Volunteers prepare for St. Elijah Food Festival in Oklahoma City

Church members volunteer to prepare food for the St. Elijah Food Festival and Holiday Bake Sale at St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Oklahoma City.
BY CARLA HINTON chinton@opubco.com Published: October 31, 2012

“I love this because it is full of life. You walk in and it just shows our heritage so well,” Jessica Harroz said.

Mike Sleem and John Simon helped prepare dough for rolls and other items.

Both men said they learned their baking skills from their mothers, who were part of the group of church women who started the festival. Sleem said the women saw the event as a way to share their ethnic foods with others.

“They say if you want to get to know someone, share a meal with them,” Sleem said.

The men said they didn't hesitate when encouraged to get involved. They approached the baking with the appropriate amount of awe.

“The kitchen was a sacred area. You had to be invited,” Simon said.

In addition to cabbage rolls, thalami, Sfeeha and Yahknee, items to be sold at the festival include tabbouleh, kibba, Kafta sandwiches, baklava, hummus and pita chips and assorted baked goods.

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