49th annual Country Store Bake Sale transcends generations

November 18, 2009 10:03:00 AM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


As a young girl, Jean Wilder remembers her mother baking apple crunch pies for the Country Store Bake Sale. It was only one of the delicious homemade goodies Laura Pennington made to support the preservation of the historic Stephen D. Lee Home at 316 Seventh St. N. 


"We lived right behind the Lee Home, and I remember I would help take cakes and cookies and lots more," Jean smiled. "Daddy had a grocery store, and I begged Mother to let me get one of the buggies to help take it all up there." 


So, it''s especially gratifying for Jean to now see her daughter, Jeana Brown, and granddaughters, Emery, 11, and Brennan, 13, carrying on the tradition and participating Nov. 24 in the 49th annual Country Store Bake Sale, a much-anticipated event presented just in time for Thanksgiving by the Association for the Preservation of Antiquities in Columbus and Lowndes County. 


"The girls and I plan to make jars of pepper jelly for our donation for the bake sale," said Jeana, whose husband, Bryan Brown, is on Stephen D. Lee Foundation board.  


She joins a host of volunteers busy planning and making specialties for Tuesday. Made-from-scratch cakes, cookies, pies, candies, rolls, breads, cheese straws, jellies and relishes from some of the area''s best cooks will be available to grace Thanksgiving tables throughout the Golden Triangle. 


The sale, from 10 a.m. to noon, is known for drawing a crowd eager for first picks. Shoppers may come by the Lee Home beginning at 8 a.m. Nov. 24 to pick up a number and preview sale items. As 10 a.m. nears, they then line up for admittance according to numbers. But, with so many good cooks, there are tasty finds to be had throughout the sale hours promise organizers. 




Preserving a landmark 


Through the years, the annual sale has netted thousands of dollars to help maintain the circa 1847 Lee Home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A December 1959 fire heavily damaged the antebellum landmark, then being used as a junior high school home economics building. 


Jean actually remembers looking out her second-floor bedroom window that long-ago December and seeing the blaze reflected in the still-dark sky. 


"My room was upstairs, and I woke up to red flames," she recalled of the fierce inferno that destroyed the school connected to the Lee Home.  


Thanks to the efforts of a determined coalition, the home was restored in 1960. Once the residence of CSA Gen. Stephen D. Lee, the gracious structure now houses the Florence McLeod Hazard Museum exhibiting Civil War collections and artifacts. It''s also frequently used for community and private events and is featured in the city''s annual Pilgrimage. Free museum tours will be offered Tuesday. 


A drawing will also be held Tuesday to win a seasonal centerpiece. The $1 tickets can be purchased at the sale.  


For more information about the Country Store Bake Sale, contact Bette Rhea at 662-329-3583, Rita Douglass at 662-327-3193, or the Lee Home at 662-327-8888.  


To follow the Stephen D. Lee Home blog, log on to http://leehomemuseum.wordpress.com. 


Enjoy these recipes generously shared by Jean; they are a few of her favorites from her mother''s collection. 








Apples, enough to fill greased pie pan 


2 tablespoons sugar 


1 tablespoon flour 


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


2 tablespoons water 


1/4 stick butter 


1 cup brown sugar 


1 cup flour 


1/2 cup butter or margarine (for pastry) 


3 tablespoons evaporated milk 










2 cups sugar 


Two sticks butter or margarine 


Four eggs 


1 1/2 cups plain flour 


1/3 cup cocoa 


1/3 teaspoon salt 


3 teaspoons vanilla flavoring 


1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans) 


One large package of miniature marshmallows 




For the frosting: 


1 box powdered sugar 


1/2 cup cocoa 


Two sticks butter or oleo 


1/2 cup evaporated milk 


1 teaspoon vanilla 


1 cup chopped nuts 


(Have frosting ready as soon as cake comes out of the oven.) 










2 cups hot applesauce 


2 teaspoons soda 


1 cup oil 


Two eggs 


2 cups sugar 


3 1/2 cups plain flour 


1 teaspoon powdered cloves 


2 teaspoon cinnamon 


1 cup raisins 


1 cup nuts 


2 teaspoons vanilla 




Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.