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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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