By GWEN SISSON
Members of the Oktoc Garden Club are making plans for the 2011 Oktoc Country Store event, set for Oct. 22.
Cookbooks and raffle tickets are now on sale as plans for the 2011 event get underway.
The Oktoc Country Store is widely-known for great food, including homemade brunswick stew served hot by the bowl or by the quart.
The Country Kitchen features Carol Mobley’s Cheese Straws as well as cakes, pies and other baked goods.
This year, the Oktoc Country Store begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 22 with a wide variety of events for the entire family. In addition to food, the event features local musical performances, mini-hay ride and face painting for children, farmer’s market and a quilt raffle.
Robin Pigg, Oktoc resident and member of the Oktoc Garden Club, said the event is a day for the whole family to enjoy.
“I love the hometown feel of the Oktoc Country Store,” Pigg said. “The stew is wonderful, but I’m a little biased, as are the men that stay up all night cooking it. They always have caramel cakes and bread in the bakery store, boiled peanuts, fresh vegetables to purchase, and homemade items that remind you of days gone by.”
Julie White, Oktibbeha County Extension Director who regularly attends the annual event, said the Oktoc Country Store is a long standing tradition that brings the community together.
“There is a lot to love about the Country Store: the wonderful sweets, the boiled peanuts, and the famous stew, but it’s the stories and traditions of this tight-knit community that I love most about Oktoc,” White said.
Hellen Polk, president of the Oktoc Garden Club, said prior to living in Oktoc, the Country Store was a great time to visit the country, to pick up delicious food and visit with friends and family.
“After living here for 13 years, it is more of an opportunity to showcase country living and the heritage of our community,” Polk said.
The “Oktoc Heritage” cookbook features a variety of favorite dishes from throughout the Oktoc community, including the famous Brunswick Stew recipe served each year at the Country Store event.
The current cookbook is a “labor of love” by the Oktoc Garden Club. According to the cookbook introduction, “each member has contributed favorite recipes as well as memorabilia from this wonderful place we call Oktoc.”
“The cookbook reflects the homebaked and prepared items that has served as a foundation for Oktoc families since the early 1920s,” Polk said. “The Oktoc Garden Club was formed in 1923 and many of these recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. In addition, many new recipes have been added that are family favorites and ones more adapted for today’s busy lifestyles.”
The cookbook is on sale now for $10. Cookbook sales begin as Oktoc Garden Club members use the proceeds to improve the Oktoc Community Center.
Raffle tickets for a handmade quilt, also go on sale this week for $1 per ticket.
The queen/king-sized quilt features a variety of vintage materials.
The one-day event will be held at the Oktoc Community Clubhouse and grounds, nine miles south of Starkville on Oktoc Road.
Contact Oktoc Garden Club President Hellen Polk at firstname.lastname@example.org  or other members of the Oktoc Garden Club for ticket and cookbook sales information.