Foodie Adventures

Baking for a Cause

Three years ago, a friend of mine had a crazy idea: running the Charlottesville Women’s Four-Miler race. As I had never ran more than a quarter mile or so without feeling like I would die, her suggestion sounded ridiculous. Somehow, she still got me to sign up for it and we trained all summer. Despite the fact that I couldn’t run for more than a minute in June, we still managed to run four miles, at the beginning of September! This was definitely my biggest fitness accomplishment. The other motivation for this run (other than being able to run such a long (in our standards) distance) was the cause, associated with the race. During the summer, all runners are encouraged to get sponsorship and to raise money for the UVA Breast Cancer Care Program. It was with great pride that we communicated with every single person we knew to get as many donations as possible. If my memory is correct, I raised $150 or so, on that first year.

After two years going MIA, I finally decided to sign up again this year, with a different friend this time. It’s interesting how important it appears to be to have a good running buddy. I’m not really picky, as long as I find someone who will help kick my butt and let me kick hers as well, once in a while. It’s really all about motivation for me. We have been training since June and I’m actually reaching the point where running isn’t just a chore but also something I really enjoy doing.

Instead of bugging everyone we know with sponsorship letters, we decided to use a different approach this year: a bake sale! We love to bake but are training so we can’t eat all the goodies we make…so how about selling it all for a good cause? We asked Gibson’s Grocery, a local corner shop (where we buy the best coffee beans in town, every week) and the owner, generously agreed to let us put a stand for a day. He also helped us advertise the event, which was so very nice of him.

For two days, my friend and I baked. And then we tasted, only to bake some more. By Friday night, I had a fridge and a counter-top filled with carrot cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, double chocolate muffins, jumbo cookies, almond macaroons, cake pops, spinach balls, and oh-so-popular-and-delicious empanadas. Some recipes were done without any issues but others, especially the macaroons and cake pops, made a sweat a bit. Martha Stewart definitely lied about how easy it would be to make the cake pops. And I also learned that wax paper isn’t the same as parchment papers….after loosing our first batch of macaroons. Oops!

Saturday morning, we got up and ready and started setting up our goodies at the table, generously provided by Chris, the owner of Gibson’s Grocery. We were very anxious to see how the day would go. We didn’t know if people would show up or not, despite my incessant messages on Facebook and Twitter about it. The morning went by really fast! We sold out of empanadas in just over one hour! We had agreed to leave at 1:30pm as we worried the sweets wouldn’t make it through the afternoon sun and heat. We still had a lot of food left and Chris asked if he could keep some of it inside to try to sell it during the rest of the day.

Today, after picking up the extra money raised at Gibson’s Grocery after we left, I calculated all the money we raised. We ended up raising a total of $190! Only $10 short of our very ambitious $200 goal! Now, what could be better than doing something I love to raise money for an amazing cause? 🙂

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