Henry Ford, the father of the mass production process, had nothing on a group of ladies at First United Methodist Church in Killeen.
For several days this week, the ladies assembled and baked apple and apricot fried pies for the church’s annual fried pie fundraiser.
About 4,000 pies are baked and sold each year with proceeds going to fill various needs within the FUMC family and the community.
“The funds raised this year will be used to purchase automatic handicapped access for our building,” said Patricia Vassaur, pie committee chairman.
“We have ramps and that’s fine on Sundays, but if someone needs as
sistance on a weekday, there might not be anyone here to open doors.”
The fundraiser began in the early 1980s, inspired by the late Grace Rennick, who was a member of the 500-member church. In past years, the money raised was used to support the church’s youth and children’s ministry and various charities.
Fourteen ladies were involved in the assembly line pie-making process on Wednesday, with every person having a specific job and station.
“It takes more than 14 days of preparation to sponsor this fundraiser,” Vassaur said.
“Lumping the flour, oil, sugar and fruit together to make the pies adds up to 802 pounds of ingredients.”
The assembly line, located in the church’s fellowship hall kitchen, included six stations. The dough was mixed and kneaded at station 1 and then sent to station 2 to be rolled out. At station 3, an inverted saucer trimmed the dough and gave the pies their shape.
The dough was filled with cooked fruit in station 4, and then folded over and crimped with a fork to seal the contents.
At station 5, the pies were fried in large skillets. And at station 6, used cooking utensils were placed in an industrial dishwasher.
Despite the work involved, all the volunteers seemed to enjoy the experience.
“This is my second year to help with the fundraiser and I agree it’s for a great cause,” Veda Kay Waheed said. “But it’s the camaraderie that develops between us that makes it special.”