It is said there are angels among us, disguised as “ordinary” citizens.
If that’s the case, then the angels at St. George Catholic Church also possess masterful gifts in the culinary arts.
The parish is sharing those skills and recipes with the community through their “Feast of Saint George” cookbook.
More than 300 pages are filled with a variety of dishes; from a rich and creamy “Crab Dip Divine” appetizer, to a decadent, espresso-soaked “Real Italian Tiramisu” dessert.
Six hundred recipes, mainly from parishioners, fill the book.
“I’m really thankful for the people who took time to give us their favorite recipes,” said Denise Pierce, St. George parishioner and editor of the cookbook. “There’s such a variety of ethnic backgrounds in our congregation, and you see that in the book. There are recipes for Lebanese dishes, a lot of cajun recipes, Italian and Irish food.
“Some people didn’t want to give their secrets away,” she added. “Some I had to coax into participating, but I think they’ll be proud they did.”
The cookbook also includes the original cooking instructions used in the church’s traditional Spaghetti Supper that started in 1945.
“That first Spaghetti supper served more than 300 people,” said Scott Eldred, head of the church’s Culinary Ministry. “They used the supper to raise money and built the church from the ground up.”
In 1955, the St. George Parish held a Streusel and Bake Sale in place of the Spaghetti Supper.
The bake sale, always held the day before Thanksgiving, continued until 1999, according to parishioners.
“We would make 200 streusel ... half of those would be pre-sold before we ever baked them,” said Connie Cebulski, head of the church’s Mercy Meal Ministry. “People would line up around the block. It wasn’t just parishioners, but the entire community.”
“We’d open the doors at 11 a.m., and we’d be done selling streusel by 11:30 a.m. There was not a crumb to be had - anywhere,” added Eldred.
Pierce said the women at St. George Catholic Church are well-known for creating delicious and decadent desserts.
“The book has two sections dedicated to desserts, and cookies and candies,” she said. “I think those two sections are extraordinary. It’s all extraordinary.”
But parishioners said the true meaning of the cookbook really has nothing to do with food - and everything to do with faith and fellowship.
It’s the same beliefs that started the St. George Parish in the Mansour’s family home in 1938.
“This cookbook is commemorating 80 years of grace and gratitude, and the presence of the Catholic faith in Coweta County,” explained Pierce.
“Our church was born out of family,” added Eldred. “Race, ethnicity, political views … it doesn’t matter. We are the family of St. George Catholic church … it’s all about family.”
The parishioners said all the money made from the cookbooks will help the Culinary Ministry, which teaches students how to cook and the Mercy Meals Ministry, which provides food items and dishes to families following the death of a loved one.
A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the St. George Catholic Church Pre-School.
The commemorative cookbooks cost $20 each and will be sold first come, first served.
“Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” stated Pierce.
“It’s definitely something you want to get and pass down to your family,” said Cebulski.
The “Feast of Saint George Cookbook” will be sold in the front office of the church located at 771 Roscoe Road.
For more information, contact the church at 770-251-5353.