County fair pie contest results
There is a pursuit that my heart has been set on for many years -making and sharing homemade pie. Last week, I once again had the pleasure of judging the Pierce County Fair pie baking contest. What fun it is to network with other pie enthusiasts. It is good to get out of the house to check out other folks’ pie plates and their crusts and tasty fillings. If I am not mistaken, over the years some folks have made the social connection of a lifetime.
How many of you can recall pie socials? I wonder if there are any readers who purchased their sweetheart’s pie at a social, and before they knew it, they were strolling down the aisle. If you are one of those lucky couples, please let me know.
Last year was my first year of judging. Bless the hearts of the fair committee, they asked me to do it again. If you know me, you know I do enjoy a repeat performance.
After the excellent turnout last year, I was inspired to sit down and write a list of improvements for the contest. First on the list came the addition of serving coffee with the pie and ice cream. As I learned in Wolford, the famous pie haven of Pierce County, it is not so much about the coffee as it is the ritual. My goodness, one’s chest puffs out when that shiny, aluminum 100-cup Regal percolator with the crystal view tube in front is brought out. Once it starts to really perk and mini steam clouds are escaping from that round lid, it just makes you smile from the inside. A steaming cup of coffee in one hand and homemade pie in the other-one can now begin to chat with your friends. The busy world seems suddenly miles away! I can now see why T.S. Eliot once said, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
Our mini pie stage was set with red and white gingham tablecloths and even a trio of Old Glories adorned the back wall, along with a homemade sign. This was second on my list of improvements for the contest. After all, we needed a decent background for taking the winners’ photos.
A staff of wonderful volunteers appeared – Judy and Wayne Jelsing, Al and Harriet Kreklau, and Marilyn Niewoehner – all dedicated to serving pie and ice cream in a real fair way! We all have a special gift or forte, and for Janet Pousson, it is pie making. Janet also judged with me again this year.
With the beautiful pies before us, we judged with taste, consistency, appearance, and overall presentation in mind. We came up with the three finalists.
First place went to Stacey Atkinson for her Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake Pie, second place to Shanaya Fred for her Fluffy Key Lime pie, and third place to Nicole Atkinson for her Star-Spangled Mousse Pie. What joy to see young folks entering the contest and also to know that mothers and daughters are enjoying time in the kitchen creating flavorsome pies!
Thank you to all who took the time to bake and enter the contest and also for donating your pie to the social. Your efforts are much appreciated. Thanks also to the fair board for sponsoring and supporting this contest.
Repnow is a Rugby resident.
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