By Ann Cipperly

After decades of holding a Christmas coffee for physicians at the hospital, members of the EAMC Auxiliary began two years ago preparing homemade goodies and delivering trays to nurses’ stations and offices throughout the hospital. Auxiliary members will deliver the trays laden with the special treats Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 to express thanks to the staff during the holiday season.

“We realized that many doctors were not coming to the hospital any longer,” says Sarah Strawn, president of the auxiliary, “and we noticed when we took the leftovers from the coffee to the nurses’ stations, they were excited to have the snacks. We thought we needed to rethink what we were doing.”

“The auxiliary felt that we needed to recognize the employees,” says Don Ford, who co-chaired the first two years with his wife Faye, who is also an auxiliary member. Last year they delivered 106 trays of snacks and may have more this year.

“All we did was tell the auxiliary members what we were doing and why, and then asked for their assistance in baking goods,” says Faye Ford. “They showed up in droves. It was very much a success due to their participation.”

Auxiliary members take assorted snacks, including cookies, breads, cakes, candies and cheese wafers that do not have to be refrigerated. Since parking can be difficult, the Teen-Age Volunteers (TAVS) stand outside the hospital on delivery afternoons to gather goodies being dropped off.

A room is set aside to assemble the trays that are then taken to nurses stations, to offices at housekeeping, laundry, transportation, security and many others throughout the hospital. The Teen-Age Volunteers also assist with assembling trays and delivery.

“I am excited about the trays this year,” says Fay Burns, current chairman, who has been a member of the auxiliary for 11 years, serving in various offices. This is her fourth year on the state auxiliary board, serving as vice chair of district three this year.

“It is always a pleasure for auxilians to be at the hospital and know that we are helping the employees and patients,” adds Fay. “This is one way we can show the staff our appreciation for them by giving them Christmas cheer.’

The auxiliary recently held their annual fundraiser, Masquerade jewelry and accessories sale, in classroom C at the hospital. The sale is held yearly the weekend before Thanksgiving. Every item is only five dollars. Proceeds benefit the EAMC Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship Fund. This year they presented three scholarships.

They also use a portion of the funds to purchase small equipment for the hospital.

Anyone in the community who would like to make a donation to the auxiliary can donate through the EAMC Foundation. Just mark your donation for the auxiliary.

The auxiliary currently has 240 active members and is always looking for new volunteers. Each member commits to working at least four hours per month, while most work eight hours or more. Volunteers range in age from mid 20s to mid 90s.

The former Candy Striper program is known today as the Teen-Age Volunteers and has 99 members. They work under direct supervision of auxiliary members assigned to this service area. The purpose of the program is to provide students interested in the medical field with an introduction to hospital operations. All volunteers are high school students from the Lee County area.

Collectively, the two groups contributed approximately 28,000 service hours to EAMC last year.

Following is a sampling of recipes auxiliary members prepare for the Christmas snack trays to deliver throughout the hospital.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at


Cheese Crisps
Fay Burns
2 sticks butter, softened
10 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. red pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Cream butter and cheese together. Add pepper, flour and cereal. Roll into small balls. Flatten with a fork dipped into ice water. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

French Breakfast Puffs
Sarah Strawn
Muffin Batter:
1/3 cup butter, softened, or butter-flavored shortening
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1½ cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with baking spray or use paper baking cups.
Cream butter and sugar with mixer. Add egg and continue beating until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg until well blended.
Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture alternately with milk. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately, roll muffins in melted butter; then roll in mixture of ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Serve hot. Makes 12 medium muffins. (Can bake as 36 mini-muffins. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.)

Don’s Lane Cake
Don Ford
2 1/2 cups White Lily self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole buttermilk
Lane Cake Frosting (recipe follows)
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, and line with wax paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until flour has been incorporated. Slowly add buttermilk. Divide batter among pans; each pan will be about half full. Tap pans on counter to remove bubbles. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pans to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Invert pans onto wire racks sprayed with vegetable oil to cool cake completely, or quick-chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
To assemble, place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand. Using an offset spatula, spread with fairly thick layer of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers. To frost the top and sides of the cake, work from the center toward and over the edge, making sure to coat evenly. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Lane Cake Frosting
12 large egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
1 3/4 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 ½ cups chopped raisins or dates (or combo)
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
2/3 cup whiskey of choice
2 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
Coconut to sprinkle on top
Beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes; gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Beat 3 minutes. Gradually add butter, beating at low speed until blended.
Transfer mixture to a 3-qt. heatproof bowl. Place bowl over simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and an instant-read thermometer registers 170° (about 30 to 35 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in pecans and remaining ingredients. Cool 1 hour.

