Published Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Amazing Grace' perfect gift for cooks on your list


“Amazing Grace,” the new cookbook put together by members of Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, includes old family recipes, holiday specialties – and a recipe from a renowned fortuneteller.

Church members got their first look at the book – which has more than 300 recipes – last Sunday. Melanie Stanley-Soulen, the church’s pastor, described the book as “fantastic” and commented on the cover.

“It has the most beautiful colors,” she said. “It’s the most beautiful cookbook I’ve seen.”

Stanley-Soulen said she loves to peruse cookbooks. “Every now and then I’ll cook something,” she said with a laugh. Church member Lynn Skinner expressed similar thoughts and said “Amazing Grace” is “great reading material.”

Peggy Parker, who grew up attending the historic Meriwether County church and is the church’s treasurer, headed the cookbook committee. “Peggy has put a lot of hard work into this,” Stanley-Soulen said.

Recipes were collected from Allen-Lee’s talented cooks, many of them passing along recipes handed down from previous generations in Lone Oak and the surrounding area.

Montgomery, Ala., author Dot Moore has friends in the congregation and sent a cornbread recipe that was used by Mayhayley Lancaster, a Heard County fortuneteller in the middle of the last century. Lancaster’s legendary status was rekindled by the book and film versions of “Murder In Coweta County” and by Moore’s award-winning book “Oracle of the Ages.”

Several church members are selling copies of “Amazing Grace” for $15 each. They can also ordered by mail – $17, including shipping. Checks, payable to “Allen-Lee UMC,” should be sent to Peggy Parker, 4201 Keith Rd., Hogansville, GA 30230.

The cookbook is spiral-bound with a hard cover. Recipe categories include appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, bread and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy, and “this & that.”

Try this recipe from “Amazing Grace” for an easy sausage, sweet potato and apple main dish for your holiday table:

Sausage Sweet Potatoes and Apples

By Peggy Parker


1 pound mild or hot sausage


2 Granny Smith apples, diced


1/2 stick margarine, melted


3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes, diced


1 can cream of cheddar soup


1 1/2 cups Cheez-Its crackers, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook potatoes until almost done and drain. Brown and drain sausage. Mix sausage, potatoes, apples, and soup thoroughly. Place in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Coat the Cheez-Its with margarine, then sprinkle on top of sausage mixture. Bake for 35 minutes.


Editor’s note: Send in your recipes to share with our readers for a chance to win the cookbook “Amazing Grace.” Submit recipes by email to: or by mail to The Newnan Times-Herald, P.O. Box 1052, Newnan, GA 30264.

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