3 Things You'll Only Find in a Church Cookbook 

Further proof that sharing a treasured recipe is downright spiritual.

church cookbook
Photo: TenLittleTreasures on Etsy

When it comes to Southern churchgoers' most dog-eared books, the Bible indisputably comes first, but the church cookbook takes its place as a close second. Like recipe collections curated by school groups and various chapters of the Junior League, church cookbooks reflect the people who lovingly put them together and the places they were made: For instance, pick up a cookbook by a Catholic congregation in Louisiana, and you're likely to find more than one mention of the Holy Trinity—first for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and second for jambalaya's requisite onions, bell pepper, and celery; grab one curated by a small-town Baptist congregation, and you'll be hard-pressed to find any recipes with booze—save, perhaps, for the rum cake. (Surely God would approve of that specific use?) But whether you're Catholic or Baptist, there's one thing we can all agree on: Communion would be a heck of a lot tastier if we skipped the bread or wafers and opted for pound cake instead. Here, we've rounded up 3 things you'll only find in a church cookbook.

A Spiritually Charged Title

Church cookbooks don't beat around the bush when it comes to proclaiming their overarching message: God is good, and a home-cooked meal is something close to divine. While some congregations stick to straightforward cookbook titles (Famous Foods from First Church or Westridge Hills Church Cook Book), others opt to lean into the holy-inspired and downright punny, like Feeding the Flock, Burnt Offerings, or Heavenly Dishes.

Multiple Recipes Proclaiming That They Are the Best Ever

The topic of humility may get a lot of play in the pulpit, but when it comes to potlucks and cookbooks, that's the last virtue on any cook's mind. If Betty Sue has determined the meringue on her lemon pie to be the tallest and fluffiest, you best believe she'll spell that truth out in the recipe title as if it's gospel: The Tallest, Fluffiest Lemon Meringue Pie. The only problem? At least one other person truly believes hers is the tallest, fluffiest lemon meringue pie at First United Methodist Church, and she'll dub hers that in the cookbook too. We'll take it as God's way of teaching a lesson in discernment; we'll make them both and draw our own conclusions.

An Ingredient List Chock-Full of Important Virtues

It wouldn't be a church cookbook without at least one recipe that's studded with fruits of the Spirit (or at the very least a heaping cup of kindness), rather than actual pantry staples. You also may find a recipe for Scripture Cake, which will give you a chance to brush up on your Bible knowledge as you bake.

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