October 20, 2015 // 8:52 AM

GSV Bake Off

Written by Trish Lauer

Recently, GSV had our annual Bake-Off. What's our Bake-off? It's a fun contest, originating in Mountain View, where participating staff members and residents make tasty treats of their choosing and enter it in hopes of winning. This is the sixth time we've held this contest and each year it gets more and more interesting to see and sample!

There was an array of cookies, pies and, of course, cakes. It was impressive to see just how talented our staff is with their baking skills. And the imagination on display! These weren't just any old sweets – oh no, these were cakes made into all sorts of things, in all sorts of flavors. There was "Tree of the Spirit", based on the bible verse of the fruits of the spirit; a heart shaped chocolate cake covered in peanut butter frosting that won Best Tasting Cake, and the Grand Prize winner: "Mother Hen", a spice cake with cream cheese and blackberry curd filling and brown sugar buttercream icing where even the eggs and straw was edible that was made by none other than our CEO Steve Lindsey.

Let's not forget the other entries. Among the assortment were cookies absolutely loaded with chocolate chips that won Best Tasting Cookie, ancient grain "magic bars", more than one style of cheesecake, a variety of classic pies, and chocolate cupcakes with a lavender goat cheese icing. Talk about creative!

Bath Tub Cake at GSV
Grand Prize Chicken Cake at GSV

How were winners determined? Well, we just happen to have three resident judges that all have experience in the baking arts: Faye Strickler, a judge at other events in the area; Jane Downes, a former Home-Ec teacher; and Marie Diehl, a longtime cake decorator. With their combined expertise, they somehow, someway came to a decision in each category. A difficult task for sure, but a very fun one as well!

After the winners were announced, it was time to get down to business – tasting the goods! The chapel was packed as residents and staff alike all gathered to sample whatever we could get our hands on. Let me tell you – it was totally worth it. Each and every item made was delicious, not to mention the fun we all had! If there's one thing GSV is about (and we all know there's more than one), it's community. What better example of community is there than a bunch of people, all together, chatting away and trying a bunch of desserts? It made something as enjoyable as eating treats even more enjoyable than it already is because we were surrounded by our "GSV Family" – truly sweet!

Zen Waterfall Cake at GSV
M&M cake at GSV