The Second Sunday in July is our Church Festival! Due to the unfortunate scheduling of July 1st on a Sunday this year, this meant the festival was only 4 days after July 4th. Barely enough time to get ready.
Thursday I went to the grocery store. I have a terrific pie crust recipe that uses one bag of flour, one can of shortening, 3 1/2 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. It makes the best crust, very flakey; and can be rolled as easy as play dough. Depending on the day, I can get between 15 and 20 crusts from one batch. They keep for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months frozen. I made two batches and rolled them on waxed paper to save for Saturday.
Friday we went out of town to check on the progress of my new bedroom set which is being built (very slowly) by the Amish. We also added a second new mattress and springs to our order after experiencing a few nights in our guest room while we painted. After we got home, I baked 6 single layer devil's food cakes as well as 2 dozen cupcakes.
I got up early on Saturday to bake my first six pies. The first Saturday of the month is my regular lunch date with former co-workers, so I had to step out for an hour or two. I write the flavor on the toothpick flag to aid the pie ladies when they are slicing.
Final tally on Saturday night: 18 pies, 6 cakes and 24 cupcakes. Our festival offers pit BBQ chicken and ham dinners complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with onions and bacon, roll and butter and your choice of a slice of homemade pie for the bargain price of $9.00. And if you eat in our air conditioned hall, we include endless glasses of lemonade and water or coffee.
We could not have been blessed with a more perfect day. Our church is on a country road and the weather was in the low 80's with a cooling country breeze.
We have a regulation softball diamond on the property and sponsor both a mens and ladies softball tournament on festival day. You can watch from the bleachers, the picnic tables and we have even have a reconstructed antique barn which is roped off for the over 21's where you can enjoy an adult beverage while you watch the players.
We have a kiddie tractor pull in front of the church steps. This was my grandson's first year in the 3 and 4 year old division.
Then it was off to the kid's games and bounce houses. My husband and sons are the dishwashing committee and work 11-1, then 3-9. We had two hours to enjoy the activities before they were free for lunch.
This two year old was making up her own rules. She had so much fun "winning" tickets that she was passing out post its to her dolls when she got home.
Finally it was time for lunch. This two year old only wanted a roll and the frosting from his cupcake.
All of my grandchildren chose a cupcake instead of a slice of pie. What am I doing wrong!
I am chairperson of the dinner ticket sellers so I was back to work myself. The festival does offer more than activities for preschoolers. We have a large silent auction, a live auction in late afternoon, raffles, concessions, bingo, antique tractor displays, games of chance and even a "hog drop" at the end of the evening. No, we don't drop a hog. We place the hog on a lined bingo board drawn on the grass and wait for the hog to "drop" something. Hopefully on the square that you purchased.
I am our church's representative on a charitable board that helps local families with emergency housing and utility assistance. At tonight's meeting we received word that due to national coverage of horrible aftermath of the migrant raids in our community, donations have been pouring into funds established to help these families. Many lost their only wage earner and those left behind are struggling with rents, electricity, heat and water, as well as groceries and medications and diapers. At this point the church community has been able to establish a safe system of application with bilingual assistance to enable the survival of these families, many which include American born wives and children. It gives me hope for the future that despite the actions of a powerful few, so many people do care about common decency and behaving like Christians and are willing to donate to help others in need.