Every Friday night, one can find about 30 people baking in the Parker Room kitchen. Claire Collins ’15, Molly Murphy ’15 and Blair Johnson ’14 started the baking club this January.
The idea for the club came to Collins and Murphy in their biology class. “[We] were talking one day about how we really liked to bake at home and how much fun it was,” Murphy said. “I told [Claire] that I used to bake in my advisor’s apartment, and she said we should bake. Claire is on food committee so she said, ‘I can get Mr. McCarthy to give us the Parker Room basement,’ and I said, ‘we should start a club!’”
Johnson was not originally a founder of the club, but after she went for a trial run, “Claire and Molly asked me to join,” she reported, “because I showed a lot of enthusiasm for the club—maybe a little too much.”
The founders’ favorite part about the club is that “[they] have a lot of fun while baking, and it’s a relaxed environment and a social environment,” Murphy said.
“I think it’s really cool that all sorts of kids come together,” Collins added.
“I also love it, because I’m gluten free, and it was fun learning how to bake sans wheat,” Johnson said.
Despite this enjoyment, running the club still presents challenges. “One person can complete a recipe in one to two hours, so it’s hard to find jobs for 30 different people,” Murphy said. “Sometimes we feel bad when we see people sitting, but it’s hard to coordinate what everyone’s going to do and make sure everything has been done correctly so we get a good final product.”
In addition, Collins said, she has “to stay on schedule in terms of ordering the supplies we need” from Mr. McCarthy, director of the Dining Hall, who has been “really helpful and supportive.”
The club has attracted many students. “I love baking, and I haven’t had as many chances to bake since coming to Deerfield,” said Alex Patrylak ’15. “So Baking Club was the perfect opportunity to do something I love.”
“I decided to join the Baking Club, because I have always found baking to be a great activity that relieves a lot of stress,” said Charlotte Carr ’14. “It isn’t like most clubs at Deerfield and is set apart by the fact that we have an activity weekly.”
Although the club has just begun, the heads are already looking forward. “We make two things a week,” Collins said. “We eat one and then sell one. We are using the money from what we sell, so we can reimburse ourselves and buy stuff for next week, but eventually we want to see if we can sell enough that we can start putting a pool together of money we can donate somewhere.”
The heads of the club encourage students to go to Baking Club because “it’s so much fun, you get food and you don’t have to stay for the entire time,” said Murphy. “It’s something to do on a Friday night.”
“You don’t just have to bake, you can be there with your friends,” Collins said. “You can wash, you can sell, you can help pick out recipes for the next week and you can taste test.”