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On the square

About an hour and a half drive from Dallas is Granbury, Texas— a gem of a small Texas town set on picturesque Lake Granbury.  In addition to being a water playground with a sandy city beach, boating, skiing and fishing, the historic square is perfect for charming shops, eateries and festivals like Saturday’s celebration of the town’s namesake, General Hiram Bronson Granbury’s birthday. 

Saturday morning the Westside Wanderers from Central Christian Church of Dallas set out for Granbury where they browsed the shops, lunched at Christina’s Bistro on the square and attended the matinee at the Granbury Opera House of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” a musical set at the Texas Chicken Ranch. 

The Opera House is a popular destination for patrons of the arts from all around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Originally built in 1886, the Granbury Opera House has been painstakingly renovated to the period.  The interior boasts elaborate, imported chandeliers, elegant curved staircases, the original limestone walls, filigree iron balcony railings, pressed-tin-inspired acoustic ceiling tiles and an intimate seating arrangement.   

The Westside Wanderers is a group of men and women who love the theater, visiting interesting destinations and small Texas towns.  It is a friendly group of mostly seniors who like the convenience and companionship of traveling together on short excursions. 

For more information on where we are going, call the church at 214-526-7291 and ask for Shelia.

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Hunting Easter Eggs

Spring is the season of happiness. Flowers, leaves, plants, trees, vegetables and fruits start blossoming. Grass turns green and birds wake you in the morning with nature’s song.

Spring represents growth and re-birth.  The holiest of celebrations in the Christian religion takes place in Spring— the resurrection of Jesus.

Spring is the perfect time to begin a new project or activity that you have been thinking about.

Here’s what we’re doing at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and you are invited to “spring forward” and get involved! No pressure, no ties—just the happiness of Springtime.

Saturday, March 24, bring your children and their friends to “Breakfast with the Rabbit and an Easter Egg Hunt.”  It is a community event and it is free.  At 9:30 we will meet in the church fellowship hall to enjoy pancakes, sausages and breakfast beverages hosted by Peter Cottontail.  Kids can enjoy games and music while Mom and Dad have coffee and pancakes.  After breakfast, we will divide into age groups and try to find the one-thousand eggs the Easter bunny left on the church’s four-acre grounds.

All this fun is free, but please call the church office and let us know how many of you are coming so we have plenty of food. 214-526-7291.

Traditional Palm Sunday service will be held in the church sanctuary on Sunday, March 25 at 11 a.m. followed by lunch in fellowship hall. The menu will include a typical spring lunch of ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and desserts provided by the Disciples Women’s Ministries.  There is no charge for lunch but it is one of the women’s annual fund-raisers so donations are accepted and appreciated.  If you are new to the community, this is a wonderful way to meet some folks.

Easter Service is at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary on Easter morning.  There will be plenty of seating and plenty of parking.  Do come about an hour early and enjoy coffee and light brunch in fellowship hall. 

Tuesday morning, April 3, the Disciples Women will meet in the church parlor at 10:30 for a “field trip” to the Ft. Worth Stockyards for lunch and touring.  If you are interested in joining us, call President Shelia Huffman at 214-827-4568.

You are always welcome at Central.  It is not just church, but a community and village.  During the week co-working space is available.  You can place an order for “in the kitchen” made bagels, join a dance class, Tai-Chi, Bible Study and more.

Central is also the “church with the dog park.”  A one-acre, ten-year old community dog park is located on the grounds, behind the church. Come and hang out with your dog, read a book or visit with other dog lovers.  Or, bring your dog to church on Sunday.  A short, casual service with music, coffee and do-nuts is offered in the dog park at 9 a.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month.

There is something at Central for everyone so “spring forward” and get involved.

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Thank you for a great lunch

 “Friends of Central Dog Park,” (the regular visitors to the church owned community dog park on Westside Dr.) wanted to say “thank you” to the congregation for providing the lovely, ten-year-old, one-acre park located on the church grounds of Central Christian Church.  They chose to host an after-worship lunch in the church fellowship hall for Central members.

Green tablecloths and pots of blooming, fresh flowers (just like the dog park in Spring) decorated the tables.  The menu included a brisket that had everyone asking for the recipe, sides and chocolate cake.

