Monday, July 24, 2006

Where were you when it was 114 degrees...

A couple of months ago I was pulled aside at church by someone from the stake. (apparently the stake was not aware that I was "difficult." They still thought I was a useful member of the church....) Ah my first stake assignment. Pioneer Day. Easy assignment. I was to work with the person in charge and handle publicity, make flyers and hang-out on the day of the event. No problem. I can do that....

It truly was a pretty easy assignment. I love the person I had to work with. Very easy-going. She told me what she needed. I got it done. There was no drama. There was no power struggle. It was exactly as it should be. People working together to get it done.

I got one little tiny assignment added on... the pies for the pie eating contest. No crusts, they don't eat them anyway. Just purchase three #10 cans of chocolate pudding and one thing of pastry pride. I got a little panicked when I saw that pastry pride came in a milk carton. You mean you have to whip it.... oh no.... you got the wrong girl for this job..... I called the pastry pride guru and explained that I was way outside my comfort zone. "Is there a reason why we have to use pastry pride?" I then learned all of the great virtures of pastry pride...and a pep talk. Ok fine... I can do this....

Flash forward to the night before the day of the pies.... You can re-read the last entry to get all the details. After that long night, I got up at 6am, my house was already 80 degrees and I started whipping and whipping and whipping.... Is it possible to make whip cream when it is this hot. Somewhere in the depths of my non-cooking, non-baking mind.... I had this vision of putting ice in a bowl, then put the mixing bowl in the ice bowl.... Oh yea, it worked. I got some mighty fine whipped cream.

It's now 8:30 in the morning and who knows how hot it is. I put the 8 beautiful pies in the fridge and began the rest of my pioneer day duties. I welcomed everyone, I sweat, I chatted, I sweat, I passed out cold water, I sweat, I ran to the store for more bags of ice, I passed the thermometer at the high school - 113 degrees.... I went back and I sweat. At one point we heard the news that it hit 114, with the heat index I think it was 118.

It finally started cooling down as we packed everything up.

Despite how hot it was, I really did have a great time. I became a firm believer in pastry pride. Those pies looked awesome when we brought them out at 1pm in the 114 degree heat. I had fun chatting with the guy at the mormon battalion booth. We looked up my ancestor and I read about him hunting for food for the company. I quilted with Sister Swing and learned about her grandmother and the violin that crossed the plains with the pioneers. I watched the kids make butter and rope, throw wet sponges at each other and ride the horses. I hung out and talked with the mountain men and learned about their "rendezvous." And at the end when each step was an ordeal and I just kept hoping we'd stop finding things we had to clean up or put away or take down... I said a silent prayer of gratitude for my relatives that made the arduous trek many years ago. I wonder how many 114 degree days they endured as they crossed the desert, without ice or pies or pastry pride?
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