Bountiful baking: Annual Country Store Bake Sale is a Thanksgiving tradition

November 14, 2012 10:35:28 AM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


On Tuesday morning, Nov. 20, Columbus' S.D. Lee Home will once again witness a festive frenzy of shopping as hostesses select fresh pies and cakes, savory cheesestraws, aromatic breads, jellies and sweet candies to supplement their Thanksgiving feasts. 


Yes, it's time again for the Country Store Bake Sale, the annual fundraiser presented each year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving by the Association for the Preservation of Antiquities in Columbus and Lowndes County. For more than half a century, the event has benefited the S.D. Lee Foundation and helped maintain the circa 1847 Lee Home that houses the Florence McLeod Hazard Museum and is a community venue for receptions, weddings and other glittering occasions. 




Volunteer power 


No tradition thrives for 52 years without a long and faithful stream of volunteers. For many of the Country Store's good cooks, baking for the sale is a legacy passed down from grandmothers and mothers. For others, like Pam Galloway, this is the year their tradition begins. 


"This is the first year my girls, Sally and Betsy, and I will be providing something for the bake sale," said Galloway. "I've had many friends who have been involved, and I know we're going to enjoy it, too." Galloway's daughter-in-law, Martha, will also be a part of the family baking team. 


The Galloway girls have selected several recipes to prepare. A favorite among them is Mama Liz's pecan pies. 


"Mama Liz was my husband's mother," explained Galloway. "She always made these wonderful little pecan pies, especially at the holiday season. Everybody loved them." 


A luscious strawberry cake is also on their to-do list, as well as a moist banana bread. 


"The strawberry cake is fabulous; it's a relatively new recipe. And the banana bread is a favorite we've made for years," Galloway said. 


Repeat volunteer Kathy Howell is planning a pumpkin cream cake for her contribution this year. 


"Everybody just loves the sale, it saves them from having to do so much in the kitchen for their holiday meal," she said. "And everything will be ready to give as a present, too," she added. Country Store items make appreciated hostess gifts. One of last year's patrons even purchased several cakes to give firefighters at a neighboring fire station. 




Early birds 


Doors for the sale will open at 10 a.m., but shoppers hoping for their first picks can stop by the Lee Home at 316 Seventh St. N. starting at 8 a.m. to receive a number. They return before 10 a.m. to line up in single file in the order of those numbers.  


Members of the Antiquities Association will also volunteer to act as personal shoppers for those who are unable to attend but hope to get a select dessert, Howell said.  


For more information, contact Lillian Wade at 662-328-8012 or Rita Douglass at 662-327-3193. 




For a cause 


The Country Store's ultimate goal, of course, is to continue support for the S.D. Lee Foundation and Lee Home -- and to be a part of the cherished tradition when families gather around the Thanksgiving table. 


"The Lee Home is a blessing for Columbus to have. We feel it's a wonderful mission," remarked Galloway, who, along with her daughters, shares some favorite recipes in today's food pages.  






Makes 20 miniature pies 




1 cup Karo dark corn syrup 


2 eggs 


1 cup sugar 


2 tablespoons melted butter 


1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


1 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped  




  • Stir together first five ingredients. Mix in pecans.  


  • Pour in pastry shells and cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Be sure to continue to stir, as pecans will rise to the top.  








    1/2 cup shortening 


    1/2 cup margarine, softened 


    2 cups sugar 


    6-7 ripe bananas, mashed 


    2 tablespoons vanilla extract 


    4 eggs 


    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 


    2 teaspoons baking soda 


    1/2 teaspoon salt 


    1/2 cup buttermilk 


    1 cup nuts (optional) 




  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 


  • Cream shortening, margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  


  • Add bananas, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Add 1/2 of the mixture of flour, soda and salt to batter. Mix well. 


  • Stir in buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Fold in nuts (if using nuts).  


  • Pour batter in two greased and floured 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Bake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until loaves test done. 








    1 box white cake mix 


    1 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin 


    1 cup water 


    1/2 cup canola oil 


    4 egg whites 


    1/2 cup mashed unsweetened strawberries 




    For the frosting: 


    2 8-ounce tubs cream cheese, softened 


    1/2 cup butter, softened 


    2 cups confectioners' sugar 


    1 teaspoon vanilla extract 




  • Mix first four ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites and strawberries into batter. 


  • Pour into two greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 


  • To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Mix in vanilla and gradually add confectioners' sugar. Frost cake.

    Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.