Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life of Pie

We rejoin our pie story early Saturday morning.
(Click here if you have no idea what I'm talking about.) 

Pie transportation can be tricky, particularly when the transport vehicle is full of dog hair and 
the destination is 145 miles away. We placed one pie in a hat box and the other in a cooler 
and roped them in. The security measures protected the pies from contaminants and the bumpy road
and also ensured there would be no snacking along the way.

Our precious cargo arrived safely. We completed our entry forms, received ribbons that identified us
as official pie bakers, then our pies were placed on tables with their competition. 
My orange chocolate pecan pie would be judged against others in the Nut category...

...and Danni and Paul's dutch caramel apple pie would be judged in the Fruit category.

We staked out the competition closely as more pies continued to arrive.

I think there were about 70 pies entered in the contest, and they all looked and smelled delicious.

The judges were instructed to rate each pie's appearance, crust and taste based on this criteria:
 Top crust should be golden brown, flaky and crisp eating.
Both crusts should cut easily with fork, hold shape when served, and have a pleasant flavor.
Bottom crust should not be soggy.
For fruit fillings, size of pieces should be suited to fruit used; texture should be tender; pieces should 
hold shape; flavor should be characteristic of fruit used; no starchy taste and not a really runny filling.
Nut fillings should hold shape and not be runny.

The pie-parazzi watched closely as the official pie cutter sliced Danni and Paul's pie for judging.

I would have rated it a 10 in every category, but nobody asked me.

My pie held its shape and wasn't runny...so far, so good. But how would it taste? 

Here is Danni wearing her pie baker ribbon while we stood around waiting for the judges to do their thing.

Here is a judge studying the appearance of Danni and Paul's pie. 
Her poker face did not give us any clues.

Here is a judge tasting my pie. I wonder if he noticed the obnoxious photographer? 
I took alot of pictures that morning.
One of the nice volunteers asked me, "Are you with the paper?" 
I said, "No, I'm with the pie."
She said, "Which one?"
I said, "The one with the braided crust."
She remarked about how pretty it was. Too bad she wasn't one of the judges.
Neither of our pies were winners, but we were cool with that. We knew our pies were very good,
so the winners must have been great.

Anyway, once the contest was over, the pies were taken to the concession stand, where pieces could be purchased.
We headed over there to buy slices of our own pies so we could finally find out how they tasted.

Here are Danni and Paul standing in line, waiting to buy pie. Then the weirdest thing happened.
Just as we got to the front of the line, my pie was brought over from the contest area.
A lady put it on the shelf with all the other pies, then a few seconds later, picked it up and took it away.
"Wait! Wait! That's my pie!" I exclaimed. "I want to buy a piece!"
The lady said it was disqualified and they couldn't sell it. Huh?
Then a man came over and said he was the health inspector and gave us some song and dance about
there being chocolate on the pie and he couldn't tell what kind of chocolate it was...blah blah blah...
and bottom line they couldn't sell it. So they gave the whole pie back to me. Score!

Now I could have as much of my orange chocolate pecan pie as my heart desired, and 
were it not for the fact that it contained 625 calories per serving, I would have eaten the whole thing.
(Here's a link to the recipe.)

Then our table filled up with other pie eaters, including the guy in the pony tail at the end 
who had come from Utah and was a contestent in the pie-eating contest. 
He brought along a raspberry pie ... and a knife ... so I borrowed it and cut pieces of my pie for everybody 
and he cut pieces of his pie for everybody and we all sat around eating pie in Pie Town. 
What a great day.


  1. And you didn't even MENTION that gorgeous quilt behind Paul! What a day! You all were truly blessed.

  2. wish i were there... yumm and what a fun day...

  3. It looks like a great day, and you do look like a professional photographer. There's always next year.

  4. You were lucky to get your pie back - it looks delicious. The link took me to Betty Crocker's site but not the recipe, so I searched for orange pecan pie, found it, and assumed that is the recipe you used. You didn't serve with orange sauce, right?
    I love pie (mostly for the crust) and I love New Mexico. Sounds like Pie Town is the place for me.

