunch did not start promptly at 12:30. The morning service was a big one, attended by some of Antioch’s oldest members. Lizzie Hawks at 106 years old has been a member at Antioch for 93 years. Marie Holder at 95 has been a member for 70 years.
Raising the excitement level of the homecoming was a temporary reboot of the popular singing group, “Vessels of Clay” which had disbanded earlier this year but got back together for a special reunion performance. Last but not least, Linda and Junior Simpson renewed their marriage vows after 38 years of marriage.
After all of this, it’s a good think such a grand luncheon awaited. The Antioch members and their guests had worked up quite an appetite.
Italian Cream Cake
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Crisco
2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla (may use 2 tsp. if desired)
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
Cream softened butter and Crisco until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Whisk egg yolks and beat in. Sift flour and baking soda and add alternately with buttermilk beginning with flour and ending with flour. Add vanilla and coconut and nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Pour into three 8” or 9” greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350°F. 25 to 30 minutes.
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 stick softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. confectioners sugar
Mix all together. You can sprinkle top with chopped nuts and/or add any current holiday topping. Candy corn is good for Halloween.
Butter Pecan Cake
1 box of butter pecan cake mix
1 can of coconut pecan frosting
1 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
Mix cake mix, milk, oil and eggs. Beat three minutes. Stir in coconut pecan frosting. Bake in three 8” or (” greased and floured cake pans at 350°F. for 25 minutes.
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners sugar
12 oz. softened Cool-Whip
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix cream cheese, granulated sugar and confectioners sugar well and stir in Cool-Whip. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. (Makes a lot of frosting.)
Blueberry Congealed Salad
Betty Jo McCraw
2 (3 oz.) pkg. grape jello
2 cups boiling water
1 can blueberry pie filling (21 oz.)
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
Dissolve jello in boiling water. Blend pie filling and crushed pineapple. Pour into a 9”x13” dish. Chill until firm.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Cream together topping ingredients and spread over chilled jello. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate.
6 to 8 tart apples, sliced thin
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter
If apples lack tartness, sprinkle 1 tbsp. lemon juice .
Combine sugar, flour, spices, and dash of salt. Mix with apples. line 9 inch pie plate with apple mixture. Dot with butter. Add top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape or do a criss-cross crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400°F. for 50 minutes or until done.
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Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699, on Twitter @BillColvard.