Cookbook reflects generous spirit of ‘Miss Ellie’

Proceeds will benefit cancer support group
Sep. 10, 2013 @ 04:46 PM

Ella Bunting’s recipes may not be remembered in exact measurement because she was a dash-of-this and a dollop-of-that cook, but her love of people was known in Divine detail.

Her bright spirit is captured in the cookbook, “Cooking With Miss Ellie and Friends.”

The cookbook, dedicated to Ella Bunting and her 20-year fierce battle with cancer, is available for purchase at Grace Lutheran Church, which supports the Ella Bunting Open Arms Cancer Support Group. The church is located at 115 Unity St. in Thomasville. The cookbook is $15.

“I have cooked with Ella many times and cannot remember a recipe,” said fellow church member Leslie Miller. “Most of them she kept in her head and could rattle off when asked.”

Ask Ella Bunting’s husband John for a Miss Ellie recipe and he just laughs.

“Ella was an experience; she was a force,” said John Bunting. “She lived life in the moment. As for her cooking, she was more of a kind of throw it together and it works girl.

“That was her approach to life as well. I am blessed that she was in my life even if it was too short of a time. Ella was a blessing. And she was a blessing for a whole lot of people.”

Miller knew this before, but even more so now.

“My own experience with the cookbooks is that everyone has an Ella story they want to share,” said Miller. “The neighborhood kids and many other people often referred to her as Miss Ellie, a term of endearment that worked its way into the book title. Many of her friends refer to the stories shared by others about Miss Ellie as ‘Ellieisms.’

“Ella had a way of letting people know that they mattered. They mattered to her and they certainly mattered to God. She had a warm hug, a sympathetic ear and a ready smile for everyone. She is greatly missed. I miss her every day.”

Notable recipes in the cookbook are Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett’s vegetable beef soup. Chef H. Wayne Eddinger also included a number of his favorite recipes as well.

Proceeds will allow the Ella Bunting Open Arms Support Group to help area families dealing with cancer. The group will hold its annual retreat for cancer patients on Saturday, Oct. 26.

“Ella said some years ago that with all of the junk cancer patients had to go through, they ought to have just one day a year where someone just spoils them. It needs to be free, fun and a lot of laughs.”

October will be the fifth retreat.

“I believe we had less than 12 people the first year,” said Miller. Last year we had around 85 cancer patients, survivors and caregivers attend and everyone had a ball.”

Cookbooks also are available at Chair City Office Supply, In His Hands, Hill’s Garden Supply, Steeds Services, Shear Creations & Rosa Mae’s.

For more information about the cookbook, contact Grace Lutheran Church at 476-4114.