Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Cooking: 5 Women Set Up Lunch Service at Church

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Cooking: 5 Women Set Up Lunch Service at Church

Article excerpt

Thursdays, Epiphany United Church of Christ in Benton Park invites people in to purchase a homemade lunch prepared by one of the five women in the church's commercial kitchen. The proverb says "too many cooks spoil the broth," but it doesn't hold true at the Kitchen Table, where everyone cooks and each woman benefits.

The women began meeting as a support group but soon discovered they got more talking done when they worked on a project. Cooking became the activity of choice and the Kitchen Table (also known as TKT) was born.

The women first served lunch to in-house staff and volunteers in December 2013. To continue cooking together, they needed to finance themselves. They decided to offer a lunch service open to all.

Everyone passed the ServSafe training program and gathered family recipes together. Today, the menu and the cook change weekly and the Kitchen Table feeds guests homemade lunches from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The project generates enough to pay the weekly cook and her assistant once every five weeks.

To learn more about the Kitchen Table, view the week's menu and make reservations check their website,

* Reservations drive how much they cook.

Stephanie Wynn, your signature lasagna recipe is a crowd-pleaser at the Kitchen Table. How did you come up with it? I come from a family of really good cooks. They gave me great feedback on little tweaks to the recipe, which I worked on for 20 years until I got it just right. It's my dish for family parties today. When we get together, my aunties announce "Stephanie's cooking the lasagna." That's real validation for me.

Bertha Wherry, what's next on the agenda for you? My on-the- burner dream is to open a catering service. I learned from my mama you have to do the footwork to change your life. When I came to this church I was homeless. I prayed for a relationship with God and for someone to love. In February I got married to a minister, so I got both.

Darlene Murphy, what's your favorite dish to cook at TKT and why? My mom and dad taught my sister and me to cook when we were little so we could take care of ourselves when we got older. I loved to watch my mom make meatloaf, so today it's my favorite thing to cook at the church. I'm grateful to Bertha, who invited me to the group. It has changed my life for the better.

Danette Brown, how has the group supported you? Ms. Stevie that's Stephanie told me about the group and I've come ever since. We tried knitting and sewing as activities in the beginning, but the lunch? That's the activity that keeps us together. We are all women with challenges and accomplishments, and we have a chance to do our part here. I designed our business cards, name tags and a T-shirt. I make a really good turkey burger.

Angie O'Gorman, what has been the biggest surprise in the project? The sheer number of family recipes the women brought in when we started. …

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