Monday, December 1, 2014

Bake-Off Offers A Teaching Moment For Grandma and Granddaughter

Dear Tazi:

My eldest granddaughter is fourteen and is interested in baking.  She is very good at following a recipe, but does not yet have enough experience to create recipes of her own.  I know in time she will do just fine, and I am very proud of her skills.  I do a lot to support her, including assisting her with the cost of some of the more expensive ingredients for her cookies, cakes, and pies, and I am always willing to give her an honest opinion on her finished products.

My problem is that "Bethany" would like to enter the Annual Christmas Pie Bake-Off that our church holds every year.  There is a small entry fee, which I will be glad to cover for her, and a "tasting" fee for the public to join in on the fun and choose their favorite pie.  All the money goes to the church, so that they may continue with their missions of the Good Word.

I would be thrilled if Bethany wanted to enter the Bake-Off on her own, but she cannot.  The rules strictly state that all pie recipes must be original to the baker and, as I have already mentioned, Bethany has not yet formulated recipes of her own.  The Bake-Off is only a month away, so Bethany does not have time to try and formulate her own pie recipe. She is aware of this, and has asked me to let her use one of my pie recipes.

Tazi, I do not know what to do about this request!  On the one hand, I would love to see Bethany compete in her first Bake-Off; but on the other hand, I would like to see her do it with her own recipe.  To use my (award-winning) recipe under her name would be cheating!  I realize that all the money raised goes to the church, and one less entrant means that much less money for the church missions, but I don't think cheating is a very Christian way to go about raising that extra money!

Tazi, Bethany has her heart set on entering the Bake-Off this year.  I don't want to tell her no, but I feel like my conscience will bother me too much if I say yes.  What do you suggest, Tazi?

Cherry Pie Mess

Dear Cherry Pie Mess:

Mmmmmm.....pie!  Where exactly is this annual Bake-Off?  Is it somewhere in the New England area where I could make Mommie and Daddy drive to and bring me back some pie?  Oh, I am being self-centered again - sorry, I lapsed!

My concern is not for your conscience, but for your granddaughter's.  Does she realize that the contest requires all pie recipes be property of the person entering it?  Before you do anything else, you need to explain this fact to Bethany.  Her response can guide your conscience towards the next step to take.

If Bethany was unaware of the rules and her request was perfectly innocent, is it possible that the two of you enter as one?  You could work together to make the pie and enter as a Grandma-Granddaughter Pie Baking Team!  If I were attending the Bake-Off, I would be perfectly charmed at the idea of two generations spending quality time together for a good cause.

If each entrant must be a solo entrant, in good conscience you must tell Bethany that she cannot use your recipe, but that you could work with her to try and develop her own pie recipe in time for the big event.  The recipe would have to be Bethany's own idea, but you could offer guidance as to what flavors work well together and what flavors do not.  My personal favorite is blueberry-peach pie!  Yummy!

One last possibility is that Bethany is aware of the rules and trying to sneak around them.  If this is the case, you need to have a frank talk with your granddaughter about good sportsmanship and fair play...and then tell her that she is on her own in finding a Bake-Off winning recipe until she shows a better sense of character.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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