As the weather warms, food thoughts always seem to turn to brisket, a favorite here in Texas. Try this old recipe that  gets lots of compliments when served at gatherings. 

Coffee and Coke Brisket


4 lb. brisket (untrimmed)

Dried seasonings (choose your favorites)

2 cups brewed coffee

1 can coca-cola

1 cup favorite barbecue sauce



Place brisket in pan.  For convenience and clean-up ease, use a disposable foil pan.

Rub brisket with dry seasoning. Add 2 cups of brewed coffee and cover with foil.

Bake at 275 degrees overnight.

Next day - remove foil and add 1 can coke and one cup barbecue sauce that has been heated. Slice and serve.

And a hearty thank you goes out to the dog park regulars who prepared and served the delicious meal.

Warmer weather also encourages attending church in the dog park.  The first and third Sunday of the month, Central holds a 9 a.m. worship service in the park. Bring your dog, friends, neighbors and co-workers and enjoy coffee, do-nuts, music and a short service delivered by Central Elder, Tyson Woods. All are welcome.  

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Music Director David Aston enjoys lunch with sister Lanora Potts

Tuesday was another delightful and informative day with the Disciple Women of Central Christian Church.

Mary Chris Gibbons, who holds the current record as longest Central member (Mary Chris was on the “cradle roll” way back in the forties when the church was still located in downtown Dallas) presented the program, “The Letter of Paul to Philemon.”

“As Christians, we are a family and called upon to treat each other as brother and sister. No exceptions,” Mary Chris said.

Following the program, the women enjoyed a delicious lunch in Fellowship Hall. In honor of St. Patrick, green was the theme, and the tables were appointed with shamrocks and roses. Hosting the luncheon were Barbara Williams, Paquita Mueller, Frances Mosier and Margaret Wilson.

Pasta, salad, potato-leek soup, lemon angel food and strawberry cake prepared by the ladies had everyone asking for recipes.  

Barbara served one of her favorite’s, “Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Cheese.” The pasta is from the vintage cookbook, “Under the Mushroom,” by  Marilyn Romweber. 

Years ago there was a wonderful little restaurant in the Dallas Design District named “The Little Mushroom.” Barbara frequently enjoyed the popular dining spot and shares, “ I remember a charming restaurant In the Design District - or Decorative Center - whose owner, Marilyn Romweber, was often at the entrance with a warm welcome.  She offered imaginative selections and changed the menu frequently.  The food was delicious.  She wrote at least two cookbooks before her death.”

The restaurant is long gone but many of the recipes are still cherished and served from Dallas kitchens today.  Barbara said that the spaghetti dish that she served at Tuesday’s luncheon is easy to prepare and always brings compliments.  It is a “must-try” this spring.

Marilyn Romweber's recipe for "Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Cheese"

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 pound Mozzarella cheese, diced

2 Tablespoons basil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 1/4 cup olive oil

l pound spaghetti, cooked

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cheese, basil and garlic.  Add the olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. 

Let the mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Toss with the hot spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Disciples Women’s Ministry is the women’s outreach organization of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, but it is open to everyone.  You do not have to be a member of the church to be a part of the group.  The charities supported include both hands-on activities and monetary donations to those in need.  Learning to be the women that God intended is the mission of Disciples Women. Educational programs, field trips, shared good times and supporting one another make up this sisterhood as referenced in the program presented by Mary Chris.  

If you would like to visit and see if Disciples Women would enrich your life, contact President Shelia Huffman at

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Anne Pogson and Rosemary Davenport served at El Centro

Members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) formed a “gad-a-bout” group a few years back to explore the best local deals and short day excursions around Dallas.

Thursday, the group had lunch at El Centro College.  El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute offers a terrific dining experience for Thursday lunch and Tuesday dinner prepared by the students in the Culinary Arts Program.

The current theme is International Cuisine (which fit right in with Central’s “Getting to Know You” cooking classes) and this month’s menu featured selections from the Middle East.  Choices were Yeminite Soup, Kofta Lamb, Kuwaiti Chicken and Mahalabia or Cheese Kunafa for dessert.

