Tonight I went and helped make apple pies for the Historical and Archaelogical Society of Fort Riley(HASFR). This is a yearly volunteer effort that coincides with the Apple Days Fall Festival. HASFR uses Libby Custer's old recipe and bakes over a thousand pies in 4 days (the goal this year is 1800). Most are frozen (the presale pies mainly, but you can buy them on Apple Day, too), but others are cooked to sell by the slice at Apple Day(or the whole pie if there are enough). It is HASFR's biggest fundraiser.
This is something that it is very dear to my heart. I first came to Fort Riley in August 2006. I saw in the paper that they needed volunteers to help with the pies in September so I signed up. I didn't know anyone and didn't work so I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and be with other people. I showed up for the first shift on the first day. My first job was cutting butter. This is how I met my dear friend, Debra. We got to talking and I ended up going out to lunch with her and a couple other people. She asked me a lot of questions and found out that I was newly married, new to the army and new to Fort Riley and my husband was deploying the next month. She told me later that she was not going to let me leave that day without her contact information so I could have someone to turn to with questions or moral support. She had been an army wife for awhile.
Debra also introduced me to the AFTB program for military spouses. These are classes you can take to learn more about the army. I really enjoyed those and completed one level(there are 3). I also took my firend, mandy to one and we learned about the free college courses on post. Mandy has since received her Bachelor's Degree and is now in a Master's Program.
Back to the apple pie making -- I ended up going for the morning shifts for all 4 days. I got a free pie out of it :) I also learned about Ghost Tours in October and showed up to help with that!! The combination of the two landed me an offer to be secretary of HASFR, which I did for 1 1/2 terms. The second year of pie making I was a shift leader. I even got to ring the bell when a certain number of pies were done!!
I missed the pie making last year because I was working 2 jobs. I wasn't about to miss it this year, 2 jobs or 1 (right now it still stands at 1). I wnet and had a good time. The JROTC was there so it was a party atmosphere. I was able to do my 2 favorite jobs -- peeling/coring the apples and wrapping the pies.
I will also be at the festival on Saturday. This is something I have not missed in the 3 years I have been here. The apple days pie making really helped me a lot when I first got here because it introduced me to some great people and some great programs the post offers. As a result I was able to learn more about Fort Riley and it's history, what the army was about, and I was able to to play a part in enriching someone else's life as well. To me it is more than just making pies -- it is making memories and a place for myself here at Fort Riley.