It's Apple Pie Time!

The Apple Pie Project is a GO for fall 2020!  As with everything else during a pandemic, some adjustments will need to be made…so please read the descriptions below to understand how we plan to make the Apple Pie Project happen as safely as possible.  Signing up for tasks is ESSENTIAL this year, as we have broken many tasks that people use to just "show up for" into shifts to ensure safe social distancing.  Please sign up here.

Dough making

Currently the Mallon Family has offered to do all four weeks of dough making, but we may need additional volunteers if they need a break at some point during the project.  Volunteers will be asked to wear masks while moving through the building and working in the kitchen.

Apple collecting

This is generally an easy social distancing activity as it occurs outdoors and folks tend to do it in family groups and are encouraged to wear gloves anyway.  So, we will continue with the apple collecting as usual, but we will ask that folks wear masks when collecting near other folks outside of their family.  ONE MAJOR CHANGE is that we will be collecting apples on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this year NOT Wednesdays and Thursdays as in the past.  For questions regarding apple collecting, please contact Steve Evans (steve.pies@fpc-stow-acton.org).

Apple peeling/prep

Our usual method of coming together in community to peel apples at church simply is not a safe option at this time.  Instead, we will be asking volunteers to wash, peel, and prepare apples at home.

  • Apples can be picked up by volunteers from bins located at the lower Fellowship Hall entrance (behind the building) anytime after 4 pm on Wednesday afternoons.  Apples will be in bags along with food safe bags for the slices to be put in. 
  • Volunteers are asked to take the apples home, wash them, peel them, core them, cut them into pie slices, and place them in the food safe bags provided.
  • Volunteers can drop off the bags of slices in the bins behind lower Fellowship Hall any time before 7 pm on Thursday OR can deliver them to the front of the church between the hours of 8-9 pm Thursday where a volunteer will collect and store the apple slices overnight. 
  • We will try to host some Thursday evening Zoom sessions for folks who would like to socialize while they peel at home and some SGMs may also conduct their own Zoom peeling sessions.

Baking

To meet social distancing guidelines, our normal Friday morning baking routine will need some adjustments.  All volunteers will be asked to wear masks while in the building.

  • With social distancing of 6 feet followed, there is room in the Fellowship Hall Kitchen for 3 individuals to space out along the counter along the windows to roll dough and 2 individuals at the metal table in the center of the kitchen for rolling/crimping.  These “stations” will be marked with painter’s tape to encourage folks to maintain safe spacing.  There is also room for an additional person to move through the right entry door and reach the oven to load in and take out pies when needed.
  • Filling will take place in the Hall with individuals or “same household groups” each being assigned a separate table.  Assuming up to 6 people are working in the kitchen, and a need to keep the total person count at 10 or less, the hall can hold 4-5 fillers (assuming one of the fillers also works as the pie oven loader/unloader).
  • Pies will be returned to a table outside the kitchen where they will be retrieved by the kitchen volunteers to place on the top crust and prepare the pies to go in the oven.
  • We will work in shifts for each of the areas to limit the number of people in the building.  Please see the sign up sheet for more information.

Bagging

Bagging will take place in the Fellowship Hall as usual.  With 2-3 volunteers bagging, there will be plenty of room for social distancing, but folks could stagger when they bag as well, if desired.  All baggers will be asked to wear masks in the building and gloves and aprons while handling pies.

Selling

Rather than selling out of the pie shed as usual, we will be asking pie purchasers to pull up to the front doors of the church, where they can line up to purchase pies from within their cars.

  • Sellers will greet the purchaser, ask for their order, take their payment, and then will deposit the pies into the open trunk of the purchaser’s car.
  • We will have to encourage low risk individuals to volunteer as sellers.  Sellers will be asked to wear a mask and sunglasses or a face shield if they desire.  They will be provided with gloves and an apron for them to wear during their shift and will be asked to sanitize their gloves between each purchase. 
  • We will plan to get extra cash for change this year so that the $ in the cash can be replaced completely from Sat to Sun so sellers from Sunday don’t handle cash that was handled on Saturday.

Quantities/Price

  • How many pies we will be able to make depends on how many folks are willing to volunteer under our new conditions.  We will plan to make our normal number of pies, but will adjust as needed once we get a better sense for how the process works.
  • We haven’t raised prices for many years.  Increasing the price we charge per pie this year will help make up for the possibility that we will make/sell fewer pies.  Our plan is to raise the price per pie to $18, which is in keeping with the price of pies at our local farm stands.

When to start/what to offer

Our current plan is to begin the project the week of Sept. 14th, with the first sales being on Saturday September 19th.  The project will run the usual 4 weeks, ending on Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day weekend (Oct. 10-11th)
Since it is not likely we are not going to have the fair this year, we are hoping to offer a variety of jams/jellies, pickles and baked goods that will be pre-packaged and ready to sell along with the pies.  We will have a list each week of what is available for purchasers to choose from (selection may vary from week to week).   Please contact the Pie Project Coordinator, Rebecca Stadolnik, at applepies@fpc-stow-acton.org if you have items to donate.  

Sign ups

Signing up in advance for roles in the pie project will be more important than ever this year, especially with regard to the new plans for peeling and baking.

To sign up please visit this link.

Bathroom Use In Building

For Pie Project activities in the church, folks will be asked to avoid using the church restrooms if possible.  If an urgent need arises, we will ask folks to use the single stall all gender bathroom outside of Fellowship Hall and to keep the door open in between users to improve ventilation.   The bathroom will be wiped down with sanitizing wipes at the end of each event. 

For Everyone's Safety

If you or anyone in your home has symptoms of Covid-19, is waiting to get testing results, is under quarantine, or has recently participated in an event or activity that could place you at risk for infection, that you please do NOT participate in any pie project activities until you are sure you have a clean bill of health.  Also, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after participating in every pie project activity.  Stay safe!

If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding the plans for the apple pie project this year, please reach out to the Pie Project Coordinator, Rebecca Stadolnik, at applepies@fpc-stow-acton.org.