‘Taste and See that the Lord is Good” is the name of a new cookbook published by the good folks of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Wappoo Road in West Ashley.
Appropriately, it’s also a verse from the Bible, Psalm 34:8, that finishes with “Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Like most church cookbooks I’ve browsed, this book’s 150-plus recipes offer a personal connection to the congregation. Every recipe includes the name of the person who submitted it, which sort of makes you feel like you’ve been invited into their kitchen — or at least allowed to look through their recipe box.
This collection of recipes is raising funds for the church’s choir, a tight-knit group of 15 or so members.
“We have a wonderful director, Mary Jane Keathley,” says cookbook committee chair Sheryl MacMillan. “She has really worked on our sounds, trying to get us to sing like we should sing. We have a lot of terrific voices, good solo voices, and people like me who just like to sing.”
The cookbook is available for $15 by calling the church office at 766-4262.
Initially, the cookbook was intended to raise money for the choir to travel to Scotland. That trip has been postponed, but “the choir always needs funds,” Sheryl says. The group has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Sydney Opera House in Australia, for example.
The cookbook also took a little longer to come together than the committee imagined. Sheryl credits church member Lew Flader for bringing in a recipe that really got other church members motivated to submit as well.
“Getting the recipes, that was our biggest worry,” she says.
Then came the nitty-gritty work. “I had two people, Ruthlyn Chandler and Garrett Mitchener, and they proofed and proofed and proofed,” Sheryl says gratefully.
Are there a lot of good cooks in the congregation? “I think all churches have them,” Sheryl says, “So yes, I think we do, too.”
The cover of the book is from the church’s special Maundy Thursday service at Easter. The picture shows some of the food that would have been served at the Last Supper for Jesus and his apostles. As people taste what the group would have been eating, more than a dozen people present a scene that is similar to Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting.
Here is a sampling of recipes inside “Taste and See that the Lord is Good.”
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 cup grapefruit juice (or orange or pineapple)
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1 Boston butt pork roast (about 6 pounds)
Mix pepper, garlic, cumin, juice, salt and oregano in a large sealable plastic bag; add roast and seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator from 12 hours to 3 days. Place in large roasting pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 4 hours. Serve with black beans and yellow rice.
Note: After marinating roast, you may remove excess air, double bag it and place in freezer, to have Cuban Pork for company.
Here’s another recipe with international flair from the book. Lew Flader gets the credit.
The meat of 1 boiled medium chicken
2 cups chicken broth
2 (141/2-ounce) cans of tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (optional for adding a little heat)
2 (141/2-ounce) cans white hominy, drained
2 (6-ounce) cans chopped green chilies
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
Mix all ingredients together and simmer on stove for 45 to 60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
From Garrett Mitchener:
4 cups bread cubes
1 cup dried cranberries
4 eggs, beaten
21/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Cut medium-consistency bread into 1-inch cubes and toast in a metal baking pan at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally; the bread should be lightly toasted. (Food Lion deli sourdough bread works very well.)
Put toasted bread cubes in a 2-quart ceramic dish and mix with dried cranberries. Mix eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon in another bowl and pour onto toasted bread cubes.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Pudding will rise very high during baking, so put a cookie sheet under it just in case. It will fall once you take it out of the oven. Whiskey sauce makes a good topping (recipe follows).
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
Heat the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat until melted. Add the sugar, egg yolk and water. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture barely comes to a boil, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Spoon over bread pudding. Refrigerate any extra in a closed container and reheat in microwave as needed.
Timely with the holidays around the corner: A caller from Ravenel wants a recipe for making rum cake from scratch.
Tena Strickler of Charleston is trying to locate a Betty Crocker cook-booklet titled “Impossibly Easy Pies.” In it were recipes for little quiches using Bisquick. We’d like suggestions for getting the book and also a couple of recipes to share in this column.