Fund-raiser to feature resident’s desserts

Soup, pie and auction to help Presbyterian manor

Beverley Wilson is taking her knack for cooking out of the kitchen and into the hearts of residents and staff at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor.

Just about every week for the past three years, Wilson has visited the second floor of the continuing care retirement facility. On every visit, she brings a homemade dessert.

“I have a passion for baking,” she said. “This way, I don’t have to eat it all myself.”

But the visits also have a personal meaning for Wilson, whose father lives in a similar center in Florida. Her mother also lived there until she died of Alzheimer’s disease several years ago.

“This is a way of doing for other people what others did for her,” Wilson said. “It’s a way of being near her.”

Wilson will put her talents to use in a new way Tuesday at the manor’s first soup and pie supper and annual auction fund-raiser. The event and a later golf tournament raise money for the manor’s Good Samaritan Program, which helps residents who are no longer able to pay their own way.

Besides donating desserts for the soup and pie supper, Wilson will auction her services to the highest bidder.

Participants will get a chance to bid on a dessert every month from Wilson’s kitchen. The winning bidder will get a list of more than 20 desserts ranging from pies to cakes to specialty items, and Wilson will make the dessert of the winner’s choice each month.

The dessert of the month will be among items for live auction, which begins at 7 p.m. Bidders also can compete for items during the silent auction from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Items for auction include vintage wines, sports tickets and memorabilia, gift certificates to area stores and restaurants and two airline tickets.

The Lawrence Presbyterian Manor will have a soup, pie and auction fund-raiser from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the manor, 1429 Kasold Drive. The live auction begins at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are $5 and may be bought at the manor, 1429 Kasold Drive, or by phone at 841-4262.

Wilson became interested in baking as a child when her mother taught her how to make pies. They still are one of her specialties. Some of the residents’ favorite desserts include coconut custard pie, strawberry cream cheese pie and butterscotch brownies. Wilson said the desserts challenge her and allow her to be creative.

One of the most fun, she said, is Bull’s-eye Cheesecake. Wilson got the recipe from Florida dessert chef and author Maida Heatter. She said she liked the way Heatter designed a cheesecake with rings like a bull’s-eye, but thought she could improve on the flavors. So Wilson combined her recipes for chocolate and orange cheesecake with Heatter’s directions to create her unique brown and orange bull’s-eye dessert.

The following recipe was submitted by Lawrence resident Beverley Wilson:Coconut Custard Pie—-two unbaked pie crusts1/2 cup butter (1 stick)2 cups sugar5 eggs3/4 cup buttermilk1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 2/3 cup sweetened coconut (Baker’s Angel Flake)Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, and beat until well mixed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the coconut. Carefully pour the mixture into two prepared pie crusts. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until done when a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the pie.Note: If you do not wish to make your own pie crusts, the Pillsbury refrigerated folded pie crusts work well. Also, depending on your oven, it may require more than 45 minutes for the pies to be done since you are baking two at a time. The tops of the pies will be browned when done. Makes two pies.

“When you cut into it you have the most wonderful pattern,” she said of the cake. “That’s what makes it fun, seeing people’s reaction to it.”

The auction has traditionally been a part of the manor’s golf tournament, which begins at 1 p.m. Sept. 18. This is the first year for the soup and pie fund-raiser, and Rhonda Parks, executive director at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, said she hoped it would become another tradition.

“We’d like to offer more festivities and opportunities to be involved,” Parks said. “Not everyone likes to golf, but everyone likes to eat.”

She said she hoped expanding the program would raise more funds for the Good Samaritan Program. The recent economic downturn has put more pressure than usual on the fund, Parks said.

“We see this fund being tapped into more in the future, so it gives us a sense of urgency to make this succeed,” she said.

Tickets to the event are $5 and may be purchased at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, 1429 Kasold Drive, or by phone at 841-4262. Tickets include a buffet-style dinner and a chance to win tickets to Music Man at the Lied Center.