It was the hand of fate that brought the Prescott Lions together with Herdie Baisden, owner of the Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery. As Herdie hoisted this section of a 12 ft. pie pan in the air, announcing to the world that he would furnish the pan and all the apples for anyone who would bake a 12' apple pie as a fundraiser, the hand of fate went up: The Prescott Lions accepted his challenge with a furor of enthusiasm.
The inception of this ever popular Prescott Lions Oven/Grill seemed like a pie in the sky off-the-wall idea. But nothing could have been further from the truth, as it was a huge success from every respect:
Conceptual Profitable Communal Promotional
After all, how could you not look a gift horse in the mouth? Who could say ‘no’ to such a great idea for a fundraiser? However, little did they know what they were getting into: 600 pounds of apples to peel and prepare a pie this big, and, find an oven big enough to bake it in.
But for a Lion there is no challenge too big to tackle. They grabbed the bull by the horns and ran with it. Six months later they were serving 2,000 pieces of apple pie to a crowd that was left wanting more. The ‘crowd’ was more than 7,000 people, courtesy of Ptacek’s IGA and the Budweiser Clydesdales.
It became a community effort, with more apple peelers than there were apples and an oven so new and fancy that it cooked a perfect pie. Cooked to perfection and tasting even better than mom’s was the sentiment being expressed by this over owing crowd.
A great success, but the oven was by far the biggest challenge. A 12' oven, or even a 6' oven that could bake it in sections was not available. So what does one do when he gets the cart in front of the horse? The commitment had already been made, biting off more than one could chew.
Well, as fate would have it, the ‘he’ was ‘me’! A predicament that I’ve found myself in more times than my son-in-laws want to remember, as they seem to always have to bail me out of something. This time it was my son-in-law Randy Kinneman who listened to my dilemma. He offered to custom design and build an oven.
Not a small feat to accomplish, but to the amazement of all the Lions, he created something pretty special. This thing was huge, with all the bells and whistles of a module coming off a factory assembly line—lights, windows, heat monitors—all encased in a mass of precision cut metal, designed to bake with the accuracy of a craftsman.
Now that it has been further updated to be used as either an oven or a grill, this unique one-of-a-kind oven/grill has drawn the attention of such ideas as a giant pizza, giant cookie, and now, perhaps a giant burger!