The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Food

December 12, 2012

Born to bake

Award-winning baker Beverly Givens loves preparing, sharing food

ANDERSON, Ind. — Beverly Givens, 75, doesn’t care to talk about her awards for baking even though she has won Grand Champion, Champion and Reserve Champion honors for her pecan coffee cake, peach pie and sugar-free apple pie.

She’d rather talk about how much enjoyment she gets from preparing, baking and sharing her delicacies with others.

“My favorite thing to make is a pie,” said Givens. “I began baking pies about 57 years ago, when I moved to Anderson. I was 17 and determined that I was going to learn to make a pie. I threw away lots of pie dough in the process, but kept trying until I figured it out.”

Givens has been rolling out her pie dough directly on her kitchen countertop, where she and her husband, Gene, a retired tool maker at Delco, have lived for almost 33 years. They celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on Nov. 23.

“We met on Easter Sunday in 1955 and our first date was going roller skating at the rink in Alexandria and the rest is history,” she said.

Beverly Givens, a member of Jackson Township’s Extension Homemakers off and on for about 35 years, served as president of the Madison County Purdue Extension Homemakers from 1979 until 1981.

“I never had a college education,” said Givens, “but I feel like I have from the many lessons I’ve got from Purdue Extension. Their theme is ‘Life Long Learning’ and they teach homemaking skills, gardening, canning, cooking, baking, child-rearing and so much more.”

Givens taught her three children (two boys and a girl) to cook when they were growing up. “I thought it was important for them to know how to cook, whether for themselves or their own families some day,” said Givens. “Especially with economic times being tough, you can save a lot making your own meals. I can bake a pie for a fraction of the cost of purchasing one at a store or bakery.”

“Baking is an art my mom has perfected,” said Cindy Griffin, the Givens’ daughter. Cindy is married and has three children and four grandchildren.

“My mom taught me how to cook, so I have always cooked for my family, like she did for ours. I still can’t make a pie as good as my mom’s. I think she does it partly by the feel of it. My mom amazes me. We are so lucky to have such wonderful parents and grandparents (Gene and Beverly Givens). They are the best.”

As active members of Ovid Community Church and the Home Builders Sunday School Class, Beverly and Gene Givens have entertained many in their home over the years. “We have an annual fall wiener roast here for our Sunday School Class,” said Gene. “We’ve been having it here for 33 years.  I finally learned to build a fire, he laughed.”

A neighbor and good friend of Beverly Givens, Linda Harless, said, “We first got acquainted as neighbors and then both attended the Ovid Community Church. I’m president of the Mary Martha Circle and we do a lot of bereavement dinners.  Beverly always has made pies for us every time we have asked. She‘s a very nice lady.”

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