Chef Brandon Perry and Pastry Chef Narumi Garcia oversaw preparation of the meal. Villeta Garcia was Maiatre’D.

The food and service were excellent and the culinary students did a stellar job in creating a fine dining experience.  And all for $12.00!

El Centro is located at 801 Main Street in downtown Dallas in the former Sanger Harris Department Store building, a Dallas landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places. Many of the degree plans offered at El Centro specialize in the medical and technological fields including nursing, culinary arts, fashion design and marketing.

Central Christian Church is located five miles north of downtown Dallas between Lemmon and Mockingbird Lane.

Central is also known as the church with the dog park and Sunday morning services are offered in the dog park on the first and third Sundays of the month. Morning worship is in the sanctuary at 11 a.m.  All are welcome! 

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Have you experienced divorce, the loss of a job, an accident, the loss of a loved one or any one of life’s tragedies (great or small) that cause us to feel hopeless and sad? In short, broken!

Those misfortunes do not have to be the end of the story. God’s transforming ability can make beauty emerge from any past.

During Lent, at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we intend to journey with God and turn brokenness into newness and wholeness by exercising the tangible practice of mosaic art.

A shattered plate like a shattered life can become beautiful, again. Perhaps different than before, but beautiful!

Join us Wednesday evenings at 6 the church fellowship hall for a light supper, vespers and the opportunity to create a mosaic as we work through shattered dreams, disappointments and heartaches that seem to keep us from being all that we can be and living the life that is promised us through God’s grace.   

The Wednesday evening Lenten services will continue through March 21.  Call the church for more information.  All are welcome!

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Marta, Frank Whitington, Oren preparing potatoes


If we are ever to have peace in the world, we must know and understand one another. What better way can we learn about each other’s traditions and culture than through our great common love? Food!

Central Christian Church of Dallas (Disciples of Christ) invited Oren Saloman and Marta Skiba to join us in the church kitchen Saturday morning for a hands-on cooking class on the art of making latkes. 

What are latkes?  A simple answer—pancakes made of shredded potatoes. A more complex answer — a traditional food enjoyed by Jewish families during Hanukkah, representing the “miracle of the oil.” Luckily Jewish restaurants and deli’s serve them year- round so they can be enjoyed at every season.

The word “latke” derives from Yiddish, the Jewish language spoken by Eastern European Jews.

Latkes are a humble dish, originating in Europe as a peasant food, using only a few ingredients. But since some of the items called for in the recipe may not be staples in everyone’s pantry, I am sharing “where I found what” in Dallas for your shopping convenience.

Duck Fat:  Both Central Market and Jimmy’s Food Store stock Duck Fat.  (We used it for frying instead of vegetable or grapeseed oil.)

Smaltz:  (chicken fat) Tom Thumb at Preston Forest has a Kosher section in their store.  Smaltz is in the frozen food section of the Kosher area.

Matzo Meal: Common in most grocery stores. I found it at both Central Market and Kroger.

Potato Starch:  If you do not use the item often, Central Market carries it in their bulk section so you may buy only the small amount called for in the recipe. However, many people use it to thicken soups and stews so it has a number of uses.

After the cooking class, we gathered in the church fellowship hall to enjoy the delicious golden latkes served with the traditional condiments of applesauce and/or sour cream, New York pastrami on rye bread and kosher dill pickles. We washed it down in deli style with Dr. Brown cream sodas and finished with cheesecake from Cheesecake Royale on Garland Road.

Potato Latkes

Servings 24 servings

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time
1 hour

Kosher Key Parve or Meat

Calories 74 kcal


Learn to make crispy, flavorful Jewish potato latkes for Hanukkah with potato shreds, schmaltz or vegetable oil, onions, matzo meal. Kosher.


