Category Archives: Kitchen Notes

Holiday Kitchen Notes

Tradition. Together.

So much of this time of year revolves around tradition. We eagerly anticipate spending comforting and familiar time with our friends and families as the holidays draw near. The Chapel of the Cross family is no exception!

On December 13, we will we gather together between the 9:00 and 11:15 Advent Lessons and Carols services for a festive reception. This is our largest reception of the year. Nancy McGuffin and I will be in the kitchen and we welcome more hands to help! I have set up a sign up genius to make it easy for all:
Please follow this link and sign up to bring a sweet or a savory to share and/or volunteer to help in the kitchen. We always have a grand time in the kitchen!
Another tradition we will enjoy again this year, is on Christmas Eve. After the 5:00 pm pageant, stop by the Great Hall for light refreshments and a visit with fellow parishioners. My family hosts this reception and we welcome donations of goodies to share. Please drop items off before the 5:00 pm service.
Lest we get too comfortable in established tradition, we have scheduled a new event for this year. ‘Breaking up Christmas’is a mountain celebration to honor Old Christmas or Epiphany. Historically, it is celebrated by large house parties, large bonfires fueled by the Christmas greens (and maybe a little moonshine), multiple bands and the shooting of guns at midnight. While we won’t go that far, we do invite everyone to a potluck supper, a ‘bonfire’on the patio and music in the Great Hall on Wednesday, January 6. We will gather around 5:00 pm and finish up in time for the Junior Choir to be ready to sing at the Solemn Eucharist at 7:00 pm, or in time for little ones to get home to bed! This is going to be a casual, festive party. Please bring a dish to share. As always, friends are welcome!
Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss any of our traditions, old and new, as we celebrate this joyful season, together.
– Ellen Cole

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June Kitchen Notes

June is here; it is hard to believe that half the calendar year has passed. What is also passing is our time in our well-used kitchen! I hope you have had a chance to tour the new building. The soaring ceiling and windows in our new gathering space are truly beautiful. I could only peek into the kitchen by leaning over the yellow tape (shh…don’t tell the contractor) but what I could see looked very exciting.

Several meetings are scheduled this week to begin the planning for dismantling and reassembling the kitchen equipment that will be moved. Lots of you have emailed me to let me know that you would like to help with “the move.” Thank you so much. We are planning on mid-July. I am sure that there will be many details to be ironed out before then.

We plan on serving our traditional lemonade in the courtyard after the 10:00 services this summer. If you and your family could serve one Sunday, please let me know. Our Dinners on the Grounds are scheduled for the 4th Sunday of June, July, and August. And we will continue to minister to those who are grieving if we have funerals during the summer.

We have also begun to discuss how to use the new space. There are many questions to be answered: What will be allowed, encouraged, recommended, and acceptable? In addition to looking carefully at our unique situation, we are consulting policies of similar churches. Our location is in the heart of a wonderful town that lacks beautiful gathering places, so we expect many requests! However, what I am most excited about is that the new dining room will allow us to gather together. One of the priorities of our Strategic Mission and Ministry Plan is that we create “a living embodiment of Christian Community with a sense of belonging, fellowship, support and engagement.” I hope that this soaring space will allow us to do just that!

Many thanks for your continued support!

Ellen Cole

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May Kitchen Notes

Well, I am a couple of days late on the “First Monday Kitchen Notes.” I plead for mercy, though, because those of us in the Kitchen Guild have been busy as bees entertaining and welcoming our fellow parishioners and the community into our wonderful church!

In April, Ann Henley, Sarah Davis (Ann’s daughter), Mary Sullivan and Judy Wynne organized our traditional Easter Receptions featuring the HAM so lovingly prepared by Walker Mabe. Thanks to this team for going above and beyond by offering an additional reception after the 11:15 service! On April 24, Cynthia Duda and Susan Shaffer hosted a dinner during the discussion about the direction of the Youth Ministry. Cynthia also helped serve the Vestry at the Annual Retreat kick-off dinner hosted by Carter and Perri Kersh on May 2. On May 4, Marian Cranford and Cynthia helped set up and serve receptions featuring our traditional cake after both the 9:00 and 11:15 services. On this day, COTC confirmed 26 members at 9, baptized 8 children at 11:15 AND there was a wedding at 3:00 p.m. The kitchen and dining room were buzzing with excitement and it was a joy to see the bride’s beautiful dress spread out on our beloved (and versatile) library table!

I hope you were able to celebrate with us on one of the above occasions. If you did, I am sure you felt the excitement that is growing among us. We are meeting one another, sharing our stories and lingering longer as we take the time to share a cup of coffee, piece of cake or ham biscuit. This is the goal of the Kitchen Guild….to break bread with one another and in doing so to build a stronger community to go forth in the name of Christ.

