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Church group project still steaming after 50 years

The Memorial United Church Hall and kitchen was buzzing with activity Saturday as the Women’s Group members gathered for their annual steamed pudding day. Pictured are, left to right, Gloria Raines, Jennifer Pilgrim, Elizabeth Winter and Audrey White, spooning puddings into molds for steaming.
The Memorial United Church Hall and kitchen was buzzing with activity Saturday as the Women’s Group members gathered for their annual steamed pudding day. Pictured are, left to right, Gloria Raines, Jennifer Pilgrim, Elizabeth Winter and Audrey White, spooning puddings into molds for steaming.

What started out as a service project for one of several United Church Women’s groups in Grand Falls-Windsor has evolved into what one participant calls, “the fellowship of the kitchen.”

The member of the Memorial United Church Women’s group were gathered at the Church Saturday for their annual steamed pudding preparation, and the banter made it obvious that the activity was about more than puddings.

“It’s easier to talk when you’re in the kitchen than when you’re in a meeting,” said Alice Cater.

Cater is one of two current participants who has been around since the beginning, in 1966 when the Wesley group (one of five in town at the time) produced about 20 puddings as a trial.

“Every group had their project,” Cater noted, “And when the Curling Club women needed some steamed puddings made for an event they were hosting, Tot Hopkins suggested we could make the puddings and sell them.”

The five groups amalgamated in 2010 to comprise the current membership of 70.

The tradition of making puddings for sale has continued for 50 years.

Saturday’s effort was in preparation for the annual Christmas Bazaar at the Church Hall on Nov. 19, starting at 10 a.m.

The member of the Memorial United Church Women’s group were gathered at the Church Saturday for their annual steamed pudding preparation, and the banter made it obvious that the activity was about more than puddings.

“It’s easier to talk when you’re in the kitchen than when you’re in a meeting,” said Alice Cater.

Cater is one of two current participants who has been around since the beginning, in 1966 when the Wesley group (one of five in town at the time) produced about 20 puddings as a trial.

“Every group had their project,” Cater noted, “And when the Curling Club women needed some steamed puddings made for an event they were hosting, Tot Hopkins suggested we could make the puddings and sell them.”

The five groups amalgamated in 2010 to comprise the current membership of 70.

The tradition of making puddings for sale has continued for 50 years.

Saturday’s effort was in preparation for the annual Christmas Bazaar at the Church Hall on Nov. 19, starting at 10 a.m.

At the end of a long day of preparation and steaming, the puddings were wrapped and ready for Saturday’s bizarre at Memorial Church, starting 10 a.m.

“A lot of our money raised goes to the Status of Women’s Group, the Food Bank and some to the church’s Mission and Service Fund.

Work actually begins on the pudding project well in advance with the cutting of dates and cherries. Saturday’s activity involved the preparation for puddings, loading molds (some as old as 100 years), steaming the puddings and eventually wrapping them for sale once they cooled.

The pudding day has become a family affair in a lot of respects. Emily Stoodley, who is credited with coming up with the original idea is now deceased but her daughter-in-law, Sharon, carries on the tradition.

“It is a big social thing – I really enjoy it,” she said.

Janette Powell is the other original pudding maker still involved.

“I was pretty young when I joined and we needed a new project,” she told the Advertiser. “The first time we probably only made 15 or 20, and we have made as many a 102.”
“It’s a very worthwhile project, and people come to the sale especially to get them,” she added.

 

Randy.edison@tc.tc

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