  • 2 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 large white or brown onion, shredded
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Peanut or grapeseed oil for frying (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup schmaltz (optional)

Recipe Notes

You will also need: hand grater or food processor with shredding disc attachment with choice of large holes or fine holes, clean tea towel or layers of cheesecloth, skillet or electric skillet for frying, colander, large mixing bowl, medium bowl, metal spatula, wire cooling rack


  1. Before you begin making the latkes, place your wire cooling rack close to the area where you will be frying the latkes. Place a layer of paper towels below the cooling rack to catch excess oil. 
  2. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and shred using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with large holes (large shreds). I really recommend using the food processor, it saves a ton of time and will help you avoid onion tears when grating the onion.
  3. Place grated potato into a bowl and immediately cover with cold water.
  4. Meanwhile, grate the onion using the grater or food processor attachment with fine holes (small shreds).
  5. Drain the potato shreds in a colander. Rinse and dry the bowl used to soak the shreds and set aside.
  6. Place drained potato shreds and grated onion in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth.
  7. Wrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds.
  8. Pour potato and onion into the clean dry bowl. Stir the shreds with a fork to make sure the grated onion is evenly mixed throughout the potato shreds.
  9. In a skillet, add oil to reach a depth of 1/8 inch. Add 1/4 cup of schmaltz to the oil if you'd like, it will add more savory flavor to the latkes. Heat slowly over medium to about 365 degrees F. While oil is heating, use the fork to stir the matzo meal,beaten eggs, potato starch, salt and pepper into the potato and onion shreds. You can add salt and pepper to taste. I add about 1 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. You can sprinkle on more salt to taste after cooking, if desired. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.
  10. Scoop up 3 tbsp of the potato mixture and shape into a tightly compacted disk. I do this by first filling a 1/8 measuring cup and then filling again halfway.
  11. Place the disk carefully into the hot oil. Latkes can break apart at this point, they’re very delicate. If you can get them into the hot oil in one piece, chances are they will stick together – frying them is like the “glue” that holds them together. It takes a gentle touch, and it may take you some practice to get the “feel” for it.
  12. The oil should sizzle, but not pop when the latke hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough. Use the first latke to test the oil temperature, and don’t fry a whole batch until the temperature is right.
  13. Continue shaping the latkes in this way, using 3 tablespoons of potato mixture for each latke. Fry in batches of 4-5 latkes at a time (no more than that – don’t crowd the pan) for 2-3 minutes per side until brown and crispy. Note: If your latkes aren’t holding together, stir more potato starch into the mixture, 2 teaspoons at a time, until the batter “holds”. You can also add another egg to the mixture and more matzo meal, if needed.
  14. Remove the latkes from the pan using a metal spatula and place them on the wire cooling rack to drain.
  15. I recommend serving latkes fresh within 10 minutes of frying them, if your cooking schedule permits. If you need to make them ahead, fry them 4 hours or less before serving. After allowing the latkes to drain on the wire cooling rack, place them on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. Leave them at room temperature until ready to reheat. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes (7 if using a convection oven), until heated through, just prior to serving. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired, and serve latkes with applesauce and/or sour cream (or dairy free sour cream).

Nutrition Facts

Potato Latkes

Amount Per Serving

Calories 74 Calories from Fat

18% Daily Value*

Total Fat 2g 3%

Cholesterol 17mg 6%

Sodium 132mg 6%

Potassium 221mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%

Dietary Fiber 1g 4%

Protein 2g 4%

Vitamin A 0.5%

Vitamin C 7.1%

Calcium 1.9%

Iron 9.8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


If you are interested in Central’s cooking classes, contact the church office at 214-526-7291 or email  Our activities are open to the community and you do not have to be a member of the church to participate. 

We would love for you to visit.  Sunday morning worship is at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary and “Church in the Dog Park” is at 9 a.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month.  All are welcome!

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Joe Whitman and Holly Puig

Fellowship Hall was transformed into a romantic Caberet showcasing beautifully appointed tables to host Sunday’s annual Valentine dinner, a Central Christian Church tradition. 

Lunch was an Italian themed buffet of signature lasagna from Dallas landmark, Jimmy’s Food Store, garden salad and parmesan rolls.  Decadent desserts featuring chocolate, strawberries and other confections associated with Valentine’s were provided by members of the church. 

Entertainment, under the direction of Michael Raines, included classic love songs, a dramatic reading from Romeo and Juliette and The Baby Song by George Burns. Performing were Marsha Anderson, Bill Forbes, Tim Caffee, Lois Leftwich and Eric Stolpe, talented members of Central’s chancel choir.   

A heart felt thanks to everyone who helped make the day another sweet success and a special thanks to Lisa Huisenga for overseeing the kitchen and getting the food on the table.

