Cooking For the Bazaar

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

The United Methodist Women of First United Methodist Church of Corsicana are still hard at work preparing their signature turkey spaghetti dish for the 2021 annual Fall Bazaar, taking place at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The spaghetti has been a popular food item for the annual event, and the church’s history references the meal as a long-time popular favorite. One recollection stated a menu change was done during one of its earliest years, where regular Bazaar patrons “raised a big fuss” about its absence. As a result, the lunch item has remained a traditional fixture ever since.

Ann Stites has been been part of the church’s turkey spaghetti cooking since 2006. – Photo by Guy Chapman

Overseeing this year’s orders is UMW President Ann Stites, who has been involved with the holiday cooking since 2006, taking on the reigns of overseeing the work in 2007. Stites recalled the promotion was a surprise after only her first year, but has been dedicated to the process ever since.

This year, ten cookers are in use to prepare the meal, which includes shredding and deboning turkeys, pre-cooking the noodles, and preparing the stock. It takes an average of two hours for the women to complete a shift, rotating through several circles of prep work.

“It’s a process done with Christian love,” Charmelle Garrett said in regards to her first year cooking the church’s turkey spaghetti.

First-year participant Charmelle Garrett adds some signature flavoring to the spaghetti stock. Photo by Guy Chapman

Each year, the church serves a large number of meals to the community. From 2008 to 2019, the average amount of dine-in and take-out meals range from 490 to 600 people. The only exception was 2020, when the Bazaar was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charmelle Garrett and Belinda Taylor smile for the camera as they prep the cheese sauce for melting. – Photo by Guy Chapman

This year, however, looks to be a a return to normalcy, and the church’s storage freezers are already filling up with the delicacy for next week.

Numerous pints of turkey spaghetti fill the First United Methodist Church of Corsicana’s storage freezer. – Photo by Guy Chapman

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Categories: Community