Baking Begins For Methodist Church’s Fall Bazaar

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Each November, just two days before Thanksgiving, the United Methodist Women of First United Methodist Church of Corsicana invite the community to their annual Fall Bazaar.

The event takes place this year at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 23, featuring a take out lunch of turkey spaghetti, provided by UMW president Ann Stites, and baked goods, including “Methodist Bread” baked by Lynda Green and Jane Easterling.

Wearing red and aprons in the Bazaar’s tradition, Green and Easterling were already hard at work baking bread last week, a recipe originally provided by Zelma McElroy. The yeast bread is made of basic ingredients, including sugar and All-Bran. Green laughed as she recalled a saying used when the bread has been passed out over the years.

“It will make you go, or go to the church,” she said of the included bran content.

The bread itself, however, is no joke, and the two women take their baking seriously. Since the First United Methodist Bazaar’s inception during the 1940s through the 1960s (that date varies among long-time members), the Methodist Bread became a popular favorite and best seller of the church, often being the first food item to sell out at the bazaar.

The bread’s recipe was first published in the 1984 Tasting Luncheon Cookbook, and later in The United Methodist Women Yearbook.

Prepping the bread takes a dedicated portion of the day. – Photo by Guy Chapman

The bread itself takes 15 to 20 minutes of prep time and one hour to knead. The bread has to rest an additional four hours before coming out of the pan. For the ladies in the kitchen, the experience is a longstanding labor of love.

“I look forward to it,” Easterling said of the process. “It has been my pleasure.”

Those interested in pre-ordering the lunch can call 903-874-5657 starting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 22, and 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Nov. 23. Adult plates cost $10, and child plates cost $5, each meal consisting of turkey spaghetti, green beans, salad, rolls, and dessert.

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