Central Christian Church may be the oldest continuously operating Protestant Church in Dallas (founded in 1863) but it is young at heart.   Fellowship, activities and outings like Sunday’s Valentine dinner are an important part of church life. 

Saturday will feature a Latke cooking class in the church kitchen; next week the Disciples women will enjoy lunch prepared by the culinary students at El Centro College and in March the group will head, once again, to the Granbury Opera House for a musical performance.

These “good times” are open to the community.  Email for more information.

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Tyson and Karen Woods attending Cry-Baby

Cry Baby, the musical, was performed in the Rose Hall Auditorium of the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center at Greenhill School this weekend.

The cast and crew of Greenhill did an outstanding job presenting the musical based on the 90’s film written and directed by John Waters.

The musical pokes fun at America’s ideology of the 1950’s. To this day we become nostalgic when we remember the “happy days” of bobby socks and poodle skirts, the innocence of leaving your house and car door unlocked and stay-at-home moms serving cookies and milk after school. But we often forget the racism, class distinction and double standards that were visibly connected to that era.

Those of us who lived it remember the transitions that occurred in that decade.  Music was one.  The fifties came to be with the gentle, sweet sounds of Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney but transitioned to the hip-shaking, gyrating moves of Elvis, Rock and Roll and teenage Rebellion. 

“The plot of Cry-Baby centers on a bad boy-good girl romance.  Cry-Baby Walker is a young man born on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ who serves as the leader of the Drapes, and Allison Williams is a ‘good girl’ who does not feel totally at ease amongst her ‘square’ community.  The two teen-ages meet at an Anti-Polio Vaccination Picnic organized by Allison’s grandmother.  Cry-Baby and Allison fall in love instantly, but their hopes and dreams are crushed by class differences and jealousy.  However, Cry-Baby is a musical comedy and must end well with the young lovers reunited after many trials and tribulations,” Adult Production Staff Director, Valerie Hauss-Smith, said in the program’s Playbill.

Several members of Central Christian Church attended the Saturday afternoon performance to enjoy the rollicking musical with 50’s style music and to support the church’s Assistant Music Director, Tim Caffee.  Caffee was Associate Music Director/Conductor for the musical and performed with the “Crabapple Band.”

It was a fun afternoon and Central Christian Church gave a “thumbs-up” to Greenhill School, its staff and students for a remarkable job.  Central has always promoted the arts and used the stage as a thought-provoking channel and tool for teaching moral responsibility.   The church is home to the Westside Players, a theatrical group founded by the late Ed Delatte.

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The Disciples Women of Central Christian Church celebrated an early Valentine luncheon Tuesday when Sherrie Narusis presented “A Heart Relationship with Christ,” and Rosemary Davenport turned fellowship hall into an elegant tea-room and served a pastry-filled vegetable strata and individual strawberry cakes shaped like hearts at the February meeting.  

The ministries of Disciples Women are part of the movement for wholeness in a fragmented world by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, enrichment, education, and creative ministries to enable women to develop a sense of personal responsibility for the whole mission of the Christian Church.

Spiritual growth and education are emphasized through programs and speakers at the group’s monthly meetings like the one presented by Sherrie on Tuesday.  Charity and outreach are always front and center in the ministry.  Local programs supported by the group at Central include but are not limited to  Juliette Fowler Communities, Metrocare, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Maple Lawn Elementary, Stew Pot, Austin Street, Bryan’s House and more.

If you are looking for a purpose, the organization seeks to be a network of women committed to the justice-seeking, compassion-focused mission of Jesus Christ with no membership requirements or conditions.

If you are looking for a place to make new friends and cultivate meaningful relationships, the organization is open and inviting to all.  Regular activities include a monthly luncheon following the meeting, fun and interesting outings and excursions (a visit to the Stockyards is planned for April) movies, musicals, classes (Latke cooking is coming soon) etc.  There is always something on the agenda that you can attend.   

You don’t have to be alone.  If you have just moved here and are looking for ways to get involved—come visit.  If you are an old-timer but have lost friends due to moving, aging or even death—come visit. 

The next meeting will be the first Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the church.  Call Shelia at Central or email