In the days before Thanksgiving Stacy Small’s kitchen is filled with row upon row of pies, and the smell couldn’t be more scrumptious.
It is all for a good cause. For 28 years, Small’s church, Newbegun United Methodist, has held a pie sale, and this year will be no different.
Well, maybe just a little different. 2020 is a different year after all.
The 28th annual Newbegun United Methodist Church Pie Sale will be held under the open shelter at the Pasquotank County Electronics Recycling Building on Pritchard Street, Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event actually was first held at the recycling building when it was the site of the Pasquotank Farmer’s Market. The sale was later moved to the Pasquotank Center of NC Cooperative Extension on nearby McPherson Street.
This year because of the COVID pandemic, the pie sale is returning to what is now the Electronics Recycling Building, but will be held under its open shelter. The building is near the Cooperative Extension center, so people who have previously attended the sale shouldn’t have trouble finding it.
For those who might be confused about the location, Newbegun UMC will have signs posted to help direct them to the recycling building.
The sale will feature, as it typically does, a wide range of pies — everything from pumpkin, pecan, chocolate meringue and lemon meringue to sweet potato, chocolate chess, blueberry and cherry.
Small’s personal favorite is lemon chess pie but she said her family loves her chocolate bourbon pecan pie.
Newbegun UMC member Louise Brown organized the church’s first pie sale in the early 1990s as a fundraiser to help a man who had been injured in an automobile accident pay his medical expenses. Subsequent pie sales have benefited the church and its missions.
Small, who has been coordinating the annual pie sale for more than 15 years, said she and up to 15 other church members prepare pies for the event in their homes. Brown, who turned 99 on Monday, Nov. 16, is well known for her pies and cakes and will be among those baking for this year’s sale.
Small said most of the church’s bakers start baking pies on Monday for the Tuesday sale and on Tuesday for the Wednesday sale.
The number of pies each baker makes ranges from two to 100, Small said. This year the church plans to offer more than 500 pies for sale. The price is $10 for regular sized pies and $12 for deep-dish pies. Each pie is sealed in a plastic Ziploc bag which is then placed inside a pastry box.
Over the years, Small has often used pie recipes she found in magazines which she adapted to her own taste. Other bakers use recipes that “have been handed down” in their family, she said.
Small said members of the church previously produced a cookbook, which, like their pies, sold out. The cookbook included some of their pie recipes, as well as other dishes.
Each year many of the same people attend the pie sale, making it a Thanksgiving tradition.
Small believes one of the reasons the pie sale’s popularity has continued is that all the pies are fresh and each is made from ingredients that are better than what can be found in most frozen desserts at the grocery store.
A new selection of pies is brought out for each day of the sale, which is always held the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Small recommends people get there early before their favorite pie is sold out.
In addition to pies, Newbegun UMC bakers also make breads and cakes for the sale. Small confirmed that some of the most popular breads in previous years were sourdough and pumpkin bread. Small loaves generally sell for $5, but prices for other breads and cakes vary.
Any unsold pies are donated to organizations where they are needed, said Small.
Small said she and the Newbegun UMC bakers always look forward to the pie sale because they see it as a great beginning to the holiday season.
For more information about the 28th annual Newbegun United Methodist Church Pie Sale, visit http://www.newbegunumc.org.