SOUP’S ON: Signature dishes to fill ’empty bowls’ Friday

Published 4:00 am Thursday, April 19, 2018

Shades of Lester’s Flat!

Those who remember Lester Sanders’ place out on Highway 29 will certainly remember Lester’s chili. It was so famous that he kept the recipe under lock and key with a bulldog standing guard.

As with most guarded recipes, Sanders had a secret ingredient that he kept a close secret but his daughter has “kind of figured it out.”

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Kim May will hook the window screens and bolt the doors when she makes Lester’s famous chili for the 2018 Empty Bowls Luncheon tomorrow (Friday) at Bush Memorial Baptist Church.

But, the chili that put Lester’s Flat on the map will not be the only famous soup and such in the Pike County Salvation Army’s cook pot at the 2018 Empty Bowls Luncheon.

“The soup and such bar will be the biggest we’ve had and the best soups, stews, chilies, gumbos you ever put in a bowl,” said May, who is the director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center. “Some of the best cooks in the county are making their signature ‘soups ’n such’ and you won’t be able to stop with one or two. The variety is too tempting for that.”

The soup bar will feature a variety of homemade soups, including turnip, collard, beef vegetable, taco, chicken noodle, loaded baked potato, tomato bisque and creamy broccoli.

For those who want something a bit more filling, the bar will offer Dennis Griffin’s famous gumbo; Ron Case’s to die for tortellini and the Pike County Salvation Army’s heritage recipe camp stew.

And, May said to diners should make sure to leave room for dessert.

Olene Sanders’ special pound cake and Carter Sanders’ bread pudding are back by popular demand but those desserts will have stiff competition from a variety of cakes, brownies, cookies and cupcakes that will grace the table.

“We talk a lot about the luncheon and all the good food that we’ll have but we encourage everyone to remember that there are people around the world, and right here a home, that go to be hungry at night,” May said. “The Empty Bowls are reminders of world hunger.” Each ticket holder may choose a handmade ‘empty bowl” to take home. The clay bowls were made by individuals, students and potters that participated in the Clay Conference.”
There will also be bid bowls made by professionals potters from the local area.

“The 2018 Empty Bowls Luncheon will be a community-wide event,” May said. “

“We invite everyone to join us for a delicious lunch, entertainment by singer/songwriter Lenny Trawick and in support of those in our community who are in need.”

All proceeds from the Empty Bowl Luncheon support the Pike County Salvation Army’s food pantry and those who in need of temporary assistance.

The Empty Bowls Luncheon will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday in the fellowship hall at Bush Memorial Baptist Church on George Wallace Drive in Troy.