Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Day Recipes - Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens

Looking forward to fun, friendship and fellowship with you all in the coming year.

Here are a couple of recipes for traditional New Year's Day menu items. Enjoy!

Black Eyed Peas

You Will Need:

1 – 1lb Bag Of Black Eyed Peas, Dry
3 – Pieces Of Thick Bacon
2 - Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 – Tablespoon Chopped Onion
1/2 – Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 – Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 - Teaspoon Black Pepper


You can pick up a bag of dry blackeyed peas at your local grocery store. Start with a small bag of peas, about 1 pound. This should produce about 5-6 cups of cooked beans.

Sort through your peas removing any defective peas, dirt or debris that may be present. Place the peas in a colander and rinse several times.

After a good rinsing place peas in pot and cover with at least 3 inches of water. Place peas in your refrigerator and soak peas overnight.

After the peas have soaked overnight discard the water. Rinse peas one final time. Place peas into a large pot or dutch oven and cover with two inches of fresh water. Bring water to a boil then add other ingredients. Add lid to your pot and simmer 2 hours until peas are tender. Do not let water cook out. Add additional seasoning to taste if required.

Collard Greens

You Will Need:

  • 2 -3 medium smoked ham hocks or 2 lbs smoked pork neck bones
  • 5 lbs collard greens (If you can't get them fresh, frozen will do.) or 2 -3 bunches collard greens (If you can't get them fresh, frozen will do.)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Take 2 or 3 smoked ham hocks and put them in a large (6 quart) pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart before you add the collard greens.
  2. Take the collard greens and separate the leaves (if fresh). Rinse each leaf individually under cold running water. After you rinse the collard greens thoroughly, stack several leaves on top of each other. Roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves into thin strips using a cutting board and large knife. Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are slicking through several leaves at once.
  3. Add your collard greens to the pot. Since this is a lot of collards, you will need to add them until the pot is full. Then allow them to wilt as they cook - then add more.
  4. Add salt, cover and cook for thirty minutes on medium heat. Stir every few minutes to distribute the smoked meat taste evenly.

Wishing you all the best in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy to the World!

Merry Christmas to you and your families!


Friday, December 24, 2010

How Many Kings? Only One!

Glory to God! Thankful for the gift of His son, Jesus our Savior King!

Luke 2: 1-20

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Drink Recipe - Red Hot Cider

Thanks to Chelle for introducing us to Red Hot Apple Cider at the Mud Monkey's!  It's easy and delicious!

What You Need:
1 qt. apple cider or juice
1/4 c. red hot candies
Slowly melt candies in juice, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve.

The Wright Perspective

Chris and Nichole Wright are members of our church currently serving as missionaries in Accra Ghana.  The following was written by Chris to be shared with family and friends at Christmas.

"The Wright Perspective" 

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  A little different here than what we are used to.  Instead of freezing weather, we are in the 90’s.  I wonder what Santa wears in Africa since it is so hot.  He is coming to our mall next week, so I guess we’ll find out.  That should be an experience. The semester is coming to a close and much is going on at the school.  The school hosted an orphanage for a Christmas dinner put on by the school’s community service club.  The orphanage was from the bush and were children of aids victims.  The children ranged from 2-17 years of age.  The children of the orphanage listed 3 presents they wanted on a piece of paper in the shape of an angel and hung it on a tree.  Families and teachers from the school took an angel and bought the presents for them.  The child we bought for was 14 years of age.  It broke my heart thinking of a 14 year old girl in an orphanage.  How long had she been there?  Did she have any family?  We purchased her gifts and went to the school on the Friday night to welcome the children.  As the children’s names were called out they each went up front to get their presents.   I noticed a wheel chair at the front.   One of the children had requested a new wheelchair.  As this child’s name was called, the workers from the orphanage said she was not able to come because she had just fallen out of her old wheelchair.  They then came to the girl we purchased the gifts for.  She was not there either so we did not get to meet her and see her open her presents or find out more about her.  You see so much poverty and sadness here that sometimes you become numb to it.  As we bought presents for this young girl, it reminded me each one has a story and they are each precious to our Father.  How can we reach these children with your love more Father?  What do you require of us?  Is sending some gifts on Christmas enough?  You left heaven to adopt us as your children.  Should we consider leaving our heaven to do the same?  These are all questions I faced thinking about these orphans. The school continues to grow in numbers and God is working among the teachers and the students.  We have seen 6 students make confessions of their faith this semester.  We continue to pray for the lost in our school.  Although the school is a Christian school, we have many children of various religions represented there.  Because of the education the children receive at AIS the parents are willing to put their children there.  As a result, we have the opportunity to witness to atheists, muslims, Buddhists and various other religious backgrounds. 


Please pray for the school as we are looking into the purchase of new land to build.  We currently meet in a house converted into a school.  This was fine when we had 50 students, but now we are up to 190 students and we need much more room.  Oil has been discovered in Ghana and Accra seems to be growing more each year.  

