Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Looking for a program as easy as pie?

'Tis the season for tasty pastries...  

Looking for a sweet program with minimal cost but maximum happiness?  Try this!

Inspired by a post from Karen Boardman (of the Public Library of Enid & Garfield County) on Storytime Underground's Facebook group, we held our first-ever all-ages DIY Make-and-Take Pie program at our library and, believe me, it won't be our last!

First things first, we needed a recipe.  To keep costs down while still embracing the season, we decided apple pies were the way to go.  After some trial and error, we went with good ol' Betty Crocker for all our pie-making needs.  We borrowed the filling fixings from this recipe and the crust from this one.

With our budget being somewhat limited--end of the year and all--and our meeting room having limited space--brother, can you spare some room?--we required registration beforehand.  Then, we promoted it EVERYWHERE: Facebook posts, Facebook events, our website, our in-house and electronic newsletters, the newsletters at the various schools around town, posters, and word-of-mouth.  Folks seemed genuinely excited by the program and we quickly learned that we'd need to offer a second session to accommodate the demand. (And, to be honest, we still had to turn some people away.)

Once we knew how many people we'd have each night, we set about collecting the necessary materials.  Our local Piggly Wiggly generously donated the majority of the apples, the staff provided some additional baking goodies, such as rolling pins, cookie cutters, and pie stamps, and the rest of the materials were able to be obtained from either the Dollar Tree or Aldi's.  All in all, we spent under $50!  For two nights worth of programming!

In terms of preparation, we lined the tables with paper (Hello, easy clean-up!) and pre-measured all the dry ingredients into gallon-size Ziploc bags.  Other than setting everything out, that was pretty much it!  The participants were responsible for mixing the crust, peeling and slicing the apples, and all the other bits and pieces involved with pie baking, including deciding how the top crust should look!  Everyone who attended left with a completed pie, as well as a handout with recipes, baking and/or freezing instructions, and suggestions on how they can gussy up this or future pies. 

Reports have come back that not only did they have a wonderful time, but the pies were mighty tasty, too!  Win-win.


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