Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blue Ribbon Winner

Last weekend, in Ellenville New York, The Blueberry Huckleberry Festival was held. It was a great day, with many delicious blueberry treats. They held a pie contest at noon. So of course I was there by 9 am to enter with my blueberry colored dress(I'm crazy like that). There were already three other people ready to go. Last years winner, a Laura Ashley mom( a serious Sandra Lee look a like), and someone I dubbed, the local idiot(she spilled her pie all over the judging table). These people meant business, and were in it to win it. Only 10 entries were allowed. So I had 9 people to take down.
 While living in Ellenville for the summer, doing a show at Shadowland Theater, I met many amazing people, who were so kind to invite me and my cast mates over for BBQ's, dinners, and brunches. Because I never show up empty handed to someone's home, I made one of my berry pies (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry). It was received with a huge reaction, which was exciting, because I made up the recipe the night before on a whim. Many people in town were so excited by my pies, that they pushed me to enter into the contest. I knew I wanted to make my Blueberry Rhubarb, but I had one problem...rhubarb was starting to go out of season, finding it wouldn't be easy. But I knew this recipe was amazing, to quote my friend Nic, "This is the best blueberry pie I've ever had in my life". Thanks Nic, I think so too. When I located the rhubarb, I was a woman on a mission. This contest was mine!
  I baked two beautiful pies, just in case something happened to one, then chose the best looking to put in the contest. The reject, was devoured by a house full of starving actors. At 12:30, after watching three men eat an insane amount of blueberry pies, they crowned me the Blue Ribbon Winner! All I wanted was street cred, and a ribbon. But the prize was a Waterford Crystal Pie/Cake stand. Super fancy and expensive. Boy, was I an instant celebrity in Ellenville. People wanting to talk to me, meet me, and pick my brain on my baking secrets. I even got interviewed on the radio! I mean WHAT???!! I walked away from that day with the assurance that I am a good cook. I don't know why I needed a contest to tell me, what people have been saying for years, but I did.  I also walked away with the realization, that next year, I'll be back to defend my title. Watch out bakers in the Catskills, I'll be coming for you...

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