The 14th annual Help the Hungry Bake Sale will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 23, in the St. Joseph Catholic Church gymnasium in Farmington.
One of the star attractions of the bake sale is the Cookin’ Clergy Auction held every year. Chris Landrum gave an overview of the cordial competition.
“The Cookin’ Clergy Auction started several years ago as a fun way to get their pastors and congregations involved in a little fun rivalry,” she said. “A pastor will make a dessert, their congregation raises money to purchase that dessert at the bake sale.”
Local radio personality Mark Toti will start a round of bidding and whoever bids the most will choose which dessert they want. The desserts will be judged in three ways: best appearance, best tasting, and the dessert that raises the most money.
“The pastors present their dessert to the audience and they are always humorous with what they have to say about their dessert,” Landrum said. “Father Ricky [Valleroy] from the Catholic Church always like to joke that his was made with Holy Water. It’s fun and everybody has always laughed, it’s a great time and we can make like $14,000-$15,000 within 30 minutes of auctioning off these desserts.
“People from a congregation will be bidding, and they will choose their pastor’s cake. Sometimes we’ve had some smaller churches where the pastor bakes every year, and their congregation can’t raise money, out of goodwill one congregation will buy another pastor’s cake. The pastor does win and gets to take home a trophy and have bragging rights for the year.”
When asked, Landrum said that to her knowledge there has never been an angel food or devil’s food cake entered in the contest.
Pastor Ron Beaton of Memorial United Methodist Church is the brash newcomer to the Cookin’ Clergy contest and is determined to put the heat to the competition. He explained the three basic principles that he thinks will serve him well.
“Grit, determination and underhanded techniques,” he said. “I do not like to lose, especially I don’t like losing to Baptists and Catholics. The Catholic priest last year made a Jack Daniels cake, which seems to give him an unfair advantage.
“We Methodists are a zealous bunch. I don’t know if I’m going to beat the Catholics this year, but before my time is up in Farmington, I fully anticipate taking down the Catholics. I don’t know if it will be this year, but in the next three years the Methodists will claim victory.”
Beaton has been getting a lot of practice in on how to bake the perfect cake.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the Great British Bakeoff to get ideas,” he said. “I’m trying to find something that is aesthetically pleasing. I don’t know if it will taste good, hopefully it will look pretty.
“Right now, I’m thinking of a two layered, chocolate cake with some chocolate ganache and a fudge icing topped with raspberries.”
One of Beaton’s underhanded techniques include assistance from the youth in his church that have volunteered.
“They don’t know that I’m using them,” he said. “They are just teaching me the ways of modern baking.”
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org