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The Christian Community Women’s Luncheon

Was a success! Everything went without a hitch and the ladies say they had a great time.

Around 55 people attended this year’s CCWL. I was the kitchen facilitator, so all things food fell to my leadership. I am not a micro-manager, as their usual leader is. Many of the women liked having more freedom, but a few of them didn’t. Even so, we all worked together well.

I let the table crew, Gloria, Mary and April, set up and decorate tables. They picked the color-scheme and decorations and had a blast. They also did a lovely job using live tulips and pansies and bright spring colored table clothes.

For lunch we served various salads and asked the women of our church to drop off assorted nice serving bowls (we had 7 tables and served lunch family style at each one). I appointed the table committee to sort the bowls and decide which ones went together for each table. My job was to make the salads and fill the bowls. I had a couple of kitchen helpers. April and Mary also did dishes and kept the coffee and tea pots filled. Peter — the only man in attendance — was my assistant cook and he made the most incredibly gorgeous fruit trays. Pam was in charge of baking the dinner rolls and Kathy put the dessert buffet together. Irene and Candy helped where needed with set up and clean up. All of us did some of the cooking at home and brought things in for salad assembly Tuesday afternoon.

The main meal consisted of Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad (my recipe), Parmesan Pea Salad (Candy’s recipe), and Molded Cranberry Salad (Irene’s recipe). All were great hits. Pastor slipped in the back door and made himself a plate. He had no wish to make an appearance at the lady’s luncheon, but he’d heard there was chicken salad in the kitchen and wanted “a taste”. He took a tiny bit and went to his office — then came back and filled his plate. He now has a standing order for chicken salad whenever I make it.

After the luncheon was over half the women at the banquet flooded into the kitchen to help. That’s how church women are. At one point I said, “Excuse me” to Irene and there was no where for her to move. She said, “What do you want?” And I said, “Since you asked, I think about three more women in the kitchen would be nice.” Irene looked quite startled. Across the room April said, “You know, I think you are right. There are still a few women in the Fellowship Hall. Why don’t we call them in here?” Then Irene said, “Well, if you think the kitchen is too crowded, you could go home and get out of the way of the clean up crew. Your job is over.” I finished packing the fruit to freeze and did just that.

I was in the kitchen from 9:20 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. My feet aren’t used to that any more and they wanted me to sit down! Instead I came home, grabbed some orders and delivered Avon.


Quilly’s Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad

  • 10 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 5 celery ribs, diced
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups chopped, toasted pecans
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard

Stir together chopped cooked chicken; celery ribs, diced; green onions, thinly sliced; toasted pecans; sweetened dried cranberries; mayonnaise; and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill up to 3 days.


Candy’s Parmesan Pea Salad

  • 2 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen petite peas
  • ½ C celery, chopped
  • 2 T green onions, sliced
  • ½ C sunflower seeds
  • ½ C grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ C cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • ½ C mayonnaise
  • ½ C sour cream

Mix all ingredients. The frozen peas will cool the other ingredients, but it will need a bit of time for them to defrost before it can be served.


Irene’s Molded Cranberry Salad

  • 6 oz. pkg raspberry Jello
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 16 oz can cranberry sauce (whole or jellied, but whole adds texture)
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple
  • ½ C grape juice (or red wine)
  • ¼ C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce, crushed pineapple & grape juice. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour into mold or 9×13″ dish until set.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. YUM!!!!!
    ! I’m going to try them all. Excellent salads for the summer and light enough to eat for dinner too.

    Oh, FYI, my blog address has changed…

  2. Those all sound really good, Quilly. 🙂 In two ways: 1) you must be recovering from your aillings; and 2) the menu is just wonderful.

    I like chicken salad. Yours would be my favorite with the mustard flavored base. Dijon would be very fine. I would omit the pecans because of doctor’s orders. Two apples cut up would substitute very fine in my kitchen.

    Mrs. Jim is at our (church) Ladies Fellowship luncheon. Wonder of wonders, but she is rolling off a two-year stint at vice president without becoming the new president. That was her condition upon accepting the original offer.

    Oh yes, no homemade salads there because we have a professional kitchen staff. The ladies will pay $6.00 to eat the meal. The program this time will be awarding the ladies’ seven scholarshps of this year for our graduating seniors who will be going to college.

  3. So glad everything went well! I know it’s a relief to have that done, though it was enjoyable. Glad everything worked out ok!

    Tomorrow is the Mother-Daughter banquet at our new church as is the Ladies’ Luncheon in our old church. This is the first time in about 9 or 10 years I haven’t had a hand in it. It feels great in some ways but a little sad in others. I did think about seeing if there was anything I could do to help out at this one….but I talked myself out of it. 🙂 Turns out we’re having out-of-town company coming in Sunday, so I think that turned out for the best.

  4. The chicken salad really sounds good. I wish I would taste yours before I try to make it. Glad the luncheon went well. Sounds like everybody had a good time.

  5. It sounds like you’re the perfect mix of supervising and delegating, and letting each person rise to their level of comfort and competence.

    Well done!

    And I think I just changed what I’m taking for our CBS luncheon next Tuesday…

  6. What a successful luncheon…you must feel great about it! Thanks for sharing recipes, especially your chicken salad.

  7. I’m so glad you had such a good time and that everything went off so well. Thank you for sharing those recipes. They sound wonderful! That chicken salad really sounds tasty!

  8. Glad it was such a success, the dishes sound wonderful. I am going to see about making your chicken salad recipe.

  9. What an awesome uplifting day! And a great showing with 55 women! I love pecans in my chicken salad, but have never tried the cranberries. It sounds excellent!!!

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