I entered my first and last pie contest today. The experience was fun in some ways, but ended up reminding me why I prefer to cook for people I know and love rather than for money or prestige. Some how when there’s judgement or money involved some of the fun is taken out of it. After the three judges announced with winner the crowds went back to the pie room and everyone could taste the pies. I made sure to sample the winner so to improve my own recipe, but the winning pie and mine were just too different to be comparable. The winning pie was a very traditional American apple with a very sweet and gooey filling and a slightly tough crust. My pie is decidedly different: Much less sweet, a little spicy with a flaky crust. In any case I feel that I won crowd favorite since mine was the only pie to be polished off by the crowds (in less than 10 minutes!). From now I’ll stay out of the pie contest circuit, but it sure was an experience. (Most of these photos were taken at night so the lighting is not very good).