Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Justice

No blog post for 2 months, and now two in a week! What's next, a third one? Answer, yes. I have something to say about a certain something but that will have to wait as I have super big news!

Bit late, but big news none-the-less. At the encouragement of mother, I had entered the Fergus Fall Fair in a bid to clean up in the south western Ontario region of pie baking competitions. Happy to say my pear and ginger pie, once again, crushed it's under baked, under tender, doughy, flavourless competitors.

Much like Millbrook however, I, and my ego, were dealt a severe (and unjustified I might add) blow when my pumpkin was handed a paltry second place finish. To be completely honest, and as unbiased as I can be, my pie did, without question, look the best. I made oak leaf accents out of dough and baked it just enough to ensure it would not crack. Even if it had, the dough accoutrement would have hidden such a flaw.

I do have to wonder though just HOW blind this judging really is. Next year, I am entering under ghost names.

There were a dozen of more pumpkin pies in the "competition" so didn't feel TOO bad about my second place. Having my mother say "it could have used 5 more minutes in the oven" was hard to swallow, unlike my pie!, but perhaps true. Alas.

A couple weeks later I entered the Rockton World's Fair pumpkin and apple categories. IronMan has certainly paid me back for my marathon, IronMan cheering endeavours as he has tolerated cursing at a 'stupid' stove, throwing out pies to start over and driving to some backwoods places near midnight in order to make a deadline.

Perfect pies in my perfect Martha Stewart pie basket, always a conversation starter and crowd pleaser,  we headed off for Rockton with just enough time, according to the GPS, to make the submission deadline.

As I waltzed into the hall, I noted several people leaving with pies in boxes and just a slice missing. Apparently they were going to be sold at the concession stand next day. With smug satisfaction, I noticed extremely running filling where pieces had been cut away. One this is for certain, Robert Mitchell's filling is not running.

I approached the pie submission station and was handed two take-away containers in the shape of a pie slice. Excuse me? You want me to cut INTO my perfect creation BEFORE the judges see them?

"Oh we don't like them to go to waste. We just take a slice for judging and you can take the rest home or donate them to the fair." I was told.

While I appreciate the sentiment, I should have a t-shirt printed with 'don't throw that out, I'll eat it later', how the height of pie baking be appreciated if one doesn't get the entire sensory experience? Begrudgingly, I cut into both, left my slices and, head held high, took the remainder with me thank you very much.

That was back on Thanksgiving weekend. So near on a month ago. I had given up hope on hearing anything and in fact just this weekend told a group of IronMan's friends that all hope was lost. We were actually at a cocktail party, I didn't randomly e-mail them.

But low and behold, today when I got home, my heart skipped a bit when I pulled out of the mailbox a letter from the fine people at the fair. In addition to a FIRST PLACE ribbon for my pumpkin pie was a cheque for $7.22! Luckily I don't do it for the money, but rather the glory.

So, in summary, for the summer, that is 8 ribbons for my culinary endeavours and a FIRST place finish in the annual Highland Games Mitchell 10km run competition. I can now rest easy knowing that I have conquered my first WORLD's fair.

Next year, more pie, and maybe even my long awaited book - the Life of Pie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't listen to your mother, Honey. What does she know about baking pies. It tasted perfect.

1:53 PM  

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