Brenda Foltz flung open the oven door and inserted a small plastic spoon into a party-sized pan of stuffing. Volunteers bustled around her in the kitchen as three seconds evaporated.
After the quick check — apparently it passed the test — she reached in and hoisted the pan from heat to counter, alongside two pans that had previously undergone the same routine.
This wasn't any ordinary stuffing, and it wasn't an ordinary occasion.
“It's a recipe that goes way back,” Foltz said. “It's my mother's recipe — my mother's and my grandmother's. When my grandmother passed away in '98, then I started doing it.”
But she'd never made it like this, in this large of a quantity.
Her efforts were part of a special Thanksgiving dinner held annually for veterans and their families, as well as for emergency responders. The Thursday dinner was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3907 and sponsored in part by Brookshire's grocery in Palestine.
A team of volunteers from the VFW 3907 and its Ladies Auxiliary — for which Foltz serves as treasurer — helped to cook and serve the Thanksgiving fare, which included the traditional turkey and ham, stuffing, cranberry dressing, rolls, veggies and other goodies. To top it off, volunteers sliced squares of pumpkin dessert, a cake with swirly cream cheese frosting, bread pudding, peach cobbler and more.
“This one has to be warmed,” Foltz said to a fellow volunteer, pointing to a pan of berry bread pudding.
Her husband, Chuck Foltz, was close by in the kitchen. Chuck served in the Navy and in Vietnam, and today holds the position of Commander at VFW Post 3907. He said the post puts on an array of activities for the veterans and their families to enjoy, such as the holiday dinner.