Quilting and eating with faith, hope and love

The Faith, Hope, Love Quilters have been meeting since 1997 at St. Matthew’s By-the-Sea United Methodist Church at 1000 Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island. The group originally made baby quilts but soon realized that a greater mission was knocking on their door.

Special to the Coastal Point • Marie Cook: The Faith, Hope, Love Quilters share their favorite recipes with Marie Cook for this weeks Marie’s Kitchen.Special to the Coastal Point • Marie Cook
The Faith, Hope, Love Quilters share their favorite recipes with Marie Cook for this weeks Marie’s Kitchen.

Group founder Shirley Loveland began receiving requests for quilts for cancer patients and others with life-threatening illnesses. No one was turned away. To date, more than 12,000 quilts, hand-tied and machine stitched, 50-by-60-inches, have been donated to Beebe Medical Center’s Tunnell Cancer Center in Lewes.

“We had to stop counting,” said Shirley. “We continue to provide quilts, but the numbers just aren’t important anymore.”

Members of the quilters range in age and come from all over Delmarva. New members are always welcome and are immediately taken under the wing of an experienced quilter to help them find their niche.

“If you can tie a knot, that’s all the skill you need,” Shirley said.

Other simple tasks include ironing quilt squares and backing fabric. Some members show up just to help with setting tables for the luncheon and cleaning up afterward, so that quilters can get back to their work. Tables fill the church fellowship hall, and while one group is sewing squares together, another is tying the squares to batting and backing; yet another group is sewing bindings. Sewing machines are not provided; members bring their own.

Each time the quilters meet, on the third Monday of each month (and also on the fifth Monday, if a month has one), year-round, they complete approximately 25 quilts. Because the 20 to 25 members love what they do, many of them take home materials to complete projects to bring to the next meeting. They meet from 10 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. and always have a covered-dish luncheon.

On the day I attended, the table was groaning with a plethora of items made especially for me and for this column (and also the next column). The ladies prepared the recipes they shared with me so that I could taste and enjoy. My friends, this was no easy task, since almost 20 recipes were shared with me that day. Where is the Coastal Point staff when I need them?

Quilts are fashioned from donated materials and donations are always needed and gratefully accepted. According to Shirley, the group is funded by private donations.

“We all donate materials,” she said, “but we can’t afford to provide everything. We welcome gifts of embroidery thread, fabric, batting, crochet cotton and money. All donations are tax deductible, too,” she added. The group also accepts craft supplies and upholstery fabric. “From upholstery fabric, we make tote bags for homeless adults and children; we fill them with health items, snacks and games,” she said.

And if Shirley receives supplies that they cannot use, she always finds a good home for them, such as the Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville.

Many thank-you notes are received from quilt recipients and/or family members.

“Sometimes a check is enclosed with the note,” Shirley said. “We don’t expect it, but we gladly accept it so we can purchase more supplies to continue to do what we have been called to do.”

If you would like to donate supplies or money, you have three options: (1) Drop off your gifts at the church office (open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.); (2) Call the church office at (302) 537-1402 and leave a message for Shirley Loveland (she will return your call); or (3) Drop in on the third Monday of the month and watch the quilters in action. Who knows? When you drop off your donation, you may be led to join them.

Not all of the quilts go to the sick. Shirley told me of a young girl at a local school who had lost her mother just before Valentine’s Day. Shirley made a quilt covered with hearts and took it to the school.

“When I gave her the quilt,” Shirley said, “I told her, ‘This is your mommy’s heart, and you can cuddle with Mommy anytime you want.’”

The late state Sen. Thurman Adams, Jr., proudly possessed a quilt made by Faith, Hope, Love Quilters. In fact, when Shirley attended the senator’s viewing, she was touched to see that his quilt was draped over him and covers him now into eternity.

Several of the quilters told me that Mary Martinez is famous for her Rum Cake. I don’t often eat dessert, but the ladies outdid themselves in making the recipes they share here today (and in my next column), so I wanted to at least taste the beautiful desserts. My husband loves Rum Cake, so I was encouraged to bring home not only Rum Cake, but also Coconut Cake and Banana Cake. Jim Waehler is one lucky man!

According to Mary, “This rum cake recipe has been in my family for 40 years. My mother always made it for the holidays. After she died, I continued using the recipe. I now make it whenever I want. The ladies at Faith, Hope, Love look forward to eating this cake. I have even seen them licking the icing off the serving plate!”

Mary said that her 20-year-old grandson, Christopher, also loves this cake.

“Whenever I visit him in Texas,” she said, “I have to make it for him. And when I make it for Christmas, I put red and green cherries on top.”

