HARTFORD — From Sue Fondren’s pancakes to the meatloaf from Peggy Miller and Sara Dyess to Stacy Hatcher’s FFA vanilla ice cream, the recipes out of Hartford Baptist Church could feed an army — especially Mary Bright’s recipe for Mary’s Cajun Grits for an Army.
The recipes are among those collected for the cookbook “Seconds Please…” published by the church’s Scattering Seeds Mission Group. It’s a sequel of sorts to the cookbook “Pass the Plate,” which Scattering Seeds put out 12 years ago.
At 177 pages, the “Seconds Please…” cookbook is not as thick as “Pass the Plate” — a 647-page whopper of a cookbook that sold 1,500 copies with two printings. But the new book contains some of the favorites from the original along with new recipes from some of the younger members of the church’s congregation.
“People kept asking us for the old cookbook,” said Cary Hatcher, a member of Scattering Seeds. “They wanted more.”
The recipes have fed a lot of people in and around the sleepy Geneva County town, whether through bridal parties, baby showers, holiday meals in the church fellowship hall, and more funeral gatherings than people like to think about.
Among the church’s congregation, many people have that one dish that they’re known for making.
Those who attended ballgames at the city’s recreation park feasted on Ebbie’s hot-dog chili. The recipe originated with Edith Smith, who ran the park’s concession stand with her daughter, Myra Chesteen, and whose son-in-law was longtime Geneva County High School coach J.D. Chesteen.
“It was served at the rec park for years and years and years and everybody still uses it,” said Susan Brannon, a member of Scattering Seeds whose green bean recipe is often requested for events.
The cookbook is selling for $15 if bought in person or $20 if the buyer needs the book mailed. Anyone who buys a hard copy of the cookbook also receives online access to the book’s recipes.
Members of Scattering Seeds said seeing the older recipes in print again makes people smile and recall all the great cooks in the church, especially those no longer with them.
The cookbook is dedicated to two members of Scattering Seeds who were active in the group and died earlier this year — Patricia Guilford and Anita Fulford. Proceeds from book sales will go to help the missions supported by Scattering Seeds, which includes providing funds for school supplies for local children or gas money for those making medical trips to UAB or an annual clothes closet event for teenage girls.
“It’s pulling together to make the Lord’s work — whatever that is,” Scattering Seed member Deborah Craig said. “We’re scattering seeds of hope and compassion and love.”