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Recipes from a Kentucky Church Cookbook

Updated on January 10, 2016
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Thelma Raker Coffone is a former field editor for Taste of Home magazine and editor of Homemaker Headlines recipe newsletter.

"Amen, Dig In" Cookbook by Cropper Baptist Church, KY

Photo of "Amen, Dig In!" cookbook. Photo taken by author, Thelma Raker Coffone
Photo of "Amen, Dig In!" cookbook. Photo taken by author, Thelma Raker Coffone

Church Cookbooks for Fundraising Projects

Thousands of religious and social organizations have found that selling a collection of their favorite recipes belonging to their best cooks is an excellent way to raise funds for special programs and mission projects.

The state of today's economy makes fundraising a difficult task. However, because of the variety of recipes, reasonable price, and the good feeling of helping your fellow man, church cookbooks are still popular and are selling well. Even though you can find every recipe imaginable on the internet today, there are many cookbook collectors that can't resist a community cookbook with good down home tried and true recipes.

Such is the case of the cookbook presented by the Cropper Baptist Church in Cropper, Kentucky, called Amen, Dig In! Over 500 books have sold, raising money to fund youth programs and the Children in Action program for children ages 5-12. Proceeds are also earmarked for the Gilean Home (an orphanage) in Liberty, Kentucky.

Please Rate Recipe for White Fruit Cake

5 stars from 1 rating of White Fruit Cake

Recipe Shares from "Amen, Dig In!"

Generations and Southern Traditions

Cropper, Kentucky is a rural community located in the heart of Appalachia. Founded in 1900, Cropper Baptist is a small country church with many of the descendants of the original charter members still sharing in the ministry of the church today.

Carrie Scobe Kesler, as well as her 2 daughters who passed away in their 90's, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great- great-grandchild (totaling 5 generations) all have recipes included in the collection.

It's a southern tradition not to share a secret recipe with anyone, sometimes not even your own family. Mrs. Kesler's white fruit cake was well known to many in the area but the actual recipe was not shared with anyone outside the family until it was provided for the cookbook. The folks at Cropper Baptist Church are very proud to share it with you in her memory:

Carrie Scobe Kesler's White Fruit Cake

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 6 egg whites, beaten
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pound white raisins
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 pound English walnuts or pecans
  • 1 package candied pineapple
  • 1 package candied cherries

Combine all ingredients and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Then, bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool, then remove from pan. This is hard to stir but well worth the effort.

Another Delicious Recipe from "Amen, Dig In!"

This recipe by church member Rita Martin won the "Vegetables" category in the 2010 Hometown Recipe Contest sponsored by Fundcraft Cookbook Publishers:

CALICO SQUASH CASSEROLE

  • 2 cups yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 cups butter-flavored crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 2oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Slice squash and zucchini 1/4 inch thick. In a saucepan, combine the squash, zucchini, onion, green onion, water and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Cover and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain well, set aside.

Combine cracker crumbs and butter; spoon half into a greased shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine soup, water chestnuts, carrot, mayonnaise, pimentos, sage, pepper and remaining salt; fold into squash mixture. Spoon over crumbs. Sprinkle with cheese and the remaining crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield 8 servings. This is a great dish to carry to a potluck dinner.

Editor's Choice Recipe

Christmas Snowmen

1 box Nutter Butter cookies

1 package white chocolate

Place wax paper on cookie sheet. Melt white chocolate slowly. Dip cookies into melted chocolate and lay on pan. Use dark icing to make buttons, eyes and smile. Use orange icing to make the carrot nose.

These are unbelievably easy and the type of recipe that you describe as, "I can't believe I didn't think of that!" In case you aren't familiar with Nutter Butter cookies, they are shaped like snowmen.

The Christmas Snowmen cookies can be enjoyed all winter long and not just at Christmas. Serve with a cup of hot chocolate for a cold weather treat.

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© 2016 Thelma Raker Coffone

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