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Favorite Recipes from the Middleburg United Methodist Church

Favorite Recipes from the Middleburg United Methodist Church

Story by Kaitlin Hill

For many, the most meaningful place to gather is around a table. Meals hold memories of the connections made between family, friends, and even new friends that participate in the shared experience of dining together. The unique bond made over communal meals is captured in recipes where a cook, novice or expert, can return and recreate a feeling of comfort or joy time and time again. 

The Middleburg United Methodist Church’s “Favorite Recipes” cookbook achieves just that across 100-plus recipes from breakfast to bird food. Read in between the ingredient list lines for Foxcroft Banana Bread or step-by-step instructions for Mrs. Mary Lee Phelps’ Corn Pudding to find so much more than just good food. 

Of the cookbook, Reverend Jonathan Jennings Lamb writes: 

The Middleburg United Methodist Church is excited to announce the release of their much-anticipated cookbook, a true labor of love that embodies the spirit of our congregation’s commitment to community, fellowship, and faith.

A cherished compilation of suppertime prayers and family recipes, lovingly contributed by members and loved ones from our church, the cookbook serves as both a keepsake and a reminder of the lasting connections we share with one another. Within these pages, you will find cherished recipes passed down through generations. The recipes reflect the diversity and richness of our congregation.

Each dish holds a story, a memory, and a piece of our shared history. Some contributors are still with us, their passion for cooking and fellowship alive and well. Others have departed from this world, leaving behind a legacy of love and culinary expertise that continues to inspire and nourish us. Through this cookbook, we honor their memory and celebrate the lives they lived.

With that in mind, here are three recipes from the cookbook which highlight the best of summer ingredients, are perfect for gatherings, and capture the spirit of the congregation members who provided them. 

Corn Pudding

By Mrs. Mary Lee Phelps

  • 1 can of golden crushed corn
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Lots of butter 

Mix all ingredients together. Place in a buttered casserole dish. Bake in a slow 300 F oven for 1 hour. 

Editor’s Note: The can of golden corn is a 15-ounce can. For the “lots of butter” measurement, I used 1 stick (½ cup) of butter, melted. I baked the pudding for five additional minutes until only a slight wiggle remained in the center. Finally, I garnished with fresh chives. 

Crab Cakes with Roma Salsa and Lemon Butter 

By Gail May 

Roma Salsa: 

  • 2 cups of diced roma tomatoes 
  • ½ cup of diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic 
  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a small serving bowl. Cover and chill. 

Lemon Butter: 

  • 1 lemon, peeled and quartered
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup of white wine 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of whole black peppercorns 
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) of unsalted butter cut into pieces 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon of white pepper

Combine lemon, shallot, white wine, bay leaf, and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Reduce liquid over low heat until the mixture is almost dry. Strain liquid, removing bay leaf, peppercorns, and any large particles. Whisk butter, one piece at a time, into strained lemon mixture. Let butter melt before adding additional pieces. Do not allow mixture to boil as butter will break down. Set aside and keep warm. 

Crab Cakes:

  • 2 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup of diced yellow onion 
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons of Creole mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 
  • ½ cup of bread crumbs 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ pounds of fresh lump crabmeat 
  • ½ cup minced green onions 
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter 

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add bell peppers, onions, and garlic; sauté until tender. Add mustard, Worcestershire, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add breadcrumbs and sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Place mixture in a bowl. Fold in eggs, stirring to blend. Stir in crabmeat and green onions; mix well. Chill 30 to 40 minutes. Shape mixture into 12 small crab cakes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Sauté 4 crab cakes on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with remaining crab cakes, adding an additional 1 tablespoon of butter and oil as needed with each batch. 

To serve, spoon lemon butter onto a serving platter, place crab cakes on lemon butter, and top with a dollop of Roma salsa. 

Editor’s Note: I used yellow mustard as a substitute for the Creole mustard, and a red bell pepper in place of a green.

Fresh Strawberry Pie 

By Nancy Lee Comer 

  • 1 pint of strawberries 
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie crust 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 cup of sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch 
  • 1 small box of strawberry Jello

Combine water, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan; bring to boil, remove from heat. Add 1 small package of strawberry Jello. Pour over strawberries; cool. Pour into a 9-inch pie crust. Serve with whipped cream.

Editor’s Note: For the strawberries, I halved or quartered them depending on their size and used 32 ounces of them. 

The Middleburg United Methodist Church “Favorite Recipes” cookbook is available for purchase. For more information, visit or contact Sarah Brissing at (703) 727-2183 or ML

Published in the August 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.

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