Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Wonderful Lot of Ladies

I spent the morning with the Dorcas Ladies of Center Presbyterian Church in Ballplay. What a busy bunch they are. It was quite remarkable to be in the center of all this celebration. As each woman arrived, she set up her sewing machine and took out her quilt-in-progress. Each woman’s work was much admired by the rest of the seamstresses as part of their greetings. The church hall was a kaleidoscope of colors and textures; each woman’s vision coming to fruition in her artwork-in-progress.

There was a garden quilt, and sacred sayings quilt, and a quilt with little heart appliqués among the many works-in-progress. I’d be hard pressed to say which one I’d want given the opportunity to choose just one. This is folk art at its finest.

There was much sharing of ideas and methods, as well as some serious teaching of technique going on. These are women with a mission; the group leader asked each one, in turn, what she was going to do with her finished quilt. Mostly, the quilts go either to needy families, families in grief, or perhaps to families accepting new members (I’ll have to ask Josie or Eda about that.) A few are auctioned off to raise funds for other causes these ladies support. What a wonderful lot of ladies!

Adam taxied Josie to the meeting and entertained Eda in the kitchen while she got the goodies ready to share. Ninety-year-old Eda had made a decadent-looking chocolate dessert and another member of the group contributed lemon squares. When Eda announced that coffee was ready, the sewing machines became silent, and my favorite part of any celebration started – the eating part.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to eat these sweets, as I’m on the Atkins plan, but Richard was certainly happy to receive my share. He is most definitely not into low-carb eating, so I also stopped at Tellico Bakery to further surprise him and tempt his taste buds. The bakery closes for part of every winter; it seems like it was closed for longer this year than last, and Richard has been sorely missing their pastries and breads. This is about his only guilty pleasure.

He was like a little boy at Christmas when I presented him with the baked goods bounty. His only problem now would be choosing which to eat first, the Dorcas delights, the apple turnover, or the blueberry and cream cheese Danish. He began with the Dorcas delights, but I’m sure that not a full day will go by before he has the bakery treats.

I retreated to my writing room to type out recipes from Helen, an eighty-one-year-old member of Dorcas, and from Mamie, my ninety-year-old mountain mama. Eda had already shared her biscotti recipe. These will go into the Coker Creek Elementary School cookbook as soon as I get them to Judi, who is coordinating the Coker Creek Heritage Group’s input. If recipes from one eighty-one-year-old and two ninety-year-old cooks aren’t part of this area’s heritage, I don’t know what would be.

I was richly rewarded by Richard. He made me one of his gorgeous salads and a baked omelet with sautéed onions and wild mushrooms for dinner. For this, I’ll forego the desserts.

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