Apple Pie and Winning – two American traditions I love
Saturday was a good day. Perfect late summer weather. And I do mean perfect. I’m a summer girl, and weather has a huge impact on my mood. Nothing drags my energy level down faster than a cloudy, rainy day. But no clouds today, no sir. Sunshine, blue sky, light breeze (no sign of Ike this weekend).
Perfect weather for hitting the farmers’ market. And perfect weather for a pie baking contest. Oh yeahhhh.
My favorite farmers’ market, the Anderson Township Farmers’ Market, held its first annual pie baking contest yesterday. Entrants had to buy their main ingredient from a producer at the market (cool idea!), so last Saturday, I gots me a big basket full of lovely Jonathans from Backyard Acres (a local producer and apple grower who also brings Shadeau Breads to his stand. Awesome artisan bread), and starting thumbing through my apple pie recipes.
I adore cooking competitions. I like being pushed to pay extra attention to what I’m doing behind the stove. I don’t always win. I’m still a little bitter about a salsa competition at work a few months ago, where the winner was a fruit “salsa” served with cinnamon chips. No tomatoes in sight in that entry. I tasted it; it was good, but I would classify it as a chutney, not a salsa.
Now, I came in second, so you could say I won among the real salsa entries, but still. I much rather would’ve come in last in an all-tomato-salsa line-up than place second to a chutney. (I mean, I can do chutneys. I’ve got a cranberry chutney concoction that’ll knock your socks off. But this was a salsa competition, dammit. Okay, let it go, Karen, let it go….)
Yeah, you could say I’m a little competitive. But, really, the great thing about entering food competitions is that even when you lose, you still get to nosh on good eats.
So, anyway, back to the pie baking contest. I entered my Suhweet Caramel Apple Pie … and … drum roll … I won first prize! I was absolutely tickled over that trophy (below). It made an already really good day even better.
(I forgot to bring a camera to the farmers’ market (d’oh!), so I snapped a photo of the test run pie, along with the trophy.)
The most beautiful trophy ever.
The nerve-wracking part – the crust – turned out juuuust right.