    1. I'm a crust aficionado myself...the braid on Carson's is my love language. She's sold me on this adventure too. Maybe all her fans will meet there next year. Jean

  5. Disqualified over chocolate? OMG. I had a govt official tell me I couldn't make pies from horse apples (the kind that grow on trees and fall on the ground). He said animals run around in the orchards and pee on them or worse yet other forms of excrement. Well they run around in big watermelon fields, squash fields, cucumber fields, on an on and what about carrots that grow underground. Anyway he walked away with no explanation and a look of disgust on his face. So much for the overzealous govt. inspection! Glad you enjoyed and shared your pies. Lots of fun behind it anyway and nobody can take that away. BA SP

  6. Huh? No chocolate? Oh, well...THEIR loss!

  7. Lovely, lovely day and so YUMMY!

  8. After not winning I think it is kind of terrific that you got your pie back and didn't have to pay for it!
    Lisa G in TN

    1. There was definitely a collective high-five over getting it back -and at no charge- Lisa G! That pie was SO incredibly delicious!! :-)

  9. But wait!! How did they taste?! Delicious? I'm bummed your pie got disqualified, it really did look beautiful, and the taste combination is intriguing. That whole chocolate thing baffles me, but it looks like everyone was a winner that day.

  10. Was the problem with the chocolate, that they didn't know if it was raw chocolate? There is concern about raw chocolate having salmonella but I think they make a big deal out of nothing. My husband wants to make the trip to Pie Town next year and be a judge. Both pies looked awesome and what was the domed looking pie in picture 5?

  11. Love your blog. Read it every day. Love the writing--like the clever title today--and your photos. Your graphics are fun and I'm jealous of your family of critters and cool friends. Love pie in all it's forms. Glad your part of the world is so green right now.Hope the oncoming leftovers from that Baja hurricane don't wash you away. Cheers from Idaho. Keep on blogging.

  12. There was a government inspector lurking around at the Heirloom Expo last weekend, too. He gave the coffee vendor some kind of "fix it" ticket before I could get a cup of coffee. Hello? Whoever got e coli, or anything else, from a cup of coffee? And yet there aren't enough inspectors to man the production lines at large meat packing facilities. I think the inspector just had his eye on your pie for his own consumption. The whole pie town thing sounds great fun, I'm always so envious of those community flower shows in England.

  13. DIdn't know what kind of chocolate it was??? WHat?! Well, it's the yummy kind that most people love to eat silly Health Inspector Guy! LOL I'll take that pie right back. Oh, so many things i could have said. Glad you got that pie back to share. Looks like it was a fun day.

  14. Michelle from Vancouver9/16/14, 9:40 AM

    I think you guys should make this a yearly thing....then we could all join in :)

  15. That day sounds like one of the best! How fun to be able to really enjoy the whole process with friends, including eating your entire pie! HA HA. I laughed so hard...in regards to the lady asking you if you were from the paper. Next year you should invite all your readers...you, Danni and Tall Paul do all the hard work like baking and decorating the pies, and we being big screaming fans...like your groupies, cheer you on. (not to scare you or anything) By the way the pie with the flying insects (wasps or hornets) I would never eat. No flying insects real or faux on my pie. I don't care if the baker was trying to make a bee. Happy Tuesday!

  16. what a lovely experience, good food, friendship and sharing, wish it could happen more often everywhere

  17. what the what???? whatever.... glad it worked out better for you in the end since you got to eat the yummy pie and share it. How much fun and the pies were indeed beautiful and I am very sure very yummy.....

  18. An ambulance so close to the pie tables was a little disconcerting...

  19. An American in Tokyo9/16/14, 9:14 PM

    Aww, what hooey! Disqualified?! At least several people got to taste your wonderful pie!!
    So what were the winning pies? Just curious...
    There are no good pies here, unless you make it yourself. They just don't know how to do it properly! ha ha!

  20. What a day with pies, I only wish that someday I can see it with my own eyes. But first have to try that recipe..