Mike went fishing at a friend-of-a-friend’s farm pond last weekend. He didn’t bring any fish home but he DID come home with a huge paper grocery bag of apples. The farm pond owner’s wife told Mike dashed his hopes of a fresh-baked apple pie when she told him the apples were not good pie-apples and that she mostly used them for applesauce. Heeding her advice, I peeled & chopped up about a dozen apples and put them in the crock pot on low with a little water, sugar and cinnamon. Two hours later we had warm, chunky applesauce that we spooned over vanilla ice cream and ate with pie crust strips (store-bought pie crust cut into strips, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes). This tasty little topping only used up about one-quarter of the apples, though. I cut/cooked up the rest tonight and found recipes for an apple cake and apple cookies, so stay tuned!
I decided to make an apple pie to enter in the Johnson County Fair pie contest today. It was absolutely beautiful. The crust was perfectly golden – not too light, not too dark, and was filled with Braeburn apples…my favorite. I didn’t win, though. I wasn’t really expecting to, this being my first attempt and all, but after looking at the other entries my confidence was up. I wish I had taken a movie or pictures of the other entries so you would understand. Anyway, in a moment of self-pity I sent out a Tweet tagging Beth Howard, the pie lady from Eldon, Iowa and author of “Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie.” Six minutes later I received a reply!
She’s absolutely right. Pie isn’t about winning, but about sharing. Screw the trophy. After the contest the pies were all entered into a silent auction to raise money for the Altrusa Foundation, the non-profit group that sponsored the event. I walked by my pie and a woman and her little girl had immediately entered a bid of $15 for it. At least SOMEONE there had some taste!