10/05/05 — Mooning over fair pies

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Mooning over fair pies

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 5, 2005 1:53 PM

Pies at fair

Tall, thin peaks topped white mountains -- mountains of meringue, that is. Several pies filled a table at the annual pie baking contest at the fair Tuesday.

Now, some judges might have found tasting pie after pie after pie a daunting task. But these five judges took their work of tasting the sweet treats seriously.

Baking pies is serious business for the competitors, so tasting them must also be serious business.

These were no ordinary pies. No, they were the best of the best, prepared specially to be savored, bite by bite, by this year's judges.

Blueberry, apple, pumpkin and lemon pies tantalized the tastebuds while banana cream and coconut cream pies melted in the mouth. Nut pies gave the teeth something crunchy to munch on. There was even a tomato pie, which one audience member said tasted like a pizza.

Carole Mitchell judged custard pies and found a favorite -- a potato custard pie. "It was very hard to pick between first and second place," she said. "Somebody did a lot of hard work, and it's too bad there couldn't be more winners."

A total of 52 pies were entered in this year's pie baking contest. Adults made 39 of them, and youths baked 13.

Michael Coles tasted fruit pies including apple, blueberry, cherry and peach. "My favorite was the apple," he said. "I'm an apple fan."

He said he was especially impressed with the designs on the fruit pies. One had little dough apples scattered on top.

"They put a lot of work into those pies," he said.

Other judges were Melanie Thomas, Brenda Ingram and Robbie Moore.

A mother-daughter team who entered the contest this year was 50-year-old Margey and 18-year-old Colleen Smith. Margey beat out her daughter with her banana cream pie but lost to Colleen with her pecan pie. She said she's glad Colleen won and is very proud of her daughter.

But that doesn't mean she didn't like taking home another blue ribbon.

"It feels good to win again," she said. "I had a lot of competition this year, and that's what I like."

Colleen said she wasn't sure whether her mother might have had a hand in making sure she didn't beat her out of the top prize.

She said, with a smile, that it was a little suspicious that some flour or cornstarch mysteriously ended up on top of her nut pie.

The pair spent a few hours baking some of their pies the day before the competition then got up before the sun that day to finish baking a couple.

There was also the sister team of Hannah and Micah Lee. Ten-year-old Hannah baked an angel cream pie. This was her second year of baking a pie for the fair.

"I think it's just fun to do it," she said. "I will probably try a different kind of pie next year."

Eight-year-old Micah baked a peanut butter-chocolate pie for this year's contest. This was her second year of competing.

"It's fun and people get to taste my pie," she said. "It feels good to win."

The 2005 adult winners include:

Cream pies -- Margey Smith, first; Colleen Smith, second; and Carolyn Lewis, third.

Custard pies -- Suzanne Tyner, first; Cathy Lutz, second; and Lisa Coone, third.

Fruit pies -- Miranda Cox, first; Cathy Lutz, second; and Suzanne Tyner, third.

Nut pies -- Colleen Smith, first; Margey Smith, second, and Suzanne Tyner, third.

All others -- Suzanne Tyner, first place; Becky Jo Lane, second; and Carolyn Lewis, third.

In the youth category, this year's winners were Victoria Lane, first, and Hannah Lee, second, cream pies; Blair Floars, first, Brittany Jones, second, and Elizabeth Clarke, third, fruit pies; and Micah Lee, first, all others.