by Lisa Tome
The ovens at Hopewell United Methodist Church were working overtime in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Church members made more than 100 pies on site for the annual pie sale. Home bakers also chipped in their pies, rolls, and cinnamon buns that were made in their homes.
According to church member Pat Tyson, there were plenty of varieties this year: apple, cherry, blueberry, pumpkin, sweet potato, apple crumb, chocolate, cherry delight, coconut custard, key lime, and pecan.
Marie Janney and Tyson were among those who baked at the church on Monday and Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday's sale. "We baked at the church and then I made two for here (at home). I have no idea how many we made," said Janney.
"All I do is follow the recipe. We have a commercial mixer here and that makes it easy," said Tyson.
The cooks were using church member Isabel Marshall's recipe for meringue. Marshall said she's used the same recipe for years. She got it from a Farm Journal cookbook. The recipe includes salt, cream of tartar, egg whites and more. "You start with egg whites and add the sugar in very gradually. You put in the vanilla and beat it slowly until it gets peaks," said Marshall.
"It takes a dozen eggs to make the meringue for four pies. And when you put it on the pie you have to get it all the way around to touch the rim."
Joanne Watkins was overseeing the sale. She was up late the night before taking orders from customers as late as 10:30 p.m. "This year it was more coconut custard and coconut cream. And pecan was a bigger hit this year," said Watkins.
Sue Raley of Rising Sun was shopping at the sale. She got an apple, two pecan, and pumpkin pies. "They're all homemade," said Raley.
Michael Heaps of Port Deposit stopped by for one pie. He left with a coconut custard, a key lime, and a pecan. "I've bought pies here before. I'm taking these to my daughter's for Thanksgiving," said Heaps.
The proceeds from the pie sale went to the church general fund.
Church members are also gearing up for the annual cookie sale which is set for Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. There will be more than 30 varieties of cookies for sale. Cost is $6 per pound.
The Hopewell UMC Cookbooks will also be available. The cost for those is $15.