  • As Accra increases, please pray that AIS will be a light on a hill burning bright for Christ.  Being here in Ghana with these teachers, we soon find out we are not the Hudson Taylors we have always read about.  Feelings get hurt, things are said, and divisions can easily occur.   

  • Please pray for unity at the school.  Our director often says God works here in spite of us.  And that is the truth.  We are human, but we serve a great God and He overcomes all of our weaknesses and failures. 

  • Monday, December 20, 2010

    January Refreshment

    What: Art and Soul Paint party with Katie Toombs.  We will be painting this lovely Cross on canvass:
    You do not need to be artistic or creative to do this.  Katie will walk us through each step!

    When: January 13, 2010 7:00-10:00

    Where: Church Fellowship Hall

    Why: Fun & Fellowship

    How: Purchase your $20 ticket from at the Welcome Table.  Deadline to purchase tickets is January 5th.  There will be no exceptions to this cut-off date due to the prep-work involved.  If for some reason you will be unable to attend church prior to the January 5th cut-off date and would like to attend, please contact us ASAP and you can mail a check to Stacy prior to January 5th.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Preview of January

    Tis the Season for a busy schedule! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season and remembering the real reason we celebrate!  Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

    We have a great Refreshment planned for January!  I know everyone will want to attend.  I am posting this now because of the sign-up time frame.  Please notice that the cut-off for buying your ticket to this Refreshment is January 5th, and because of all the work involved in getting this together we will be unable to accept any late RSVP/ticket purchases.

    January's "Refreshment" will be a paint party. We will be painting a cross on a canvas. Katie Toombs is the owner of Art and Soul in Germantown, and conducts parties for small groups, birthday parties, and church groups. You DO NOT have to be an artist to participate. The price is $20.00 and tickets go on sale Sunday, December 19th. The last day to buy tickets will be January 5th. There are NO exceptions to buying tickets later than January 5th because of the prep work for the canvases. The price includes your canvas, paints, and some yummy snacks!!!

    We will be painting a cross similar to this at our January Refreshment!

    Also in January we will begin sign-ups for Secret Sisters because in February Secret Sisters will Share the Love!  Watch for more information!

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Cookie Swap!

    Please view the information below regarding our Cookie Swap and then CLICK HERE to RSVP.

    We will exchange cookies, visit, and enjoy hot chocolate in the nursery hallway while we watch our kids play in the adjoining rooms.

    We kindly request that you bring only homemade cookies or treats. (Please feel free to make some slice n bakes if you are short on time.)

    To participate in the cookie swap, please place 3-4 cookies/treats in a bag with the recipe attached. (Try to choose cookies/treats that can transport well! Our best estimate at this time would be to prepare approx. 6 dozen cookies/treats.

    **Don't panic! ...remember, you get to take the same amount home for your family to enjoy!)

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Curl Up in Jesus' Lap

    I got this in an email today and thought it was too sweet not to share.  I don't know if the story is true, but the gentle reminder is one we all could use from time to time.

    The Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.  During the night the folks came across this scene. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send  him away so he was there all night. We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus' lap from time to time.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Women's Ministry December Refreshment:

    Broadway Tour of Homes
    Thursday, Dec. 16
    Meet at church at 6:15 

    We will divide into 4 groups and carpool 
    to see the Christmas decorations at 4 different homes.

    Please sign up at the Ministry Table so we will have enough food at each home for those attending.

    Holiday House information

    Carol Stroud wanted to pass the following information along to all the REFRESH ladies:

    You're Invite to

    Holiday House

    • Thursday, Dec 09, 2010 • 11:00am - 7:00pm
    • 161 Northern Street West
    • Hernando, MS 38632
    •  901-550-5186      
    **Refreshments & Shopping with Local Artists**
    Joseph Eckles – Stoneware Offering Unique Hand Thrown Dinnerware & Decorative Pieces
    Karen Bartlett – Knitted and Crocheted Baby Items
    Gwen Luttrell – Hand Tied Fringe Scarves, Watercolor Paintings & Prints
    Pam Turman – Hand Poured Soy Candles, Natural Soaps & Whipped Body Butters
    Kyra McEnany – Unique and Eclectic Handbags, Belts & Accessories
    Jennifer Holcomb – Whimsical Wear for Kids
    Kay Robinson – Femme Fatales Original Artwork Cards
    Judy Payne – Hand Made and Painted Ornaments, Stationery & Gifts
    Carol Stroud – Precious Metals Fine Silver Jewelry
    Rose Sitton – Acrylic Paintings & Prints
    Shelly Johnstone – Architectural Photography
    Amanda Tidwell – Appliqu├ęd Children’s Clothing, Hair Bows & Accessories
    Dawn Edwards - Altered Art & One-of-a-Kind Creations
    Sherry Fernandez - Through The Lens Photography