ECA Continuing the Traditions
Crisp morning air as you stir awake, fall leaves crunching under your footsteps, and the aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon as you breathe in marks the start of a new season. A season surrounded by our family traditions, favorite people, and a spirit of being thankful. With the holidays approaching, things may happen differently this year but there is one thing we can still enjoy, our favorite foods! If there is one group that knows food preparation, it would be the Yadkin County Extension and Community Association (ECA), formally known as the Extension Homemakers and before that known as the Home Demonstration Clubs. This is an organization with deep history and even deeper traditions.
The ECA clubs have been influential in Yadkin County since the start of their clubs in 1939. After the first meeting in 1939, there were 14 clubs established with over 200 members dedicated to enriching the lives of the community. From making wreaths for veterans, to using their money from the sale of their cookbooks back in 1985 to fund “Welcome to Yadkin County” signs, and using their talents in creating programs to teach others these key homemaker skills. The first food demonstration program was on yeast breads and from there more on food preparation and conservation followed. ECA saw these skills as invaluable and they are right.
More presently, the ECA mission is to strengthen families and communities through leadership development, community action, and education support through research-based education from NC State and North Carolina A&T State University. There are two operating clubs, East Bend and Forbush-Enon ECA who are still dedicated to Yadkin County through their community service efforts. If you were unaware of how influential these clubs can be, in 2011 East Bend ECA helped fund the beautiful East Bend Library. The clubs are still actively attending enrichment learning sessions offered by District Family and Consumer Science Agents that they can then go and extend the information to others in the county. Yadkin County ECA is always looking for new members that are also committed to increasing the well-being of residents in the county through community service projects and enrichment programs. If you want to learn more about the history of the Yadkin County ECA or how to get involved in the two operating clubs in the county, please contact Ashley Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I said, ECA knows their foods and it is evident in the cookbooks put together in years past. Just flipping through hundreds of pages, I can really feel the traditions of these specials recipes come alive. It was so hard to choose only a few! The chocolate chess pie recipe reminds me of my great grandmother from Virginia where she would make one every family gathering, today my mom continues the tradition. I hope that this seasons brings you back to all the memories that make you smile!