Working at the St. Johns apple dumplings booth at Harvest Homecoming is not all fun and games, there is more to it.
“We hand-make and roll the dough, peel, core, and stuff the apples,” Linda Schuler said.
Volunteers from St. John Presbyterian Church start working on the dough for the apple dumplings in the beginning of August and finish by September 1. They have a month to make the dough, to get it ready for the St. John’s apple dumpling booth in the beginning of October.
“We hold very strict standards cleanliness,” Schuler said.
As Harvest Homecoming approaches, they begin stuffing apples for apple dumplings. The dumplings are baked the morning the booths open.
The bakers do not bake all of the apple dumplings all in one morning, but make them fresh daily. They just bake as many as you need for that day.
Booth runners say they love to see the same customers twice in a day. These customers come back for more and show everyone what their eating.
“It is very rewarding to spot dumplings and see friends you don’t see all the time,” Schuler said. “Repeated customers are a treat. They are the best advertisers.”
If volunteers are not working hard in the booth they are at the church trying to make the dumplings ready to dispatch. Working in a booth or not, those people are still part of the effort.
“Many people who never serve in the booth work hard to prepare and deliver,” Schuler said.
There are six church people that work in the booth at a time.
“It is a treat to serve with so many good people,” Schuler said.
The booth has been in the same location for 20 years on Bank St; it was updated a few years ago and now is a double booth.