Before anyone took a slice of Mary’s Rum Cake, she did announce that the cake contained the real deal – Bacardi Rum. I didn’t realize until I began typing the recipe that between the cake and the icing, it contains a full cup of rum. Now, that’s what I call the real deal!

Famous Bacardi Rum Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Ingredients for Cake:

? 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

? 1 package (18-1/2 ounces) yellow cake mix

? 1 package (3-3/4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

? 1/2 cup cold water

? 4 eggs

? 1/2 cup Wesson oil

? 1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

Method for Rum Cake:

Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the bottom of the pan. Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs, oil and rum. Pour this batter over the nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Cool. Invert cake onto a serving plate and prick the top of the cake. Drizzle and smooth some of the glaze evenly over the top and sides. Allow cake to absorb the glaze before adding more. Repeat until all glaze is gone.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze.

Ingredients for Glaze:

1/4 pound unsalted butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum (80 proof)

Method for Glaze:

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in rum.

For the luncheon, Barbara Beam prepared Romaine Lettuce Salad, which has big taste and lots of crunch. I thought it contained bacon, but it does not. The crunch comes from the stir-fried ramen noodles and slivered almonds. Barbara said that when she takes this salad to picnics or pot luck suppers, she transports each section of ingredients separately and assembles the salad at her destination. “That way,” she said, “everything is nice and crunchy.” She also uses kitchen scissors to cut the lettuce.

Romaine Lettuce Salad


1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup finely chopped broccoli crowns

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/4 pound butter

1 package (3 ounces) Ramen noodles; discard seasoning packet

1 package (2.25 ounces) slivered almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Method for Romaine Lettuce Salad:

Mix the chopped romaine, broccoli and green onions; set aside.

Melt butter and sauté the Ramen noodles, slivered almonds and sunflower seeds; set aside.

Mix the oil, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar; heat in a saucepan and stir until the sugar melts; set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, mix all ingredients.

Margie DiNenna’s Meatballs are so popular that she always brings a big slow-cooker of them to the quilting bee. Now that she’s been diagnosed with celiac disease and can’t use regular bread to soak in the milk for the meatballs, she now uses a generous sprinkling of crushed corn flakes with great success. I only had one meatball, and by the time I went back for seconds, the pot was empty.

Every recipe has a story, and Margie’s Meatballs are no exception.

“Thelma, my mother-in-law, who is a red-haired Irish woman born in Washington, D.C., used to make these meatballs me for when I was just married (1958). She got tired of making them and said she’d show me how. She learned how to make them from Carmella, her born-in-Italy mother-in-law. These meatballs, served over pasta shells, are one of my husband’s favorites.”

Margie doesn’t just serve her meatballs with red sauce. “I use different types of sauces,” she said, “like sweet and sour sauce, red sauce, or sometimes I use gravy.”

Margie’s Meatballs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


? 3 to 5 pieces of white bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces

? 1/3 cup milk

? 3 to 4 pounds ground chuck (or meat of choice)

? 3 eggs (add an extra egg if the mixture seems too dry)

? Dried onions, generously sprinkled

? Dried parsley, generously sprinkled

? Garlic powder, generously sprinkled

? Parmesan cheese, generously sprinkled

Method for Margie’s Meatballs:

Mix the bread pieces with the milk until they are soaked.

In a large bowl, add beef, eggs and bread mixture. Over the meat mixture, generously sprinkle onions, parsley, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Mix well. If the mixture seems too dry, add an extra egg. If the mixture is too wet, add more cheese.

Form meatballs the size of golf balls. Line a large cookie sheet (with sides) with aluminum foil and place the meatballs on the foil. (Sides on the cookie sheet are important to prevent greasy runoff.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (or microwave for 5 to 7 minutes). Drain meatballs in a colander.

These meatballs freeze well for up to 3 months. To freeze, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the cooked meatballs in a single layer on the foil. Place the sheet into the freezer and when the meatballs are frozen, remove them to a freezer bag.

When ready to serve, defrost meatballs overnight in the refrigerator. Place your desired sauce (sweet and sour, pasta sauce or gravy) into a slow-cooker. Add the meatballs and add more sauce to cover the meatballs. Cook on high for 5 hours, or longer if you use low temperature. Serve as an appetizer or over pasta.

Jackie Disharoon and Jo Miller (whose Chicken Pasta Primavera recipe will appear in my next column) are twins. Jackie noted that the quilting group boasts two sets of twins. Jackie, an expert at sewing bindings to quilts, made Hot Sausage Hildas appetizers. There were no men at this event, but if you plan to make them for men, definitely make extras!

