Guild readies for Friday’s soup dinner
It's been a long time since the members of the Plymouth Guild began cooking up soup.
"Not quite as long as we've been making pies, and nobody knows how long we've been doing that," said Florence Somers, guild president and chairman of this year's soup dinner.
Their dinner will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at Tonganoxie's First Congregational Church, 303 E. Fourth St.
Last year the guild served a record 300 diners in the church basement.
It takes teamwork to cook for that many people.
"We start out with 55 pounds of ground beef for the chili and about 55 pounds of chicken for the chicken noodle soup," Somers said.
For Friday's dinner, church members will start today.
They'll cook the meat, chop vegetables and sort ingredients into batches.
At 7 a.m. Friday they'll start making the soup. The food preparation is done in the church kitchen.
Everyone joins in.
"Almost the entire congregation," Somers said. "There were probably 28 that helped with the serving and cleanup and cooking process."
This is the guild's second-largest fund-raiser.
The first, Somers said, smiling, is the pie-making project. After some thought, she said church members had been making and selling pies for at least 30 years.
Each fall church members gather at the church to peel and slice apples, mix and roll out pie crusts and make homemade apple pie filling.
They spend about four days in the fall working together, cranking out pies. The apples are donated from Lara and Perry Walters who own Wildhorse Apple Orchard.
This past fall, Somers said, the group was a little short on help, so the pie numbers were down.
"We only made 260 apple pies," Somers said with a grin.
Her specialty is pecan pies, which the guild also sells.
Volunteers make the pie crusts on their work day and Somers comes back the next day to make the pecan filling and bake the pies. She limits herself to making 36 pies in a day. Even so, she made 110 pies last fall.
Proceeds from the soup dinner and pie projects are used to help support the church. And, Somers said, the organization donates funds to the Alliance Against Family Violence, to Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Pantry and to other missions.