If you’ve ever eaten a pie at Mary Mother of Hope Parish’s Easterfest, Pheobe Flynn has had her hands on it.
The 86-year-old Union Township woman has been crafting pies from scratch for more than 30 years for the annual event at the downtown New Castle church that features food, baked goods and Easter-themed crafts.
Thursday morning, Flynn had her hands in a giant metal bowl full of flour and Crisco, preparing for this year’s Easterfest, to be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church’s parish center on North Beaver Street.
“I’ll mix this with water, vinegar and egg,” Flynn said, as she scooped piles of the mixture into five-pound buckets. “I got the recipe from an old Betty Furness cookbook that Westinghouse put out years ago. I found it works for me.”
Flynn was joined in the kitchen by a crew of other volunteers who work for months to prepare around 800 dozen pierogies, 250 nut rolls and 200 pies, in addition to gallons of soup, haluski and other treats.
“She’s my idol — I want to be like her when I grow up,” joked Ardie Mrozek, who heads up the kitchen volunteers with Elaine Patterson. “When she passes on, we’re taking all of this out to the cemetery.”
The Rev. Frank Almade said he’s continually impressed by the hard-working volunteers who make Easterfest possible.
“They’re generous with their time, and they know quality — it’s a wonderful witness,” Almade said, while checking in on the men in women in the steamy kitchen.
“This stuff will sell out in two or three hours, so get here early ’cause the good stuff goes fast.”
•10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Mary, Mother of Hope Parish Center
•Eat in or take out food, including haluski, soups, cabbage rolls, pierogies, kielbasa, Easter breads, nut rolls, pies and cookies
•Also for sale are butter lambs, homemade jellies and jams, horseradish with beets and chocolates.
•Handmade palm gifts, including crosses for the homes, and decorated Easter eggs will also be available for purchase.