Christmas Cherry Bells
Carolyn Moore
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
Filling (recipe follows)
Maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
Combine flour, soda, salt, and ginger in mixing bowl and stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl, cream together brown sugar, butter and egg until light. Add flour mixture and mix well. Shape dough into two rolls, approximately 1 ½ inch diameter. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill.
Cut dough into 1/8 inch slices and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Place ½ tsp. filling in center of each cookie; then fold sides of cookie so that they overlap slightly at the top and fan out at the bottom to form a bell shape. Add a piece of cherry for the clapper. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown.
Combine coconut almond frosting mix, ¼ cup softened butter and ¼ cup milk. Mix well. (Can use canned frosting)

Kentucky Bourbon Balls
These are long time Auxilian Jenny Roe’s specialty. For over 40 years, she prepared them for the annual EAMC Auxiliary Christmas Coffee. Several physicians attended the event specifically for a taste of Ms. Jenny’s Bourbon Balls!
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup Kentucky bourbon
½ cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp. condensed milk
7 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
7 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 ½ Tbsp. paraffin
Soak pecans in bourbon overnight or longer. Mix pecans, butter, condensed milk and confectioners’ sugar. If you can easily roll mixture into balls, do so. If not, chill overnight. Roll into walnut-sized balls and freeze.
Place unsweetened chocolate and paraffin in a small pan; set this in a larger pan with some water in it. Heat over low heat until chocolate is melted (Can also use a double boiler).
Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take about 6 balls out of the freezer at a time and, using a toothpick, dip the balls into the chocolate; drop onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
When you have several done, dip the back of a spoon in the chocolate and fill toothpick holes.

Cherry Rice Crisps
Nellie Aldridge
¼ cup margarine or butter
10 oz. pkg. marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
4 oz. pkg. green candied cherries
4 oz. pkg. red candied cherries
Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Melt margarine or butter in large saucepan over low heat; add marshmallow, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Mix in the fruit and then press into prepared pan using back of buttered spoon. Let cool and then cut into squares.

Holiday Rum Balls
Debbie Bailey
1 cup vanilla wafers, finely crushed
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ cups pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup good rum (dark or spice preferred)
1 cup powdered or granulated sugar for coating
Combine all ingredients, except sugar for coating, in a large bowl and let stand to allow flavors to meld together.
Roll wafer mixture into large marble-size balls (approximately 1 heaping teaspoon). Once balls are formed, roll in powdered sugar or granulated sugar to coat. Place coated balls in an airtight container and let flavors develop for 2-3 days.

Faye Ford
Recipe given by Kathy Eastridge and Rita Jones.
5 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites
3 cups chopped pecans
Combine syrup, water and sugar in large boiler.  Boil to 265 degrees
(hard ball stage).  Beat egg whites stiff and gradually beat in
boiling syrup mixture.  Whip until it begins to stiffen.  Add vanilla
and nuts.  Drop on wax paper.  Makes about 150 pieces.
Note: Kathy stresses the trick is to continuously drop first three ingredients into cold water until the first crystal ball forms and to then take it off immediately. (The soft ball is just not enough.)

Forgotten Cookies
Fay Burns
2 egg whites (room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate bits or cornflakes or crisp rice cereal
1 cup coconut, if desired
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Beat egg whites until foamy (be sure that eggs are at room temperature before using). Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff. Add salt and vanilla; mix well. Add pecans and choice of other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop cookies by teaspoons onto ungreased foil covered cookie sheet. Place cookies in oven and immediately turn oven off. Leave cookies in closed oven overnight. Makes 2 dozen.

Southern Caramel Cake
Faye and Don Ford
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
Southern Caramel Icing (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare three 9-inch cake pans. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cream for about 8 more minutes.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, and cream after each.
Add flour and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
Add vanilla and beat well.
Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
Prepare Southern Caramel Icing as cakes are cooling; then ice cake.
Southern Caramel Icing (can double the recipe)
4 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup Crisco
1 cup butter
2 tsp. baking soda
Mix all ingredients in a 3-4 quart cast iron Dutch oven.
Swirl pan to keep ingredients moving in the pan.
Cook to softball stage 235º – 245º on a candy thermometer or when tested in a cup of cold water.
Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy and ready to spread.

Overnight Coffeecake
Sarah Strawn
Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cups butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Grease and lightly flour the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl of mixer, stir together flour, sugars, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add buttermilk, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Blend mixture with mixer at low speed until all ingredients moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
In a small bowl, blend topping ingredients. Sprinkle over batter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The following day, bake coffeecake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

Mom’s Rolled Moravian Ginger Cookies
Sarah Strawn
These thin, crispy spice cookies, either homemade or bought from local bakeries, are found in most homes in Piedmont N. C. during the Christmas season.
5 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup hydrogenated shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. vinegar
Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; stir well to mix. Beat shortening 30 seconds with electric mixer. Add sugar and cream until fluffy.
Add egg, molasses and vinegar to shortening/sugar mixture; beat well.
Add dry ingredients; beat well. Cover and chill dough 3 hours or overnight.
Divide dough into thirds. Roll very thin (less than 1/8 inch) on a floured surface. Cut \into desired shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool slightly; remove from baking sheet to wire rack. Store in airtight container.
Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

Shortbread Cookies
Faye Ford
3/4 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until just combined. Add vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt, then add to butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Quick and Easy Turtles
Faye and Don Ford
Small, bite-sized pretzels
Chocolate covered caramels
Pecan halves (can toast if desired)
Preheat oven to 275. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place pretzels on tray in a single layer, salted side up, spacing at least an inch apart. Unwrap candies and place one on top of each pretzel. Bake for 3 minutes.
Remove from oven and gently press a pecan half into each softened candy. Let harden (I popped them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to speed up this step).

Easy Peasy Fudge
Don Ford
7-oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thick.
Remove from heat and pour in the milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or until firm. Cut to small squares and wrap in parchment paper.

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
Sarah Strawn
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl of mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until well mixed. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in white baking chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake cookies 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not over bake; cookies will be soft. They puff while baking but flatten after cooling.) Remove cookies from cookie sheet to baking rack to cool. Cool completely. Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies.