The pleasant aroma coming from the kitchen of a northwest Oklahoma City church means a popular annual event is just a few days away.
Members at St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church are busy preparing for the St. Elijah Food Festival and Holiday Bake Sale, set for Friday and Saturday at 15000 N May.
Church member Susan Harroz said the festival started out many years ago as a project of the women of the church, who wanted to reach out to the community with their unique food items. She said each woman had a specialty dish, such as cheese thalami, a type of bread, Sfeeha, a meat pie, or cabbage rolls.
Eventually, the festival offering primarily Lebanese foods became so popular that other church members were encouraged to help, Harroz said.
She said the festival is the church's best-known community outreach project and an opportunity for members to come together for a common goal.
Recently, Harroz and her daughter-in-law Jessica worked in the church kitchen to prepare meat for Yahknee, a dish that includes beef, tomatoes, green beans and rice.
Jessica Harroz said her husband, Edward Harroz, is this year's festival chairman. She said she looks forward each year to the camaraderie and fellowship as church members prepare for the festival.