Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bake Sale

For the past couple weeks, I've been getting ready to help with a bake sale sponsored by the Public Health Student Association. Being the wife of the president of PHSA, I felt like I should contribute in some way. Plus, I'm the only one with tons of free time on my hands to shop for groceries and bake for hours. A few of our friends live off campus, and they let me come over and use their kitchen (and oven!). I was pretty excited to use an oven again.

But before I could start baking, I had to think through what I was going to make. Since none of the PHSA officers had organized a bake sale before, most of the planning fell to me, although I had no experience with it either. We had no idea how much to make, what prices to charge, how long we should run the sale, or even what we should sell! So we decided that as long as we broke even after the bake sale, it would be a success. A couple students volunteered to bake brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and cupcakes. The rest of it was up to me. Here are the different recipes I decided to try:
- 7-Layer Cookies (graham cracker crust topped with coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and pecans)
- Lemon Bars
- Cappuccino Brownies
- Red Velvet Cake
- Fresh Pear Pie
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I had planned to make apple cinnamon muffins and banana bread as well, but ran out of time. The grocery shopping took place over the course of a couple weeks. But I eventually was able to find everything I needed.

The only thing I had trouble finding was baking pans. A friend of ours loaned us a 9x13" pan and an 8x8" pan. And I eventually found some disposable aluminum pans at the grocery store. I could have used a few more, but at least I'll know for next time. This past Thursday was my baking night. After a quick dinner, Ryan and I headed to our friends' house around 4:30. One of the guys who lives there was nice enough to drive all the bags of ingredients over to the house in his car the night before. I brought most of my bowls, spoons, and measuring cups, and it was a good thing I did - the kitchen had almost no baking equipment. (This may be due to the fact that 7 guys live there.)

Almost as soon as we got to the house, I realized that the butter had been left sitting on the counter overnight. Ryan was very kind and volunteered to run to the store for me. That immediately changed the plan I had for the order in which I would bake everything. So I improvised and started with a cake that didn't need butter. Next, I realized that not only did I not know how to turn on the oven, but it was also in Celsius. Fortunately, one of the guys knew how it worked, and as it turns out, one of my recipes actually had the Celsius conversion! Disaster averted.

The rest of the evening went pretty smoothly. I had to guess at the length of time for everything because the timer didn't work on the oven. It was a little bit of trial and error to get the temperature and timing right, but it all worked out. We finished around 10:00pm, and again our friend gave us a ride back to school. I was glad we didn't have to figure out how to carry 7 pans of baked goods and 6 bags of ingredients on the bus by ourselves.

Finally it was Friday, the day of the bake sale. We thought we would be stationed at the Upper Bus Stop, which is also where different vendors sell food during lunch. But another organization was already having a bake sale in that location, so we had to move to a courtyard area surrounded by classrooms and the library. We were a little concerned that we wouldn't have the amount of traffic that the other location has. Ryan and some classmates helped me carry everything from our room to the courtyard around 10:30. They had to go back to class until 12:00, so one of the PHSA officers and I stayed at the table. We had planned to begin the bake sale at 11:00, but there was a steady stream of people as soon as we got there. Since I again had no experience with a bake sale, I just guessed at the prices we would charge. It turns out they were right where they should be. Here is the flyer I printed ($1EC = $0.37USD):

And here are a few pictures of the bake sale. This is one that Ryan took before other people brought the cupcakes, rice krispie treats, and a cheesecake.

By the time Ryan's class ended at 12:00, we had sold more than half the items, and we sold out of 3-4 items completely!

At the beginning, I was worried that we had way too much food. But as it turns out, we probably could have doubled the amount we baked. A few people actually wanted one of everything! We planned to stay there until 3:00, but by 1:00 we were completely sold out. It's a good thing, too because shortly after we packed up, it poured for about half an hour. Since we weren't under a tent or anything, that would not have been good.

In the end, we made over $600EC - more than any of us could have imagined! The money will be used to sponsor health fairs around the island, clothing drives for the poor, and various other charities. The guys all want to have another bake sale next month! I may need a little more time than that. But next time, I'm definitely making enough so we have some leftovers to bring home!

1 comment:

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