Every year we have our Mennonite Craft and Bake Sale. This is a major part of how our church school is financially supported. Everyone pitches in and helps, making the day so much fun! If you are interested in coming in the future, this sale is always the Saturday right before Thanksgiving.
This year, I didn’t sign up for as many baked items as normal since we have a little baby in the house. Even then, it took almost all my time from 7 am to 5 pm on Friday to get all my baked goods made.
By midmorning, I realized I’d bit off more than I could chew. Four batches of bread dough were rising too fast for me to keep up on my own, so I called in the troops to help me. Not only were they very entertaining – they were a good help as well.
This is how I got my baking done with a 4 1/2 month-old baby. When he would fuss, the children took 5 minute turns at pushing him around the house in his stroller. Around and around they’d go. He loved every minute of it! Looks like he got the “reverse ride” this time. Thankfully, nobody dumped him on his head.
Let me tell you. A sale of this magnitude doesn’t come together without everyone pitching in! None of us could do this without the committee, the cooks, the cleaners, the babysitters, and all the little things that get done without being noticed.
The school children have a table full of goodies that they like to sell. Candy, pop, and class projects! However, they figure to help the sale by buying their own products. Good business plan, I suppose. Children will line up there with coins and dollar bills in their pockets, trying to decide which candy bar or pop they want.
A Mennonite sale is not a true Mennonite sale without a quilt or two hanging on the wall. Our church is divided into eight small groups. We call these the Bible Study groups and they are comprised of around 4-5 families. Every October, these groups get together and make a quilt or comforter for the sale. These are the ones you see hanging on the wall.
And who wouldn’t go to a bake sale without buying a homemade pie? Apparently most of the folks agree with you. Blueberry, pumpkin, raspberry, blackberry, apple, pecan – they look and are delicious! These pies go so fast that if you want the pick of the lot, you must be here before the doors open! By the time the sale ended this year, we only had one pie left on the table.
This is the table for the small crafts. Most of these items are made by the women in the church with anything from hand-painted items to table toppers and homemade soaps.
And if your hands are too full with all your goodies, just grab one of the menfolk standing around to help you out.
Some more homemade crafts and Christmas wreaths.
If you’re tired, you can always pretend you’re trying out the rocker and sit a spell.
Beautiful wooden bookshelves grace the walls, made by the men in the congregation. One day I’m going to bring home one of these for myself. Unfortunately, my house is too small to have much room for a big bookshelf like this. And I sure wouldn’t want to move Lowell out to the barn just to move a bookshelf in! (k, that was a total joke, y’all)
This is one of my favorite corners at the sale. The Book Corner. Here you’ll find lots of wholesome, used books for children and adults – as well as some brand-new ones.
This is another of my favorite places at the sale – The Food Line. I love to eat! We serve a breakfast array of homemade cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, yogurt parfaits, and hot coffee and chocolate. I noticed this year they even had a special gluten-free muffin for those who needed to eat gluten-free.
Homemade jams and jellies grace the end of the craft table.
A big part of what makes this sale so much fun for us as a church, is how we get to interact with the community. They touch our lives as much as we hope to touch theirs!
Now we’ll go outside where there are some more fun activities going on! This is The Kettle corn Stand. I bought myself a small bag of kettle corn, which was promptly devoured by everyone in the car on the way home. Delicious!
This little pony runs The Sorghum Press. I guess that’s what you call it! The children especially have fun helping with this. When it’s all done, we have fresh sorghum molasses to sell in pint jars.
This is the Apple Butter Shed. That is what they are cooking in the huge pot. It has to be stirred constantly for several hours. I wouldn’t know exactly how long since I’m not usually a part of this process. I just know that almost every time I went outside, somebody was there stirring and stirring and stirring. At least the fire keeps them warm!
Adjacent to our church building is The Rib Shack. This was one of Lowell’s favorite hangouts. Here they sell all you can eat ribs with sides cooked in dutch ovens. I tasted one of Lowell’s ribs, er, pork ribs – and they were scrumptious!
Some of these pictures will not mean a thing to most of you reading this post. But pictures like this I put up for those of our church families who are serving as missionaries overseas. We do miss them so, but are so thankful God is using them to further His kingdom while we keep the home fires burning.
Devouring what The Rib Shack had to offer. Me thinks they enjoyed themselves a little too much!
If you truly want a western experience, or just plain need to sit a spell, you can hop on The Haywagon. Rides were given all day long, although I never got away long enough to take a ride. A picture had to suffice for me.
This is the entrance to the sale and all the fun activities it had to offer.
As you can see, the children were very attracted by the sorghum press.
Apparently, the horse was off-duty at the moment.
I just loved this picture.
In another corner of the sale (yeah, we have lots of corners around here) is the cheese. Straight-from-Wisconsin-cheese! If you’ve never tasted those squeaky things called cheese curds, you’re really missing out. Just sayin’.
My favorite part again. The Lunch Food Line. This time we serve chili or potato/broccoli soup. Along with cornbread or a dinner roll, crackers, and pickle. Then you get your pick of any kind of pie. Can you say coconut cream? Or you can choose a piece of cheesecake instead. Yum. My kind of heaven.
Some of us nursery moms stopped for a quick picture of our babies. This isn’t all the babies in church and I wish we could have gotten them all. But this is Dallas and two of his girl buddies. Since he can’t sit up on his own yet, we propped him up between the two girlies. He looks a little perturbed.
“Hey, he’s mine! Keep your hands off, girl!”
Now for my absolute favorite part – The Auction.
The sale is from 8 am to 4 pm. After the sale has ended to the public, our church folks all eat the leftover soup, rolls, and pie for supper. Once supper is over, it is time for The Auction!
All the items that didn’t sell at the sale are auctioned off to us church folks. It’s so much fun! You see the guy in the middle? If you’ve ever watched “Fiddler on the Roof”, he would remind you of the papa. My friend, Darlene, commented on this yesterday and I hadn’t thought of it before. Deep, booming voice and ornery to beat the band. If he reads this, I hope he doesn’t make me take down that last comment . . .
Even the children love the auction! Once we’ve auctioned off all the leftover crafts and goodies, we move to the slave auction. Here’s an example: a church family says they will host a bbq supper for eight couples. This supper is then auctioned off to the highest bidder and seven more who will pay that price for the supper. We’ve had everything from a group of hard-working boys who volunteer to help you for a day to high tea with ladies.
The whole day is spent as a way to touch the community – but ends with it being a way to strengthen the fellowship between our own.
Oh yeah. And supposedly the sale is not The Sale without a little sugar thrown in.
And after a long, tiring, blessed day finally comes The End.