I had the BEST time this past Saturday hosting what hopes to be the annual Mrs. Twist Baking for Change fundraiser. Friends, old and new, gathered with me to eat biscuits, sip coffee and mimosas and raise money for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).
Let me start first with my story on why I did this. Earlier this summer, I was saddened by the back-to-back suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Two, young and gifted people who didn’t feel their talents or lives mattered. I lost my own brother, Jim, to suicide. And, there are thousands more people who suffer from suicide every day. It’s a very helpless feeling. But, I know I can do small things on my own to make a big difference for someone else. And, if it does help just one person in their suffering, then I’ve accomplished my goal. Baking has always been a stress reliever for me. I can easily put my energy into that.
So, I hosted a fun event where we could eat biscuits dripping with butter and sip mimosas while benefiting a worthy cause. Proceeds from the Biscuit Showdown will benefit the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, they are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in our community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.
The event sold out, and the response of support was overwhelming! Many people who could not attend donated money to NAMI and one sweet friend, Jean, who lives in Wisconsin, purchased a ticket so someone who wanted to attend could. Many of the guests had been personally affected by suicide, either a son, nephew, brother or just came to support their friends affected by loss. The conversations were electric and so many common connections were made. Truly, God orchestrated the perfect day which exceeded my expectations!
Guests checked in and on their name tag were asked to write their first name and in place of their last name, replace it with their favorite biscuit topping. The name combinations were hilarious, some channeled their inner exotic dancer! We also had door prize tickets for a copy of Magnolia Table.
I baked two biscuit recipes — my own personal recipe and the recipe from Joanna Gaines and her cookbook Magnolia Table. Guests did not know which recipe they were tasting — they were only marked as “A” and “B”.
I covered my dining table with butcher paper and drew fun directions on where to start on their journey to judge the best biscuits in town!
I set down trays of biscuits and the judges went to work. We had tons of topping options –plates of real butter, apricot, strawberry, raspberry, fig, blackberry and peach jams, Texas and English honey, and I made a batch of Texas Roadhouse copycat cinnamon butter. After each sampling of the entries, guests filled out their ballots. While the results were tabulated, we gathered for a group photo on the patio with signs we made that said #bakingforchange
Even my little three year old niece Amelia, got into the action sampling all her Aunt Mizmee’s biscuits. I think she gave both a thumbs up!
Then, the results were in! 14 to 6 Biscuit A was the winner — Mrs. Twist wins the challenge! I couldn’t believe it. Now that’s a happy looking face to know that, this time, I beat out Joanna Gaines.
At the end of the event almost $600 was collected from ticket sales, donations and additional gifts given after the event. All those proceeds will be mailed this week to NAMI. God is good!
I can’t wait for next summer! Thanks for all your support, it means the world to know we touched the lives of people who need it the most!