Heather Roszczyk, market assistant
The best pie of my life was eaten in a diner with a long-forgotten name somewhere between Portland and the Oregon coast. It was day 81 of an 82-day, 4,000 mile cross-country bicycle trip, and it was chilly and rainy. The three of us had just finished a long slog of a climb in the coastal mountain range and there, standing at the top of the hill like a damp mirage, was this diner. Inside, we settled in at the counter (swivel stools, bolted to the floor), answered the usual questions (Delaware; no support vehicle; Astoria, Oregon; maybe a little crazy, yes) and placed our orders. Moments later, in between sips of hot coffee, I was eating this incredible peanut butter pie. It was the kind of incredible where you force yourself to slow down, because you don’t want the pie to end. Now, one could argue that it was circumstantial; I was cold, wet, and almost 4,000 miles worth of tired. But it was also just a really great pie – crisp crust, rich (but not too rich!) filling, real whipped cream. I never went back to that diner, but I bet that it would be just as good if I stopped today.
While experiences can certainly influence our food memories, it still comes down to a really great recipe and the talent to work it. On June 29, we’re giving you the chance to show off both in our 3rd annual Apron Ties & Homemade Pies event, where you can enter your favorite pie for the chance to win great prizes like a cooking class at Western Reserve School of Cooking and Countryside farmers’ market tokens. Pies must be made entirely from scratch (including crust) and can rack up points for appearance, amount of local product used, texture, flavor, and creativity. Bakers can enter up to three pies, and may compete in two categories – sweet and savory. There is a $5 entry fee per pie when registering by June 28th at 12:00pm. Day of registrations are welcome for a $7 entry fee per pie (in person only). Even if you’re not a baker, you can help choose the winners. Be sure to visit the market on June 29 to taste the entries and vote for the People’s Choice award! Click here for more information and to register.