Rounding up Harvest hap-pie-ness

Volunteers make pastries to help senior meals program

Like a tasty rhyme, pies of apple, peach, marionberry, and cherry came together Thursday as volunteer bakers assembled in good spirits at Hood River Valley Adult Center.

The pies are on sale this weekend at the Hood River Harvest Festival, with proceeds funding congregate and in-home meals.

The senior nutrition program delivers entrees and salads, and the meal went on as usual Thursday. But meanwhile, there was an all-dessert, all-day, effort to assemble hundreds of pies.

Clearly it was not a case of all work and no play.

As dough was formed and the filling flowed, the friends who stood elbow to elbow making pies found repartee to match the fruit pies’ flavor.

“We’re the upper crust!” Shirley Ekker joked as she placed top layers of dough over the splendid purple mash of marionberry.

That brought a round of delighted laughter from neighbors who were fillers, trimmers, and crimpers.

Everyone had small but critical roles: weighing balls of dough, rolling them, and on through cutting, filling, topping, racking, baking, bagging, and — whew! — delivering.

“We’re the butter-putters,” Dorothy Crisler said, when asked to summarize the job she shared with Sue Hand, inserting three yellow squares in each pie, coming in rapid succession.

“Better be nice to us: we have the rolling pins,” joked Gean Rains of Mt. Hood, one of a line of six people flattening the dough.

Like a strawberry-rhubarb pie, it was sweetness with a zing.

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The handmade creations will be sold at the Expo Center this weekend during Harvest Festival. Center director Heidi Musgrave said the pies will cost $6 except for huckleberry — they’re $9 — and proceeds will be used to support programs at the center.

Each meal costs the center $4 to produce, but diners are charged only $2.50. The sixth annual pie sale, and Tuesday bingo nights, make up the difference, according to Musgrave. In all, it’s an annual deficit of $10,000 defrayed by pies and bingo, she said.

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