Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A pretty penny for a pie November 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:11 AM
Rhubarb pie

Homemade pies, similar to this rhubarb pie, sold for hundreds of dollars during a live auction.

IF GARRISON KEILLOR had been among the 275 or so Lutherans dining at the Faribault American Legion Sunday evening, he may have asked, “What is this world coming to?”

These conservative Lutherans loosened their purse strings and paid a pretty penny, $200 – $410 per pastry, for peach, pecan and apple pies.

Even more surprising perhaps was the lack of formal committees to push the homemade pie prices through the roof. Instead diners, eight at each table, conferred and bid during the live auction of only nine pies.

As any bible-reading Lutheran knows, it would have taken a small miracle to feed so many hungry souls with only 72 pie slices.

That scriptural and mathematical awareness perhaps prompted the sometimes frenzied bidding as the dessert-seeking Lutherans tossed conservative habits and sensibilities aside, raised their hands, nodded their heads and opened their wallets.

An offer of two half camperships to Camp Omega for the highest bidder added to the bidding wars among otherwise genteel folk. The top bidder paid $410 for a homemade apple pie.

When the auction ended, nearly $3,000 had been raised for Camp Omega, a Christian retreat facility and camp near Waterville and the designated recipient of the pie sale proceeds. See www.campomega.org.

Lutheran jokes aside, I consider this whole pie auction an ingenious way to raise monies quickly for a good cause.

And, yes, one year I enjoyed a piece of pie.

This year I opted to dine with the sit-on-your-hands-during-the-auction Lutherans.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling