Home League ladies showcase their cooking skills

By Lucie R. Willsie Lifestyle Reporter

June 25, 2014

The ladies from the Salvation Army’s Women’s Home League in Mount Airy usually bring some type of dish to share with their fellow ladies in the group when they meet every Tuesday evening.

For example, Sheryl Bondurant, a member of the local Women’s Home League, brought the Custard Pie and the Southern Potato Salad to the weekly Salvation Army’s Women’s Home League last Tuesday evening.

“The secret to the potato salad that sets it apart is the little bit of sugar,” Bondurant said. “That makes it taste so much better.”

Bondurant has been cooking for almost 50 years, ever since she got married. If she had to choose, she would say she is mainly known for her side dishes.

And, her advice to other cooks out there, beginner or even experienced, is not to be afraid to experiment in making different dishes. That’s the best way to learn, she believes.

“That’s how I learned,” she confirmed.

Lisa Clingenpeel, another member of the group who brings in food for the meetings, made the Baked Spaghetti.

“It’s my family’s favorite recipe,” Clingenpeel admitted. “And yet, it’s also easy, simple, fast and great to make for a big family.”

Clingenpeel has been cooking for about 30 years or so, every since she was almost a teenager. She now has a big extended family of her own, and she takes great delight in teaching her sons and daughter, as well as her granddaughter, all her cooking expertise.

Her greatest advice to any cook out there is to “just make it with love … If you cook angry, you’ll burn the food.”

Velma White got the inspiration for her dish that she brought to the home league from a local restaurant.

“I saw a strawberry salad at the restaurant,” White said. Then, she went home and added pineapples and Cool Whip because she thought it would taste great together — and she was right. But there was an added benefit she didn’t count on — her doctor approved of her dish as well.

One “secret” trick with this Strawberry Salad dish, White added, is to remember to change the flavor of the Jello to match the fruit if the fruit is changed.

Lisa Jeffreys, also a member of the league, made the Frito Corn Salad for the first time the evening she brought it to the Home League. She said it was easy to make — yet a uniquely different type of dish that appeals to most folks.

Myrna Collins, president of the local group, made several different types of dishes for the recent weekly meeting. She made Pig in a Poke, Hoe Cakes, Pea Pot Casserole and No Bake Watermelon Cake. She has been cooking for many years, roughly about 30.

“I love to cook … I was attracted to the watermelon cake because of the way it looked,” she said. “I’ve surprised many people with that cake. People think it’s strawberry cake, but its a fresh fruit cake … I should call it a surprise cake.”

The “secret” to creating the watermelon cake is to put the cake in the freezer for about five minutes after spreading on the Cool Whip and then garnishing the cake with the strawberries after it’s been in the freezer.

The Salvation Army’s Women’s Ministries-Home League is a national group that has a chapter in Mount Airy that meets every Tuesday with devotions from 6:30 to 7 p.m. led by The Salvation Army Church pastor, and with the meeting starting at 7 p.m. and lasting to around 8:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Church on South Street. Its goals are for worship, fellowship, education and service. The group is also designed to bring women to Christ and encourage spiritual growth.

Next year, the group is making some plans to celebrate the organization’s 150th anniversary.

To join the local group, a woman, 16 years old or older, single or married, first needs to attend a minimum of four meetings, not necessarily in a row. Everyone is invited to attend the church services and ladies 16 and over the Home League. For more information, contact Myrna Collins, president of the local Home League, at 710-7333 or the church at 786-4075.





1 unbaked, 9-inch pie shell

2/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups of hot water

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3 eggs



In a medium-size bowl, blend together the milk, water, salt, and vanilla. In a small-size bowl, beat the eggs until just blended. Stir the eggs into the milk mixture, and pour the combined mixture into the pie shell. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, to taste. Bake in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300-degrees Fahrenheit and bake between 20 and 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature. Then, refrigerate.




2 - 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

15 potatoes, peeled and cubed, different sizes

1/2 cup of sweet pickles, chopped, or sweet relish

2/3 cup of onions, chopped, or more if desired to taste

1/2 teaspoon of mustard

1 teaspoon of salt and pepper

1 to 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise, or more if desired to taste

1 pinch of sugar, or 2, if desired to taste


Boil potatoes. Drain and put them into a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.




1 box of spaghetti noodles

3 cans of spaghetti sauce, your choice

2 cups of tomato juice

2 pounds of ground beef

2 (16 ounce) bag of shredded cheese, your choice


Cook and drain the ground beef. Cook and strain the spaghetti. Into a big baking dish, add the noodles and ground beef together, along with the spaghetti sauce and tomato juice and mix together well. Put the shredded cheese on top and cook for 20 minutes at 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Then, broil for 2 to 3 minutes just to melt and brown the cheese.




1 large can of crushed pineapples, drained

1 (16 ounce) low-fat, small curd cottage cheese, mashed fine

1 large box of Jello, dry, to match the fruit(s) being used

1 bag of slice strawberries, chopped

1 bag of miniature marshmallows

1 large container of light Cool Whip, thawed


Mix all the ingredients together. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. (Chef’s note: When changing out the fruit, make sure also to change out the Jello. For example, if you use black cherries, also use black cherry Jello.)




2 cans of corn, well drained

2 cups of cheese, grated (which kind up to personal taste)

1 green pepper, diced

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning

1/2 cup of red onions, finely chopped

1 (10 1/4 ounce) bag of regular Fritos or chili cheese Fritos


Reserve about a cup/cup and a half of Fritos. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Garnish with the reserved Fritos just before serving.




4 cups of white corn meal

2 cups of milk

1 stick of butter, melted


Mix the corn meal with the milk. Add in the melted butter. Stir and drop 2 to 3 Tablespoons into a frying pan of heated oil to make one, 3-inch diameter “pancake.”




2 packs of hot dogs

2 cans of Grands biscuits


Cut the hot dogs in half. Divide the biscuit dough into two pieces. Wrap dough around each hot dog and mash down the end piece. Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until brown.




1/2 of a watermelon, preferably round rather than oval

2 cartons of Cool Whip

1/2 pint of fresh strawberries


Scoop out the watermelon half as a whole piece and place flat side on a plate. Spread the Cool Whip all across the top of the watermelon half. Garnish decoratively with strawberries. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.




2 cans of green peas

1 can of carrots, sliced

4 potatoes, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 stick of butter


Mix the 2 cans of green peas together with the can of carrots. Peel the potatoes and boil them in a separate pot. Then, add the potatoes to the pea and carrot mixture. Next, add the onions. Boil this entire mixture on top of the stove for 20 minutes. Serve by transferring this dish into a casserole dish.

Lucie R. Willsie can be reached at 336-719-1930 or on Twitter at LucieR.Willsie.