Apple dumpling season returns in Elbert County

Elbert Woman’s Club turns out loads of goodies for Nov. 12 Christmas Bazaar

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Each year, members of the Elbert Woman’s Club whip up their famous apple dumplings for the Elbert Christmas Bazaar. Hard at work over the course of four days, the ladies of the club prepared 1,125 apple dumplings to serve at the 56th annual event, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
The dumpling-making process involves making dough, peeling and coring the apples, and filling the apples with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Each prepared apple is then wrapped in the dough, baked and packaged for the event. Each apple dumpling is served with a cup of homemade caramel sauce to drizzle on top.
 
“We used to use Jonathan apples for years and years, but they became so hard to get. We decided to go against tradition about four years ago and started using Gala apples,” said Diane Daugherty, Elbert Woman’s Club assistant treasurer. “They work out fine. They’re actually much nicer than the Jonathan apples. The downside of having fewer bad apples is that we don’t get to make as many pies!”
 
The Elbert Woman’s Club purchased 1,200 apples for this year’s bazaar. They plan to use 1,125 of the apples for dumplings, while the remaining 75 will be put into “Santa bags” given to children at the yearly Town of Elbert Tree Lighting event.
 
The annual Elbert Christmas Bazaar is the year’s biggest event for the Town of Elbert, drawing in vendors from around the Denver metro area and attendees from Elbert County and other nearby communities.
 
“We’re getting vendors from all over because we can now reach people through Facebook,” said Margie Ashura, head organizer for the bazaar. “We have one person coming this year from Golden. It’s good to see new vendors and new things for sale.”
 
Leaders of the Elbert Woman’s Club anticipate the 2022 Christmas Bazaar could be the biggest in years. The 2020 bazaar was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and when the bazaar returned in 2021, there were fewer vendors than in prior years. Elbert Woman’s Club leaders anticipate this was due to concerns surrounding COVID.
 
“Last year I think people were a little scared because of COVID, so they didn’t show up,” said Ashura. “Last year, we had to spread vendors out. This year, we’re all filled up.”
 
There will be 72 vendors at the bazaar spread throughout the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. Building and the Elbert High School gym. The bazaar’s vendors sell handmade crafts, photography, art, pottery, textile/fiber arts and much more. There is currently a vendor waitlist due to the growing interest in the event.
 
In addition to the famous apple dumplings that will be served at both locations, the Elbert Woman’s Club will be serving potato soup, vegetable beef soup, hot dogs and sloppy joes at the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. Building on the day of the bazaar. Concessions will be available at the Elbert School.
 
All proceeds from the event go toward helping to restore parts of the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building. Most recently, the building received a new roof with help from the funds raised during Elbert Woman’s Club events.
 
For more information about the Elbert Christmas Bazaar and the Elbert Woman’s Club, visit elbertwomansclub.com

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