It’s Pie Week in Atlantic

Welcome to Crawford County Fair week! I’ll be baking pies at Fallowfield United Methodist Church every day this week, Lord willing. I’ll be the chairman at three bakes. Could you please say a prayer for me? It’s a lot of responsibility and I don’t want to screw up. Last year I sat down for a piece of pie and forgot about six rhubarb pies I’d left in the oven. They boiled over and burned. Can you guess which pie they ran out of first at the fair that night?

This will be our 61st year at the fair. I’ve been helping with the fair project, as we call it at Fallowfield, for 30 years. If you read my column regularly, you know this is a mission project. All net profits support missionaries and charities locally and around the world. Last year we donated to nearly 80 charities and missionaries.

Last Monday night Fallowfield United Methodist Church bakers shelled elderberries. If you’ve never dealt with elderberries, you can’t imagine how hard it is to make an elderberry pie. I’m not exaggerating when I say that in Fallowfield elderberries are similar to gold.

First you have to find the doggone things. Members of our pie committee drove all terrain vehicles back into the woods to cut elderberry clusters off bushes. Others saw them along roadsides and stopped to pick them. One brave lady actually stood in the bucket of a front end loader to cut elderberry clusters off the top of a bush. Ah!

Once you’ve found them, you have to shell them. “Shelling” means rubbing your fingertips and thumbs together over the berries until they fall off their thread-like stems. It’s tedious work. I arrived at the church last Monday at 5 p.m. and left at 8 p.m. People were shelling elderberries when I arrived and were still shelling, washing, and sorting when I left.

Not all pies require this much work. We pick and/or process blueberries, rhubarb, apples, and some blackberries. But we buy cherries, raisins, and most of our other pie ingredients. Believe me -- nobody’s harvesting and grinding flour.

I hope you’ll have time to stop by Fallowfield United Methodist Church’s booth and get a piece of pie. You’re supporting many good causes when you do.

I stopped by Atlantic’s Community Days on August 13. I just happened to arrive just as Senator Michele Brooks was throwing balls at the dunking booth. Talk about a photo op! (And God’s timing.) But do you think I could take a picture with my new phone? No, sir.

Senator Brooks threw ball after ball as I frantically tapped the screen on my Android. Fortunately Fallowfield Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Adam Valesky, who is much younger than I, showed me I just had to tap the screen anywhere other than the box at the center of the screen.

Mercifully Senator Brooks was gracious enough to pose for a photo with Chief Valesky. Thank you, God! And thank you, Senator Brooks.

I asked Chief Valesky why they held the event. He said the fire department wanted the community to meet the people they have to call when they have an emergency. Their main goal is regaining community support. Valesky said, “We need the community as much as they need us. It’s all about consistency -- being transparent.”

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!