While Suzanne and Dr. Tom Tippett celebrated Easter traditions with their families growing up, they later found it more meaningful to call it Resurrection Sunday. A pastor and Bible teacher, Tom is active in the community on numerous boards. He also has a ministry of sharing his pound cakes and over 200 hundred of his homemade biscuits that Suzanne helps him deliver.
When Suzanne was growing up, she lived in Savannah, Georgia, during the school year and spent summers in Bluffton, South Carolina. She developed a love of the coast and fresh seafood. Her father was a dentist and enjoyed fishing during summer when he joined the family on weekends in Bluffton.
Suzanne’s family home in Savannah was a larger 1913 two-story home on 46th Street, which was near her father’s dental office. It was restored in recent years and has been featured in a national magazine.
Her family has deep roots in Savannah. Suzanne’s grandfather opened the first restaurant, Hester’s, in the city. At first it was a poultry delivery market, and her father delivered chickens on a bike when he was in junior high.
Then it became a bar, and Suzanne’s father said he swept up so many teeth from fights that it was why he became a dentist. Later, Hester’s became a restaurant with red checked tablecloths and candlelight. The restaurant mostly served steaks and a special cheese sauce with their bread.
When Suzanne’s grandfather died, her father’s younger brother took over running the restaurant. Until the Boar’s Head opened on River Street, Hester’s was the only restaurant in Savannah. It later burned.
Tom’s father was a Baptist minister in Savannah. Tom and Suzanne began dating after she graduated from high school. They both attended Georgia Southern, and Tom taught school. After they married and had two children, the family moved to Athens, Georgia, in order for Tom to receive a doctorate.
After graduating, Tom felt a call into ministry to become more involved in teaching the scriptures. They had started having home meetings when they lived in Savannah, and he was teaching school.
In 1987, the Tippetts moved to Opelika where Tom was called to be a pastor-teacher at Pepperell Baptist Church. After six years, he left to focus on teaching small groups of Christians with greater accountability, intimacy and flexibility for members. They sing a song, “The Nine and Ninety,” about the scripture of Jesus leaving the 99 sheep to find one.
Tom is pastor-teacher of the Church at Opelika, a fellowship of small, in-formal community groups of Christians in the area.
Two of their three daughters, Hester and Emmie, worked for former caterer Martha Hicks, and both enjoy cooking. Emmie and her daughter, Hayes, want to open a bakery in Newman, Georgia. Their youngest daughter, Dorsey, was the Lee County Junior Miss and a lead singer for the Auburn Knights. Dorsey and her husband, Sam, who live in Opelika, have seven children with number eight due in October.
Tom’s mother was a good cook. He learned from her and began making biscuits when they lived in Savannah. When the Tippetts moved to Opelika, he thought about giving biscuits to their neighbors on Ridgewood Court on Christmas morning. He would get up early to make them and place them in tin pans for neighbors to bake. He would put a scripture on top.
In 1996, they moved to Willow Run, and he decided to make biscuits for their neighbors there but didn’t want to stop delivering to their former neighbors. Then, the girls wanted him to make biscuits for their friends.
Now, he starts making them the night before and also makes Martha Hicks’ recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits that takes a little more time. He also makes gluten free sweet potato ones. This past year, they delivered 220 biscuits to neighbors and friends for their breakfasts.
His cream cheese pound cake is also popular, and he makes that for friends too. He started making it in 1995 when his church had a cake baking cook-off. All the guys made cakes, and some were fancy and beautiful with lots of icing. Tom made the pound cake from the Dorsey Cookbook, and it won the cook-off. He has been making it since then.
When Suzanne’s study club has a meeting with husbands, they always want Tom to take his pound cake.
Suzanne is a creative cook. She will see what she has on hand and then puts a meal together. Two of her favorite recipes are the marinated cheese and crab and shrimp au gratin recipe from the original Pirates’ House in Savannah. She is also creative in decorating and floral arranging.
Her mother did not cook, as they had “Annie,” who was like a member of the family. Suzanne had interests in other things besides learning to cook.
Growing up, Suzanne’s family had egg hunts and baskets. Her family would get together for a traditional Easter meal. When Suzanne and Tom’s girls were growing up, they followed similar traditions until the girls were older.
After doing research, Tom and Suzanne feel it is really Resurrection Sunday. His church will have a communion service. Tom may be making his special cream cheese pound cake.
“The meaning of Resurrection Sunday,” said Tom, “is the historical death of Jesus and three days later, he rose from the dead. We actually celebrate the resurrection of Christ our Lord every Sunday when we meet together as the church. It is an important date on the calendar. For the protestants, we have the celebration of the birth of our Lord and the resurrection.
“As I celebrate that day it means life after death,” he adds. “It is a historical day that Christ rose from the dead.” The Tippetts celebrate the day with their church family.
Tom is also involved in the Ministries Alliance, which is planning the Easter Sunrise Service with the Opelika Kiwanis. The service will be held at the Garden Hills Cemetery on Sunday, March 31, and will begin at 6:15 a.m. Craig Lee, pastor of Oaks Church, will be the speaker.
Tom has been active in the community over the years. He is on the board for Envision Opelika Foundation, Character Council Board of Directors and Christian Care Ministries.
The Tippetts’ daughters and their families include: David and Hester Maginnis and children, Lavens, Miles and Anne Coulter; David and Emmie Sellers and their two daughters, Bennett and Hayes who is married to Camron Tyson; and Sam and Dorsey Ketcham’s children are Seaborn, Sarah James, Thomas, Benaiah, Murray, Elisabeth and Margaret.
An assortment of recipes are featured, including Tom’s recipes, Suzanne’s favorites and ones from their daughter Hester. Some of the recipes are from Suzanne’s friend Nancy Stennis Kitts’ cookbook, “Blessings From My House To Yours.” Nancy was a caterer and is happy to share her recipes.
Check the recipes for a few to add to your Resurrection Sunday menu.

