Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Bake sale


In light of my last post, I thought I’d pop this in as a sort of homage to organization and flexibility.

I have a love/hate relationship with Bake Sales. I resent that they are forced on us already overburdened moms and dads. I resent that they they are not in the least bit “voluntary”. I resent the endless intrusion on family time that they are, in the interest of making money.

And I hate all the rules. Nothing junky, gluten free, whole grain, sugar free. Then don’t have bake sales, and if your kid can’t eat something, don’t tell me not to make it, tell them they can’t have it.

It just brings out the bomb thrower in me.

But I love to bake. I love to cook, but maybe baking just a little bit more. It has been hard to almost give it up.

Baking one thing or another, got me throughout the depression of not working for long periods, waiting to get the next film. I taught myself to make real French bread, keeping a “mother” in my fridge. I taught myself how to make truly insane cakes.


But I don’t have time for that now. I regularly make a loaf of Irish Soda bread, because it is so easy, and reminds me of my mother, who made at least one a week.

Anyway, I returned home to face the mother of all Bake Sales looming up in front of me. The GIANT Bake Sale for the winter Faire at LM’s school. The one that half of Los Angeles County comes to.

I knew I was not up for baking. Not while rehabing the entire property and designing S2.

Not sure where I saw the “recipe”, probably on Pinterest. But it looked fabulous. it also appealed to me because it flew into all those healthy bake sale rules. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a zillion healthy cook books, and I make a lot of whole grain goods. I am a very healthy cook, and our family eats really well. Organic, balanced, local, blah, blah, blah. We have chickens sand grow vegetables, so that they will understand where food comes from. I am one of those anti- industrial food people.

But a bake sale??? That is off limits to the Health Police. Or at least I think it should be. There is a time and a place for food not to be healthy. Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, HALLOWEEN (do NOT hand out bottles of water!!!!), and Birthdays. No rules, all bets are off.

Thus I take a special delight in sending homemade versions of junk food to the weekly (yes, weekly) bake sale.

I make homemade oreos, twix bars, pop tarts, and anything else I can find. the HP can’t call me out because it is homemade and organic, and the kids LOVE IT. Homemade graham crackers dipped in chocolate are what has made legendary among children and men, but they are time consuming and I only make them at Christmas.

Anyway, enter the Chocolate Dipped Potato chip.

Sent 50 bags of those suckers out of here this morning, and it only took two hours to make, without turning on the oven. Genius. Reputation intact, and sanity in place, more or less.

You have to use a rigged chip. the chocolate stays on better. Melt the chocolate. I have a chocolate tempering machine, in order to deal with hundreds of those chocolate covered graham crackers, and tons of peppermint and nut bark every year, but there are many melting methods easily found on the internet.

Dip as many as you need in the melted chocolate. Use milk, white or dark, whatever you like. I bagged them up in small brown wax paper bags and tied them up with twine. (Buy a spool, it serves an endless number of functions, and apparently never runs out). I packed all the bags in a big zip lock, sucked out as much air as possible and sent them off.

Oh, and while I was at it, I dunked whole wheat pretzels, and clusters of dried fruit and nuts, just so the children of the HP would have something too.


11 thoughts on “Bake sale

  1. Avatar

    Oh I like you even more now!!! I hate having to do anything! If my mother told me to clean my room I would pull EVERYTHING out of my walk in closet into my room first. Of course it would take me a few days to clean that back up. Then I would start on my room. Better to just let me do it on my on schedule, crazy lady!!! I always did. I even decorated my closets. Everything was decorated. Nothing was left to chance. Then there was my husband who had this horrid taste I had to tame. I called it the WalMart theory of decorating. Just throw it up anywhere. Cheap crap everywhere. I had to go behind him removing stuff. And he came from a wealthy family. I guess it does not mean you have taste. Southern Living and WalMart do clash. Chocolate dipped pretzels are the best BTW.

