Montclair’s ‘Food for Thought’

by Hugo Bravo

Salvation Army soldier Joyce Hodgson Post grew up attending the Asbury Park Corps in southern New Jersey. Still, returning to the Garden State in 2020 after marrying her husband, Vernon, was daunting for Joyce, even for an extrovert and fourth-generation Salvationist like herself. After living in Manchester, Conn., for more than 50 years, Joyce would be joining the Montclair Citadel Corps, of which her husband’s parents, Dorothy and Vernon K., were longtime members.

Though her in-laws have since passed away, Joyce wanted to honor the legacy of Dorothy’s cooking talents. She gathered her mother-in-law’s recipes, and to engage with her new church home, Joyce solicited family recipes from fellow Salvationists at the Montclair Citadel. Together they published a cookbook called Food for Thought, celebrating the joy and fellowship that’s shared through new recipes and ones handed down through generations.

“The Army is known for multigenerational families. Newcomers are often surprised at the stories told of who’s related to whom and which Salvation Army corps they attend. Army officers, or pastors, move from church to church, often leaving members of their family behind as relationships grow and new families are created,” says Joyce. “It’s a wonderful web of relations and traditions, and those traditions are often shared through recipes. Food for Thought is the delicious proof.”

For the third edition of Food for Thought, the Writers Group of the Montclair Citadel Corps wrote introductions to each meal category in the cookbook. This not only got more members of the church involved, but it was also another way to pay tribute to Dorothy, who started the Writers Group at Montclair.

“Blending the two was my way of honoring my mother-in-law and connecting her with people in my new congregational family,” says Joyce. “Everyone was so helpful and accommodating, and the Writers Group loved the idea of participating. I feel very fortunate to be here and to attend church and so many other activities with these wonderful folk.”

Here are some of the recipes you’ll find in Food for Thought:

  • Mango Salsa from Major Carl Avery
  • Tillamook Scalloped Potatoes from Chris King
  • Rigatoni and Sausage with Cream Sauce from Linda Baker
  • Dad’s Irish Soda Bread from Carolee Waiksnoris
  • Buckeye Cake from Lt. Colonel Renee Lance
  • Pumpkin French Toast from Michele Kroeze
  • Carmel Snack Mix from the late Carol Jaudes
  • Cheese Boereg from Darren Amerkanian

Food for Thought is dedicated to the work of The Salvation Army World Services. Proceeds of the sale will support Army programs in more than 100 countries. For more information and to order the cookbook, please email Joyce.