We have many upcoming opportunities for you to share in this mission. Please check the dates below and see if you can join us!

  • May 18 – Faith and Politics potluck dinner – Help set up and clean up the potluck supper.
  • May 25 – Cake and Lemonade after both services, in the courtyard, honoring our guests from the Kwasa School in South Africa.
  • Each Sunday during the summer – Serving lemonade in the courtyard after the 10:00 a.m. service.
  • June 22, July 27 and August 24 – Dinner on the Grounds. Help set up and clean up during our annual summer potluck luncheons.

Also, sometime during the summer, we will be moving to our NEW KITCHEN HOME. Many hands will make this an easier task, BUT, I do not have a date for the move yet! If you would be interested in helping, please let me know, I will send an email closer to the date.

Yours in the Fellowship of the Kitchen,

Ellen Cole

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April Kitchen Notes

Well, spring is finally upon us!  The last ‘season’ of our trusty, old kitchen is also here.  It has served us well, but the new one is going to be much more user friendly and set up in a way that will make us all ‘stewards of the kitchen‘.  Some of the equipment will be new (the range) and we will move others (coffee and dishwasher) but the configuration will be easier to navigate and set up so that groups can work together.  I can’t wait!!

Everyone on staff at the Chapel of the Cross is trying to be a good steward of our resources.  In the kitchen, this means that we are buying in bulk when appropriate, and shopping sales and store brands for other items.  We use 3+ gallons of 1/2 and 1/2 each 4-6 weeks and it seems to be consistently cheapest at Harris Teeter but even the store brands are expensive…it has gone up in price by .40 a gallon since Christmas! .  We purchase sugar in bulk, which is a good thing because we have used over 5 pounds since February 1.  As we transition to the new space, we will keep a pantry stocked with essentials (basic spices, oil, sugar etc…) for all church related cooking and serving. It is much cheaper to purchase one large garlic powder for everyone to use than for each group to purchase a jar for one meal.   Stewardship of the kitchen also means that we all have to take responsibility for keeping it neat and clean.  Thanks to everyone for labeling food in the ‘fridge and for washing up after cooking and serving.

The calendar is full of upcoming events.  It is exciting to know that there are so many chances to gather and get to know one another.  Please look at your calendar and let me know if you can help with any of these activities:

April 12 – Vestry Meeting – Serving a light breakfast

Easter Sunday – Reception between the 9:00 and 11:00 services.  This is a great opportunity to work in the kitchen with a very experienced team.  Also, as you can imagine, this is a large reception.  Donations of food, both sweet and savory are welcome!

April 23 – Youth Ministry Round Table – Preparing and serving Dinner

May 2 – Annual Vestry Retreat Kick off dinner.  This will be an off-site (in-town) dinner for the vestry.  This is a great opportunity for those of you who love to plan and entertain!

May 4 – After the 9:00 service, a reception with cake for the Bishop’s annual visit.

May 4 – Faith and Politics potluck dinner

As we look ahead, it is a long time tradition at the Chapel of the Cross to gather, after the 10:00 a.m summer services, in the Courtyard for fellowship and a cool glass of lemonade.  The summer service schedule will begin on June 8.   In addition, we also have three potluck “dinners on the grounds” where we share a meal together.  Summer is a busy time, but please look at your calendars and let me know can serve lemonade or organize the food for the potlucks (June 22, July 27 and August 24).

Ellen Cole

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March Kitchen Notes

I hope you had a chance to come to the church last night for the festive Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.  Many thanks to our Girl Scouts for preparing such a tasty meal for so many of us.  The sparkly decorations were a nice touch!

The UNC Habitat for Humanity Bangkok group served Soup and Salad after the 11:15 service on March 1.  It was a lovely lunch and it was nice to have a chance for fellowship.  We get many requests from the UNC student groups to use our space and we have several parishioners who have devoted much time and talent to shepherding the students in the use of the kitchen and our facilities.  We are sure to get even more requests when we are in our beautiful new space, if this is an age group that you would be interested in working with, will you let me know?  The kitchen equipment is not hard to use, but it does take some training, and it is nice to have a church member on-site with the students.

We continue to use our space for ECM, EYC, coffee service, funeral receptions.  In April, we have a team in place hosting a reception between the 9:00 and 11:15 Easter services.  We also continue to have volunteer opportunities:

  • Coffee Service after the 11:15 service
  • Helpers to guide the college students when they use our space
  • Thinking ahead…..Loaves and Fishes serves Lemonade after the 10:00 service in the summer and we will need teams to organize our summer potlucks “Dinner on the Grounds.”

The Spirit is at work in the kitchen at Chapel of the Cross!  Please contact me if you are interested joining in the fun!

Ellen Cole

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