Now folks, we can joke that this was a dirty job, that someone had to do it, and that someone was going to have to be this pie girl.
And as the proud owner of 20 ribbons from entering my own pies in contests, I can say it was enlightening to sit on the other side of the table for a change.
Here’s how it went down.
First, I surveyed the pie-laden table.
I had my official OC Fair helper, the charming and capable Kevin Oswalt, who kept me on the straight and narrow. He would not let me get distracted by all the other judging going on in the room! He carried my official judging book, into which my sweet assessments would be written.
These pies looked delectable!
–Double crust apple with cute cutouts on the top crust
Every one of them spoke of a loving hand rolling out the crust, a talented home baker assessing the sweetness of the fruit or creaminess of the custard, a chocolate lover figuring out whether semisweet, bitter, nibs or cocoa might be the best solution. These pies were picture perfect!
We got to work labeling each pie with its tag on top. We tried to cut them respectfully, and we laid each little sliver on a paper plate for tasting.
It was both an easy job and a hard job. Easy (delicious, fun, interesting) because hey, I was pie tasting! Hard because whenever I picked a winner in each class, that meant a number of bakers would also be disappointed that their creation didn’t make it to the top. I’ve been there. I know it stings.
Next all of the top-rated cakes, pies, breads, cookies, etc. in the room, all judged by chefs, caterers and food professionals, were assembled on one big table, for the final contest.
We were to taste everything and we each had 1 vote to cast for the Best of Show.
Yep, on judgment day in the Culinary Arts Department, pie won!
Practically in a sugar coma, I waddled away from the table. “Not so fast,” said darling Kevin. “You’re not done. You still have to judge the youth cookies category!”
What? No one prepared me for that! I would have paced myself with the pies if I had known.
Oh well. On to the cute cookies. Luckily I had my own cute cookie along — my darling DramaQueen.
Hey, who ate the frog’s leg?
Orange County Fair
This year’s theme: “Let’s Eat”
Through Aug. 14
88 Fair Drive