You’d better bring your A game if you want to compete with Donna Stokes Rogers at coffee hour at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Franklin. The women of St. Paul’s are foodies as a group, but Donna stands above the rest. Doughnuts out of a box? Never on her watch. Today, she had the helm and made two kinds of scones with homemade Devonshire cream, mini Cheddar-bacon muffins, a fruit pound cake, sauteed sausage slices and a fruit and cheese tray that looked like it belonged on the cover of a Williams-Sonoma catalogue.
The great thing about church food in general is that the women (and most of the contributors are women) always bring their A game. Funeral food, reception food, Easter Vigil food. It’s all good.
One of the great food purveyors at St. Paul’s was Donna Johns. Lord, that girl could cook. She’s since moved to Dover, but she left behind many recipes. Her cheese straws are beyond compare.
Donna Johns’ Cheese Straws
½ cup butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded, at room temperature
2 cups self-rising flour
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In mixer bowl, beat butter, salt and pepper until creamy. Add cheese; mix well, Gradually add flour, mixing until dough begins to form a ball. Form dough into ball with hands. Fit cookie press with small star plate; fill with dough according to manufacturer’s directions. Press dough onto cookie sheets in 3” long strips. Bake 12 minutes, just until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Store tightly covered.