Refill with Randy – Abundant Harvest church puts lots of love (and deliciousness) into pies

Posted 19 November 2023 at 8:00 am

By Randy LeBaron

Later this week many will be gathering together for a tryptophan-fueled feast and nothing says Thanksgiving dinner like turkey, stuffing, and a myriad of homemade pies.

To that end I took a trip up to the Abundant Harvest Pie & Gift Shop (located within the Knowlesville Fellowship Hall at 3619 Knowlesville Rd.) to meet up with Nate Johnidas, who has been volunteering there every Friday for years, as well as to purchase some pies and learn a little about their process.

For many years people would gather in the Fellowship Hall of The Church of The Abundant Harvest, previously known as Knowlesville UMC, to enjoy a delicious Fish Fry every Friday evening throughout Lent. One of the highlights of those dinners, and I can speak from personal experience here, became the large variety of homemade pies. About 9 years ago, after a number of people had asked if there was a way that they could purchase a pie outside of the dinners, a decision was made to start the shop. Since that time the dinners have unfortunately stopped but the demand for delicious homemade pies is still going.

I spoke with Ruth H., Linda B., Linda S., and Sylvia A., who are the primary pie makers, and learned that they make and sell more than 2,000 pies annually and will sell around 200 pies alone over Thanksgiving week. In fact, if you would like to order pies for this year, you can still put in an order this weekend. The cutoff date is Sunday, November 19th and you can pick your pies up any time the following Monday-Wednesday between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They offer 18 different types of pie that average $4 for a 6” pie or $10 for a 9” pie. Beyond their highest selling varieties of apple, pumpkin and cherry, they also offer peach, pecan, mincemeat, chocolate peanut butter, and more. To hear a full listing or to order please contact Ruth Higgins (585) 798-4483 or Linda Baker (585) 798-3667.

You can also purchase pies at The Downtown Browsery in Medina or simply stop in at The Pie & Gift Shop between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. any Friday or Saturday. Frozen pies can be purchased anytime but if you would prefer to eat it there with a cup of coffee just call The Fellowship Hall 2 hrs. in advance (585) 798-3173 and they will be happy to bake it for you.

Since I had not called ahead, and didn’t feel like baking, I chose a few 6” pies that only needed to be thawed. I had tried the peanut butter and pumpkin previously, so I already knew that they would be good, but I was intrigued by the one I was not familiar with—pineapple cream. Truth be told it became my new favorite as it was light and the flavor reminded me of ambrosia salad. My buddy Dave Good agreed.

Beyond the homemade pies the shop also has a large variety of gifts, of which many are also handmade, and they do other events such as their Mystery Box Sale on Dec. 2 where you can purchase a Mystery Box for either $1 or $5 and a light lunch of soup and sandwich for $5 of which the proceeds will go to benefit The Church of The Abundant Harvest.

They also offer Free Alzheimer’s Respite Care. Knowing how hard it can be to care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease the volunteers offer families a chance to take a much-needed break and bring their loved one by every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon. While there the volunteers will care for your loved one by doing activities with them and feeding them lunch. There are some requirements which you can call the Fellowship Hall to inquire about in advance.

And now, before I say goodbye, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am truly thankful for so many things this year including you dear readers. It warms my heart when I get greeted as Refill with Randy out in the community and I do appreciate the positive feedback that I have received. I don’t know how much longer I will continue this column, but I will always be glad to share a cup of coffee with a friend whether old or new.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I will see you again in 2 weeks!

Pastor Randy