09/25/05 — Her speciality is baking pies

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Her speciality is baking pies

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 25, 2005 2:05 AM


News-Argus Lifestyle Editor

Pecan pies, cream pies, fruit pies and even a Key Lime pie -- Margey Smith has tried them all.

Mrs. Smith, 50, has been entering the pie baking contest at the county fair for more than 20 years and always takes home at least one first-place ribbon. She is "the person to beat" when it comes to baking pies.

She said her late mother got her interested in the competition. "It's kind of a family thing," Mrs. Smith said. "My sister-in-law also baked pies for the contest.

"It was a big thing to see who could win. Some-times we ended up all winning first place. Sometimes just one of us; sometimes two of us. It was just a fun time."

In addition to first-place honors, Mrs. Smith has won Best of Show several times for her delectable pies.

She said the fair goes back a long way in her family. "My grandparents loved to compete and so did my mother. It's in my blood."

Now, it's in her 18-year-old daughter's blood. She said Colleen, who is a Mount Olive College freshman this year, has been entering pies in the county fair since she could walk. "Last year, she was in the junior category," said Mrs. Smith. "This year, she goes into the adult category, and we'll be competing against each other."

Her 12-year-old son also wants to start baking pies for the fair.

Mrs. Smith enters one pie in each of the five categories every year -- cream, custard, fruit, nut and miscellaneous. She likes to enter her pecan and coconut pies. She also enters some kind of fruit pie and maybe a chocolate one.

The fun begins the day before the contest, she said. Most of the pies are made that day and maybe one or two the morning of the competition.

Why does she spend an entire day baking pies for the contest?

"I like to compete," she said. "That's what I like to do."

When she wins, she said it makes her feel very good. When she won her first Best of Show, she was very excited.

How does she feel about being the person to beat in pie baking? "Yeah, I'm the one to beat," said the usually timid Mrs. Smith in a confident voice. "Bring it on. I'm ready."

Mrs. Smith said she will enter the pie baking contest at the county fair as long as she's able to. "I will carry on the tradition," she said.

"May the best pie win."