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 sticks butter, soften
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs (brown)
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavor
1/2 tsp. almond flavor
3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably White Lilly)
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove eggs from the refrigerator and sit at room temperature for a while.
Cream the cream cheese and butter. Soften (not melted) the butter before creaming.
Gradually add sugar and mix well until there is a creamy blend.
Add one egg at a time and mix thoroughly after each egg is added.
Add the flavors and continue to mix at a moderate speed.
Sift the flour twice, adding the salt during the last sifting.
Gradually add the flour on a slower mixing speed.
Pour batter into a Bundt pan coated with nonstick spray.
Bake for about one hour and 25 minutes.
Check the cake with a probe toward the end to see if it is cooking thoroughly. If the probe indicates no batter on it, the cake is done.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Tom makes these, regular biscuits and gluten free biscuits to share.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (sift flour, then measure)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
Cut in:
¾ to 1 stick butter
1 cup baked, mashed sweet potato
Stir in:
¼ cup sweet milk
Turn batter out onto floured waxed paper.
Pat out to desired thickness (will not rise much).
Roll lightly, if at all.
Cut with floured small metal cutter.
Bake on top self at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.
Note: Martha Hicks used pizza pans because they don’t dry out as much as on a cookie sheet.

Dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cream of tartar
Cut in:
1 to 1½ sticks butter
Stir in:
¼ to ½ cup sweet milk (avoid stickiness)
Sift flour. Then measure 2 cups flour. Put in the sifter and combine other dry ingredients. After combining dry ingredients in a bowl, grate the butter into the bowl. Combine the grated butter and dry ingredients with a dough blender until the butter is in small bead-like appearance in the flour.
Then move the butter-flour combination to the sides of the bowl. Gradually pour milk in the center, bringing the flour mixture into the milk, until you have a ball of dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little four. Remove the dough onto a lightly covered surface.
Note: I found recently that a mixer with a dough attachment works well in collecting everything, particularly with large amounts of dough.
Knead the batter 7 or 8 times. Kneading is pressing the batter with the hands, recollecting the batter and then pressing again.
Roll out to desired thickness (probably no thicker than ½ inch).
Cut with a biscuit cutter or with a sharp-edged cup or drinking glass.
Space biscuits on the baking sheet about – inch apart.
Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown.

