The Male Bakeoff

Every year on Super Bowl Sunday, our church has a “male bakeoff.” After church, the congregation meets in the fellowship hall for chili and soup and man-made desserts (mothers and wives and sisters and grandmothers and aunts cannot help at all). There are first, second, and third prize trophies (yes, actual trophies) in each age group (boys, youth, men) and other random awards like “Best Chocolate,” “Best Non-Chocolate,” “Best Burnt Offering” (for the worst one), “Best 1st time entry,” “Most Biblical,” so on and so forth. Basically, most of the people who enter get something.

Last year we went for the chili part but did not stay for the awards. This year, though, Mike decided to enter. He worked very hard yesterday on a Chocolate Irish Cream Cake. Yes, it did include alcohol. Yes, it is a Baptist church. (No, his was not the only alcohol-themed entry. hehe.) I was hugely impressed with his creation, and made him pose for a picture before we headed off to church.

The fellowship hall was decorated with footballs and football players and red, white, and blue tablecloths. The chili was delicious, with lots of toppings available. We sat with some friends and talked about movies and their baby that’s on the way and stuff that’s happening at church. It was a good time. When they finally announced the winners, Mike won best 1st time entry (too bad he wouldn’t let me bring the camera to church) and one of the guys we were sitting with won something like “Most Unusual” for his chocolate cake that included sauerkraut. Mike was very proud of his trophy, and will display it prominently (along with the rest of the cake) at our Super Bowl party. Highlights of the awards included the “Burnt Offering” award going to a man who just joined the church today (he got a lot of cheers) and this comment during the “Most Biblical” award: “Does anyone remember last year when we didn’t have any Biblical entries so we had to give this one to a Lord of the Rings cake?” The Deacon Chair had gone without winning anything for 11 years, so there were also a lot of cheers when he finally claimed a trophy.

In Sunday School, one of the ministers mentioned that the male bakeoff is one of the most popular events at the church – that more people come for that than do a lot of other things. I think it’s because it’s so celebratory – I mean, Mike now has an actual trophy that says he won the best 1st time entry. It’s fun to get together and be silly and for the guys of all ages to get awards. I know I talk a lot about our church and how important the community there is for me, but this afternoon was a very real picture of that for me. So many photographs taken, so many families where the fathers and sons all had entries, so much good-natured teasing and laughter – it makes me glad to be part of this small corner of the Church.

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