Several years ago, after a reunion with someone I thought I’d never see again, I exclaimed: “Some days are better than others!” A year later, after ending that sorry relationship, I was saying the same thing. Not that sad relationships and pies have much in common, but this past weekend, after the 1st Annual Portland Pie-Off, found me exclaiming, “Some days are better than others!”
Blogger, and Lewis and Clark professor, Jack Bogdanski said it best:
I had the honor, along with fellow blogger Gary Walter and serious pastry chef Kir Jensen, of judging the competition, which meant taking at least one bite of each of the 49. When close calls appeared within the various categories, multiple bites were required.”
I was careful to pace myself however. I never took big bites and I tried to savor each and every bite as it came. But you’ll have to admit, 49+ bites of pie is a lot of pie, no matter how you count them.
This was serious business though. While authenticity and transparency are a couple of the things that make the Portland Community so much fun, let there be no mistake, egos were on the line. As a judge, I took this very seriously and did my best to be affirming, yet truthful.
Blogger Melissa Lion had a unique take on the opinion of the judges. Her comments are not only humbling, but touching:
A quick post about the pie off. I did not win. So sad. However there were 49 pies entered and my apple pie got one of the three judges’ votes and that made me very happy.”
To know that a simple blue sticker, placed next to a pie, would have that much affect on someone. Now that is pressure!
I had so much fun. The organizers were great! The other judges were awesome! The contestants were a lot of fun – not to mention great bakers! And the audience turnout was incredible! Portland truly is the coolest city on the planet!
I felt like I was in my element. Confident, open, speaking with authority and ease. I felt welcome and attuned to the process at hand.
However, picking the best pies in all the categories – now that was hard! First off, before they cut the pies, we had to pick the prettiest pie. For me, it came down to three pies. A nut pie, called the Musician’s Pie, a Blueberry Pie, labeled Rosemary’s Baby (garnished with rosemary sprigs), and the one we awarded – a Melba peach cheesecake with exquisite raspberries on top.
And the judging just got harder from there. Being the middle of the Oregon fruit season, there were a lot of fruit pies and we approached this table with great trepidation. It seemed all so daunting. Where do we start? But in the end, we proved up to the task. I’m glad I had the help of the other two judges – ‘cuz it was hard!
This was a lot of fun – and indeed, this was one of those days that was better than others!
Here are other links & photos:
Mark Coleman’s Photos
Multiple Flickr Photosets
Luke Wisher L&N PRO’s Public Gallery
OurPDX sounds like they had fun!
Dieselboi brought meat pies: impressive
Judge Bogdanski had a good time
Melissa Lion didn’t get a ribbon, but she’s reveling in her sticker
Holy Pie! says Jenny Cook
Zoe gives it up about her S’Mores without Fire Pie
Lily submitted a gorgeous sweet potato pie
The Grand Prize winner chimes in: could she be any more humble and sweet?
The Vig was in the howze: and it sounds like he had a great time.
Links leading up to the Pie-Off:
Gary’s workin’ the pie lead in.
Jack gets prepared. Twice.
Metblogs gives a day-of shout out.
Jenny Cook plans to bring it!
Cami Kaos says, “Go now!”
Willamette Week loves pie, too
Just Out says prepare your pie tins
You know your County Commissioner is cool when he shouts out for the Pie-Off
The Pie-Off makes the list for Ready, Set, Mom
Florid Disposition prepares for the Pie-Off.
PDX Pipeline pipes up about the Pie-Off.
There’s been a lot of talk over at Yelp: bring it on!
GayRightsWatch cheers for the Pie-Off
Betsy works on her strategy.
Lelo talks about Pie.
Slashfood blogs about Portland, Oregon’s first Pie-Off
Pagent offers up his idiot proof crust
Recovering Straight Girl anticipates the wonderfulness