Fall is here and do you find yourself yearning for a tender Apple Dumpling nestled in a pool of gooey sauce? Mmmmm, yes! Available only one time a year and made by dedicated United Methodist Women, this story of fresh handmade Apple Dumplings dates back to 1985.
The recipe for these delicious Apple Dumplings is credited to early parishioners of Waynedale United Methodist Church, Amy Mathias and Ruth Mary Parkison. The legend was born as the Dumplings became the foundation of the church’s Annual Bazaar.
After so many years, the 12 – 15 ladies who prepare the dumplings have gotten the procedure down to a science. In about three hours they transform three bushels of Ida Red apples, 30 pounds of flour and 40 pounds of sugar into 300 delicious dumplings and about five gallons of sauce to accompany them. They are then frozen and baked fresh and hot the day of the bazaar.
The Welcome Circle used to do bake sales to raise money but Margy Schimmel said with a smile, “Sometimes we got some burnt offerings.” So instead, they all began to save their coins year-round and turned the change into the money needed to purchase the ingredients for the dumplings. If there is any money left over after shopping for the fixings, it goes to a non-profit in need. Since there are no expenses in the components or labor, the proceeds directly benefit the church’s many missions.
Schimmel states that “each year as they gather, a faux pas from long ago is laughingly remembered.” Seems baking powder instead of baking soda was accidentally used in the ingredients. The Circle group ended up pulling the apples out of all the dumplings they had already prepped and redoing all the dough. They laugh about it now, but I wager it wasn’t so humorous at the time.
Here’s a helpful tip – Get your apple dumplings early because they always sell out!
Another celebrated confection homemade by the church is their Hard Candy. Twice this month, a dozen folks came together to create 27 batches, or almost 100 pounds, of the mouth-watering sweet!
Made of sugar, syrup and water, the mixture is put on the stove until it reaches a “crack” stage, around 300 degrees on the candy thermometer. It is then transferred to a tray prepared with a layer of powdered sugar, where it cools until it is set. Using kitchen shears, worker bees cut the candy into strips and then into “pillows.”
There are 10 delicious flavors of candy, including favorites of clove, cinnamon and sassafras, better known as root beer. New flavors being introduced this year are blackberry and lime. Candy will last up to a year if stored in a glass jar with a tight lid, but given how yummy it is, it won’t be around that long!
Both the Apple Dumplings and the Hard Candy can be purchased at the Annual Corner Street Bazaar at Waynedale United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 2nd. Hours are 9 am to 2 pm. Also available are homemade Sticky Buns; delicious Cookies by the Box; a Craft Fair with numerous vendors; “See What a Buck Will Buy” (ideal for kids doing their Christmas Shopping); along with a Snack Bar, where of course you can top off your soup and sandwich with a warm Apple Dumpling!
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