2 cups gluten free flour (sift flour before measuring)
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cream of tartar
Cut in:
Vegetarian butter (until small bead-like appearance)
¼ to ½ cup almond milk (avoid stickiness)
Use the same procedure as with the other biscuits.
Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown.

From the original Pirates’ House restaurant in Savannah
4 Tbsp. plain flour (all-purpose)
1/3 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. pepper
2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup Kraft’s Cheese Whiz
1/8 tsp. Tabasco
8 oz. cooked shrimp
4 oz. crab meat
1 cup grated cheese for topping
Mix flour, salt and pepper with part of the milk. Beat all the lumps out. Add Cheese Whiz to rest of milk in a double boiler. When Cheese Whiz has melt-ed, add flour mixture and Tabasco. Stir until smooth and thickened. Add shrimp and crab meat.
Pour mixture into casserole. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves four.

Suzanne’s favorite appetizer from her friend’s book, “Blessings From My House To Yours”
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 small jar diced pimento, drained
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. green onions, finely chopped
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) block Cheddar cheese
Ritz crackers or crackers of choice for serving
Combine first ten ingredients and mix well. Cut cheeses in half and cut the halves into 1/4 inch slices. (Make sure the cheeses are well chilled to make slicing easier.) Place cheese slices alternately in shallow dish, with slices on edge. Cover with marinade.
Cover and chill several hours before serving. Serve with crackers.

Hester Tippett Meginnis
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
Sliced strawberries
Red/green seedless grapes, halved
Chopped celery
Chopped green onions
Praline pecans
Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette (or vinaigrette of choice)
Top romaine lettuce with fruit, celery, and green onions. Toss together. Serve salad topped with pecans, gorgonzola, and Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Serves 2 to 4.

Nancy Stennis Kitts
50 oz. can round cut green beans
5 carrots, cut diagonally
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 stripes bacon
½ stick butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Onion powder
Partially drain beans and pour into casserole dish. Add carrots, fresh garlic, salt, pepper and onion powder. Stir together. Slice butter and evenly dis-tribute over vegetables. Add light brown sugar and spread across the beans/carrots. Place slices of bacon over brown sugar. Cover and bake on 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes until bacon has crispy edges. Makes six servings.

Nancy Stennis Kitts
16 oz. pkg. elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into large chunks
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 cups (8 oz.) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
2 cups (8 oz.) Gouda cheese shredded, divided
1 cup (4 oz.) Parmesan cheese, shredded
Crumbled Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its for topping, optional
Cook pasta according to package instructions. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, and whisk flour into butter. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and thick. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes until thickened. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheddar, 1 cup Gouda cheese, Parmesan cheese, pasta and cream sauce. Spoon mixture into an 11 by 9 ½-inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese and Gouda cheese.
Cook covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly. Uncover and sprinkle with crumbled Cheez-Its and allow to lightly brown. Serves four to six.

From Suzanne’s friend’s book, “Blessings From My House To Yours”
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated (save whites)
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated (save whites)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Meringue Topping:
Use the 4 egg whites from cake and filling
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Cream 1/4 cup butter; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add 2 egg yolks and 1 egg to creamed mixture; mix well. Combine 1 cup flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine 2 egg yolks and water; set aside. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour in a heavy saucepan; add egg yolk mixture and lemon rind. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture.

Hester Tippett Meginnis
French Women Don’t Get Fat
4 chicken breasts (with skin and bone)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chervil, tarragon, or thyme (optional)
1 cup Brut Champagne, divided
1 shallot, quartered
1 container mushrooms
Olive oil
1 lemon
Fresh sage
1 Tbsp. butter
Place chicken breasts in a roasting pan and season them. Pour ½ cup of the Champagne over breasts. Make a slit in each breast and insert a piece of shallot. Place pan under broiler, skin-side up, for 3 to 6 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned. Turn and broil other side for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from broiler. Baste with pan juices, and add remaining ½ cup of Champagne. Adjust oven temperature to 475 degrees, and bake chicken for 30 minutes, basting once or twice.
Sautee mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for a few minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice, freshly chopped sage, seasoning to taste and 1 Tbsp. butter.
Pour cooking juices from the chicken over the meat. Makes four servings.