Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great American Bake Sale

Brace yourself. It's a long one! I decided earlier this spring to put on a bake sale to support Share Our Strength. They are an organization that helps fight against childhood hunger by donating proceeds to after-school programs and summer feeding programs in local neighborhoods.

I chose the location - my generous friend's house in Redondo Beach! Katie and I work in the same company and she welcomed the idea - bless her heart! Once I chose the location, I had about three weeks until the actual bake sale day. Being the sporadic procrastinator that I am, I chose this event to wait until the last week to prepare everything (posters, labels, promotion, items for sale).

The week leading up to the Saturday of the event, I got very little sleep. My week was full of late nights cutting and pasting paper, baking prep, and designing. I had decided early on to make the event donations only, so I didn't have to worry about pricing each item. Each night was a different item - poster (check), cookie dough and pre-baked brownies (check), cupcake filling (check), cupcakes (check), toppings (check), cookie bag labels (check).
Finally, the day before the event came. After a week full of sunshine, Friday had to be the quintessential May gray. WHY??? It's ok...this is LA; temperatures change all the time - one day it's sunny and the next it's raining. Maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be a beautiful day for a bake sale at the beach. Nope. It was gray pretty much until the end of the bake sale. There was a little condensation in the morning, but thank heavens that subsided. The rest of the day was chilly and overcast, but surprisingly, that didn't stop the foot traffic, even though we were in a residentail neighborhood.
Overall, considering the weather conditions, considering the quiet residential neighborhood, considering the average 4-5 hours of sleep I got each night, considering my aching, almost feverish body by the end of the event, we did really well - 50% over my goal! That made all the hardship just melt away. It was an amazing, rewarding, and fulfilling day.
For this event, I baked chocolate chip cookies; sugar cookies; brownies; vanilla cupcakes with vanilla pastry cream, topped with a strawberry; yellow cake with mango mousse filling, topped with ginger-lime creme; and chocolate cupcakes, filled with white chocolate mousse, and topped with sour cream chocolate almond frosting. We also offerred made to order sandwiches for those without a sweet tooth. All the recipes will be shared in due time (patience is a virtue).
There was absolutely no stinkin' way I could have pulled this off on my own. I had loads and loads of help. I would now like to take the time to thank each and everyone who helped.
Katie - thank you for loaning me your kitchen, front yard, sidewalk, and topless table. Also, thank you for offering to put up the signs for me around the neighborhood - it saved me so much time. Lastly, thank you for your suggestions and promotion of the event.
Sig-O - thank you for your words of encouragement and your support. Thank you for staying up with me to help me finish the last minute preparations. Thank you for helping me set-up and tear-down the event. Thank you for doing my shopping and being the short order cook. I definitely wouldn't have been able to do any of this without you there by my side. Whenever I had a problem, I new that you were the one to turn to.

May - thank you for your beautiful greeting cards. Your attention to detail is impecable and I always enjoy your work. Also, thank you for taking time out of your busy day and driving out of your way to make it to the event. Lastly, thank you for staying until the end to help with clean-up.

Amy - thank you for baking such delicious and popular no-sugar added banana cookies and chocolate chip, marshmallow cookies. Thank you for driving that whole hour just to be at the event. Thank you for staying for most of the event, even though you had another event to go to. It was great seeing you again and catching up.
Sister - thanks for being the tongs girl and serving each delicate cake with care. Thanks for keeping us entertained and for sharing in this event with me.
Stephanie, Pru, Patrick, and Lawrence - thank you so much for donating even though you knew you couldn't make it. Your donations helped me meet my goal that much quicker. Knowing that you supported the cause really meant a lot to me.

Of course, the customers! Thank you so much for your support and for trusting in a local neighborhood sale. You were all so hospitable and I enjoyed visiting with every one of you. Without you, this wouldn't have been the success that it was.

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