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Union County Holiday Foods “Holidays on the Mediterranean”

November 24, 2012

Posted by Liz McKay, FCS Agent

The Union County Cooperative Extension Service and the Union County Extension Homemakers Clubs conducted their annual Holiday Foods on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at the First Assembly of God Ministry Center with the theme, “Holidays on the Mediterranean.”  Liz McKay, FCS Agent, talked about the Mediterranean Diet as the “gold standard” among diets and how the people who live along the Mediterranean Sea are the healthiest in the world because of food choices and lifestyles.

About thirty EHC members participated by bringing door prizes, making candy for the candy sale and preparing dishes for 290 participants.

Sharon Traylor, Master Gardener and friend of EHC, is a creative genius for designing stage sets from cardboard.  She says, “I dream of designs and then create them.”  She studied the Mediterranean customs and found they had at least three in common:  crèche (the nativity), children’s shoes used at Christmas for candy and small gifts and hand bell choirs.  We incorporated all three in the program.  The first two were part of the decorations and the FirstUnitedMethodistChurch’s hand bell choir performed.

There were 113 pairs of shoes donated by the EHC clubs and EHC friends.  These shoes were given to the Salvation Army, CASA and the South East Boys/Girls Club.  When participants were asked if they wanted to make the giving of shoes an annual community service project for holiday foods, everyone clapped their approval.

The holiday foods program has been conducted for 39 years.  Liz McKay has been conducting the program for the last 25 years and has expanded the program’s growth from 100 to almost 300 participants.  Food demonstrations have been dropped and only the featured dishes with recipes to be tasted are presented.   Educational programs on nutrition/health and entertainment have been added to the holiday foods program.

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