Serving from the Heart

An inspired church community makes a difference with their sewing and kitchen skills.

Posted in , Dec 7, 2011

Turban ladies gather to sew head garb for cancer patients

Let me tell you the story of a cookbook that started with a turban. That’s right, a turban.

It all goes back to a piece I read in my June 2001 Guideposts. Christine Young told of sewing turbans for cancer patients who’d lost their hair. I was so inspired, I got the pattern right away and made a turban.

I showed it to the ladies in my Sunday school class at Oak Grove United Methodist Church. They wanted to make them too. Soon 25 of us Turban Ladies were meeting monthly to sew—and eat. After all, you can’t host a sewing party without a potluck!

Word got out, and in 2008 the Atlanta Journal ran a story on us. Donations poured in, more than we needed for the turbans.

“What should we do with the extra money?” someone asked.

“What about putting together a cookbook?” I said. “We’re always swapping recipes at our meetings. We can sell the cookbook and donate the proceeds to our outreach missions.”

The ladies loved the idea and got right to work collecting recipes, submitting their own and those of family and friends. We gathered over 400!

Barbara Woolard’s husband, Hank, gave us recipes from all over the world, dishes that he’d learned to cook in his travels as a US Air Force colonel, like Moroccan lamb and eggplant matzo pie. I shared a family favorite—mostaccioli, a rich, tasty Italian pasta dish my kids and grandkids always ask for.

The one recipe that absolutely had to be included was Carol Cartledge’s corn bread cake. The first time she brought it to a Turban Ladies meeting, she explained that it was named for what it looked like, not for its ingredients.

The cake was moist and nutty, with just the right hint of sweetness. Mmm! We insisted Carol bring it to every gathering after that.

I put the recipes in order, did some illustrations and gave everything to Fran Laughridge and Etta Mae Youmans. They did the rest, including having it printed.

Servings from the Heart sold out. So did our second printing. We’ve been able to buy materials for more turbans and support our church’s outreach missions, like the food bank and children’s home.

We hope that someday we won’t need to make turbans because a cure for cancer will have been discovered. Until then, we say, “Praise the Lord, and pass the needle and thread.” And the corn bread cake.

Try Carol's Corn Bread Cake recipe for yourself!

Learn how to make Marjorie's turbans!


Download your FREE ebook, The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love.

Related Videos

View Comments