  2. Katiscotch22Katiscotch22

    OMG this made me laugh – good for you, you’re a lady after my own heart. Certain foods need to be full of all the stuff we aren’t supposed to eat – what’s a treat if it’s calorie free. Never thought of chocolate covered potato chips – sounds excellent. I’ll have to try them. Honestly, I’d look for the most child friendly treat but make sure it was one the Health Police would frown on in answer to what amounts to a compulsory obligation. Still chuckling 😀

  3. AvatarConnie Sandlin

    Made a pecan pie for a bake sale, using pecans from our very own tree, put it in the freezer for the upcoming sale, went to get it and found a slice MISSING! Yes, DH had eaten a slice because I had not put a big ol’ sign on it saying; For Bake Sale ONLY – Do NOT Eat and This Means You!

    Secondly, why have the bake sales? I came to the conclusion that it would be easier to have a “virtual” bake sale and just ask families to contribute money without going to all the trouble of baking, carrying to the school, and then taking home (usually) sugary treats that most people didn’t really need anyway.

    I love your attitude toward the Health Police!

  4. BrookeBrooke

    ah…the chocolate covered potato chip. what a devilish thing! there is an Indian run chocolate factory in my dad’s hometown (Bedre) that makes and sells mass quantities if anyone is ever in need – haha. And as a diehard vegan health nazi, I will willingly admit that my vice is homemade goodies!! processed crap – they can have it! Somehow if it’s homemade I can justify ………….usually;)

  5. Avatar

    Your post is so timely!!! Every year I participate in a Holiday art
    sale and I have been racking my brain for something different that my 15 year old daughter can make for extra spending money. Another friend’s daughter does the dipped pretzel in chocolate, so the dipped potato chip is perfect!!! I will steal your idea shamelessly:) And your comment about the spool of twine is SO true! I’ve had the same spool for years, I use it for everything and it never runs out. WTH?????

  6. AvatarDaphnepf

    I am not a parent (unless you count my two Gordon Setters!), so I had no idea about the bake sale issue! I can see an occasional one, but weekly? Who buys it all? What is the money used for? Your response is brilliant, though.

    I will say that at the present time I am getting ready to send a Christmas package to my Secret Santa from my online book club and it will include Banana Mutt Bread for her two Cavaliers. My Gordons know their baggie full is in the fridge and Ronan will sit in front of the door and bark at it. Once a year or so of baking masses of fairly tasteless and fairly healthy bread though is about all I’d agree to!

    Hang in there!

  7. Avatarmosleslie

    I would pay money for the homemade oreos recipe. Or barter my artwork.

    As MArcella in “Gross Pointe Blank” says, “I just find it amusing that you came from somewhere.” Not that you’re not a human, but it’s a delight to know about your home life. It helps me appreciate the costumes even more – it grounds them.

    So much beauty and love throughout your life – I also can’t help but hear Catherine Tate’s Aga Saga lady demanding the organic/gluten-free items.
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOu9YbMw2qk&w=420&h=315%5D

  8. mickie513mickie513

    I hate bake sales and those endless money making schemes that call for you or your child (you if my household is anything to go by) to hit up all relatives and friends to buy some inane item. Worse yet there is a prize that your child will never get for bilking… er… selling the most.

  9. Purl99Purl99

    I love to cook and bake…sometimes. I am having a hard time right now since we are remodeling our kitchen. Since we own 2 businesses its very slow going, time to work is only about once a week. We have finished the easier parts and now the mechanical part of the kitchen is next. I am hoping to only be without a range, dishwasher and sink for about a week. We shall see! Thank goodness for microwaves and toaster ovens and plastic wear!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Terry…I think we may be working on the kitchen as our kids will be with their respective spouses families. Ahhhh…time with husband…priceless!

  10. juliakellyjuliakelly

    You are so preaching to the choir~! I’m still debating making my great grandmothers Danish Christmas bread- a lot of kneading, rising and rolling and my kids don’t even like sweet bread with all the raisins and dried fruit- but if I keep it up maybe the grand kids will?

  11. AvatarRenae

    ” if your kid can’t eat something, don’t tell me not to make it, tell them they can’t have it.”

    I am so in love with this sentiment. It is not my responsibility to monitor someone else’s food allergies.

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