“This recipe was given to me by my friend, Anita Trapp,” Jackie said. “She said that the original recipe came from a farm family. The family had raised a pig (for food) that the kids named Hilda. Naturally, they didn’t want to butcher her, but it meant food for the family, so the mother made up this recipe in Hilda’s memory.”

Hot Sausage Hildas

Preheat broiler.


? 1 pound bulk sausage

(mild, hot or however you like it)

? 1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks

? Cocktail party bread slices (pumpernickel, rye or white — usually found in the deli section of supermarkets)

Method for Hot Sausage Hildas:

As you fry the sausage, break it into small pieces with a fork as it cooks. Add the chunks of Velveeta cheese mixing it with the sausage as it melts. Spread the mixture on bread slices and place under broiler for a few minutes to brown.

I was delighted to see so many tasty salads on the table. More will appear in my next column. Broccoli Slaw with Blue Cheese was very popular. For a recipe with only three ingredients, this is a winner!

“Mike” Kroener says she can’t remember where she got this recipe, but I’ll be adding it to my book of favorites. She said that her “real” name is not important – Mike is her nickname and works just fine for her and everyone else.

Broccoli Slaw

with Blue Cheese


? 2 bags broccoli slaw

? About 3/4 of a jar of Marzetti’s Cole Slaw Sauce

? 1/4 to 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Method for Broccoli Slaw with Blue Cheese:

Mix all ingredients and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. This allows the blue cheese flavor to blossom.

With so much zucchini available at farmer’s markets, produce stands and grocery stores, new zucchini recipes are always welcome. Lynn Wivell’s Zucchini Cheese Squares were a big hit. This combination of biscuit mix, zucchini, cheese and seasonings makes a quick and satisfying party appetizer that can also double as a tasty accompaniment to soup or salad. Lynn says that these squares are definitely better when served warm.

Zucchini Cheese Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


? 3 cups thinly sliced zucchini or other summer squash

? 1 cup buttermilk baking mix

? 1/2 cup chopped onion

? 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

? 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

? 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

? 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

? 1 clove garlic, minced

? Freshly ground black pepper

? 1/2 cup canola or olive oil

? 4 eggs, beaten

Method for Zucchini Cheese Squares:

Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, baking mix, onion, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, salt, garlic and pepper to taste. Mix to combine. Make a well in the center.

In a small bowl, combine the oil and eggs; mix well. Pour into the well in the zucchini mixture and mix just enough to combine. Spread in the prepared baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm. Yield: 8 to 20 squares, depending on the size you cut them.

Those of us who know Shirley Loveland are well aware of her passion for making quilts for others. As people wander in to begin the quilt sessions, Shirley has already been at work setting up tables, ironing boards, getting out and setting in predictable order the bins and boxes of quilt squares, quilt tops, backing, batting, needles, scissors and embroidery floss. Once you’ve been there a time or two, you realize how orderly everything is so that time is not wasted asking, “Where is this? Where is that?” Her system really flows.

Shirley shares with us her recipe for Iced Banana Cake. To make “sour milk,” let milk come to room temperature and for each cup of milk in a recipe, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. In a few minutes, the milk will curdle (sour).

Shirley’s Iced Banana Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


? 2 cups all-purpose flour

? 1 teaspoon baking powder

? 1 teaspoon baking soda

? 3/4 teaspoon salt

? 1/2 cup shortening (I use butter.)

? 1-1/3 cups sugar

? 2 unbeaten eggs

? 1 cup mashed bananas

? 1/2 cup sour milk (1/2 cup room temperature milk mixed with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice; let sit a few minutes)

Method for Shirley’s Banana Cake:

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Cream butter with sugar and eggs. Mix the mashed bananas with the sour milk and add to the butter mixture. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until batter is nicely blended. Place batter into two 9-inch cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes; cool on wire racks.

Icing for Shirley’s Banana Cake:

? 1 box (16 ounces) 10X powdered sugar

? 1/4 pound unsalted butter

? Dash of salt

? Splash of milk

Method for Icing:

Cream sugar and butter and add just a dash of salt and enough milk to make it spreadable, but not too thin. Spread icing on one layer, top with the second cake layer and frost again.

(Editor’s note: If you have recipes to share, or recipes you want, contact Marie Cook, Coastal Point, P.O. Box 1324, Ocean View, DE 19970; or by email at ChefMarieCook@gmail.com. Please include your phone number. Recipes in this column are not tested by the Coastal Point.)