Friends Sweeten Up Chautauqua County With Baking Talents

Before Susan Pears came to Ellington, New York, seven years ago to become the wife of Rodger tenPas after connecting with him on Match.com, she was working as a pediatric nurse in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Her life soon changed as she moved from a city half the size of Jamestown to a small town with one-tenth of the population, transitioning from the daily life and routine of an LPN to the role of the wife of a dairy farmer with 1,500 acres of crop land, 300 acres of pasture and 800 cattle.

Eventually, the new Mrs. tenPas took a job as a clerk at the Frewsburg Post Office. She had no idea she would be forming a close friendship and working a side job with Vicki Green when she showed up at the aqua aerobics classes tenPas was teaching. Soon they were doing their nails together and found they both had the same passion for baking. Both women had been decorating cakes and cupcakes for friends and family for many years before they met. Together they donated cupcakes, cakes and cheesecake to the Ellington Town Picnic.

“The big hit was our chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream. We got two firsts and two second places,” Susan says, “The first year the chocolate buttercream auctioned at $35. The second year it went for $85 and the third $185 and there was actually a bidding war going on.”

After this the friends decided to sell decorated Christmas cookies. They sent samples to Teacher Appreciation Day at Falconer Central School, where Mrs. Green works as an administrative assistant. They also made 300 cupcakes for her daughter’s senior vigil and decorated and made the food for her prom dinner with her friends that year. Out of this grew their business Sprinkles to Crumbs, where they provide custom-made cupcakes, cookies and desserts.

They have donated desserts to Bethel Baptist Christian Academy’s lasagna dinner in the past. This year the school, located at 200 Hunt Road in Jamestown, will have a rigatoni dinner on April 27 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a basket auction. Sprinkles to Crumbs will be donating 500 desserts, which include fruit hand pies, cupcakes, peanut butter brownies and three varieties of cake rolls, as well as a gift certificate for two dozen cupcakes.

“God blesses us so we can bless others,” says Mrs. tenPas. God has definitely given us a talent and a unique friendship. There are things I do that Vicki doesn’t do and things Vicki does that I don’t do.”

Vicki has been deemed the tinting expert and their helper and Susan’s daughter, Kate Pears, is the sprinkler.

“We compliment each other. What I’m not real good at, she (Vicki) picks up and what she isn’t good at, I pick up,” says tenPas. “We’ve recently started modeling chocolate. Some is molded. Some is hand-shaped.”

“We’re all about the presentation,” Mrs. Green adds.

“It’s not enough to just taste good, it’s got to look good,” says her friend.

The ladies have a good working relationship and consult each other for opinions. They happily accept pictures and ideas from their customers of the projects they have in mind. They can create any cupcake or cake their customers request, no matter how challenging and believe their icing is superior to other icings.

“We support my husband’s business. It’s nothing for us to go through four to five pounds of butter in a weekend,” says the farm wife as she looks at the two 600-watt professional Kitchen Aid electric mixers. She adds that she and her teammate have catered several of the farm employee’s Christmas parties.

Visitors to Susan’s home get a sampling of whatever she is baking. The UPS man tells her he likes to deliver packages to her home on her days off and the men who work in the farming operation tell her they would like a drive-through window.

“Even Noah and Averie, Kate’s children, offer desserts to our guests,” says their proud grandmother. “and Kate takes samples to her job.”

Much of their business comes from people who have tasted their delicious baked goods at various functions. They have gotten referrals from weddings and showers and have picked up several customers after they enjoyed the samples given to them at their places of employment. They have recently seen repeat business for a third time from a valued customer. The baking operation will be supplying 200 sunflower cookies and a wedding cake for an August wedding.

Susan has three children and four grandchildren. She and Kate attend Family Church. Kate will be starting a new job this week as an RN with Hospice. Vicki has worked at Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School for 28 years and has a part-time job in the dietary department at Heritage Village. She is married to David Green, a 30-year driver for Pepsi. They have two children and attend New Creation Church of God.

The ladies have chosen recipes their families enjoy and request. Susan’s family renamed the Chicken Bake dish Dead Man’s Chicken, but not because of the rich ingredient list.

“My mother made the casserole to take to funeral dinners or to the homes (of grieving families) because it reheated well,” says Susan.

Her mother made Pepperoni Rolls for swim meet dinners and for the kids to nibble on at away meets.

“Lemon Dessert was my grandmother’s recipe and my daughter and my nieces expect it at every holiday,” Vicki says.

Sprinkles to Crumbs can be reached at 499-6368, stenpas1@yahoo.com or on Facebook. Tickets for the rigatoni dinner can be purchased from Susan or Kate or at the door.

MOM’S PEPPERONI ROLLS

Rhodes frozen rolls, thawed but not risen

Pizza sauce

Sliced provolone cheese

Sliced pepperoni

Flatten each individual roll. Spread with ¢ tsp of pizza sauce. Top with ¢ slice provolone cheese and 1 slice of pepperoni. Roll and seal dough. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

CHICKEN BAKE AKA DEAD MAN’S CHICKEN

2 sticks butter, melted separately

2 sleeves Escort crackers, crushed separately

3 c chicken, cooked and pulled from bone

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

8 oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13″ pan. Pour 1 stick of melted butter into pan. Sprinkle 1 sleeve of crackers over butter. In a bowl combine chicken, soup and sour cream. Spread over crackers. Top with separate sleeve of crushed crackers and the other stick of melted butter. Bake 45 minutes.

SWEET AND SOUR CARROTS

2 lbs carrots, sliced and cooked till just tender

1 onion, diced

2 or more peppers, diced

¢ c oil

¢ c vinegar

1 tsp salt

¢ tsp pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 can tomato soup

Cook carrots until just tender. Combine with onion and peppers in medium bowl. In separate bowl, combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, Worchester and soup. Stir into carrot mixture. Refrigerate.

LEMON DESSERT

Crust:

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 c flour (¢ c chopped nuts, if desired)

Combine butter and flour. Press into 9” x 13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Cool.

Second layer:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1¢ c whipped topping, thawed

1 c confectionary sugar

Combine in a medium bowl. Spread on cooled crust,

Third layer:

2 boxes instant lemon pudding mix

3 c milk

Combine pudding mix with milk. Pour over cream cheese layer. Top with more whipped topping.

NO-BAKE COOKIES

¢ c butter

6 tsp cocoa

¢ c milk

2 c sugar

¢ c peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

3 c quick cooking oatmeal

Bring butter, cocoa, milk and sugar to boil in a large saucepan, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

APPLE DUMPLINGS

2 pie crusts of your choice

4 Golden delicious apples, or any baking apple

1 c water

1 c brown sugar

Roll out pie crust and cut into quarters. Peel apples. Quarter apples. Place 2 quarters on pie dough and fold. Place in lightly greased baking dish. Bring to water and brown sugar. Pour over dumplings and bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes or until apples are tender.

STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

7 c crumbled leftover bread or buns

1 stick butter

1 onion, diced

¢ tsp salt

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 stick butter, melted

1 can cream of chicken soup

Melt butter in pan with onion. Pour over bread crumbs. Add salt and poultry seasoning. Mix well. For stuffed chicken breasts, pound chicken breast until flat. Spoon stuffing on one end and roll up. Place chicken in lightly greased 9” x 13″ pan. Combine butter with soup and pour over chicken.

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