Charity isn’t all about cash!

Jim wooden spoon

For over three years now the team of head baker Judith Batty and able assistant and chief stirrer W Bro Jim Batty, PAPGM, have been baking Christmas cakes to sell for the Kirkheaton Parish Church Building Fund. This is a major project which needs in the region of £1.9m and as W Bro Jim says it will take a lot of cake baking to reach!

They baked 100 cakes in 2008, 150 in 2009 and 250 last year generating £400, £700 and £950 (cake size does matter) respectively towards the Building Fund. The cakes are sold mainly through the congregation, family and friends but the bulk of the support has been through generosity of their many Masonic friends. A conservative estimate is that in 2010 they used 560 eggs (one batch contained 14 double yolked eggs), 420 lbs of currants, raisins and sultanas, 280 ozs of ground almonds, 70 lbs of butter, 70 lbs of flour, 70 lbs of sugar plus various essences, all topped off with an immeasurable amount of brandy. The only kitchen rule is that the stirrer cleans out the bowl –what weight problem? 

The 2011 Cake-athon is already under way with three 21lb mixes already through the production system and in storage (any good Christmas cake is best matured) and they hope again to continue the year on year record increase in the number of cakes produced. As usual they will be baking a variety of shapes (round, loaf or square) and sizes, the normal range being from 2lbs to 4.5lbs but they do produce larger cakes for special occasions if requested. They now even include wheat/gluten free in their repertoire.

W Bro Jim is asked regularly if he is managing to fill his time since he retired as an APGM – what do you think?

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