The Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival will return on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Please plan to join us for this festive day of food and folk culture. You may enter a pudding in our contest or just enjoy the ambiance, the entertainment, and the delicious lunch. More details will be posted here soon, but START THINKING PUDDING NOW!


Will Cosby won the Pie Contest with his Ginger Apple “Moose” Pie.

The Hawley Gentlemen’s Pie and Tart Extravaganza took place on a rainy day—but the dampness didn’t seem to affect anyone’s fun.
The pies arrived on time.

Our three judges (only two are pictured below; the other got lost in West Hawley and will show up in a later photo!) took their job very seriously and deliberated long and hard.

While the judging took place most of the crowd huddled indoors. A few brave souls ventured out to investigate Hawley’s lovely (if wet) scenery and history.

After the judging session lunch was served to an appreciative crowd of all ages.

The pie parade followed.

Musical director Alice Parker took the name “Alfred” for the day so she could enter the contest.

Some contestants entered more than one pie.

The musical entertainment staged a re-enactment of the first men’s pie contest in Hawley. Winner Clarence Gould was forced to learn to make pie because his fiancée Nettie King couldn’t handle pastry.


The contestants anxiously awaited the results.

Finally, Will Cosby of Hawley was crowned the King of Pie and given his own Pie Apron.

In short, a good time was had by all! Thanks to our donors and sponsors, to our diligent judges—Doris Cooper, Darra Goldstein, and Kathleen Wall—and to all who came! Special thanks as well to the lunch crew and to the wonderful people who took the photographs on this page: Georgette de Friesse, Suzy Groden, and Mardi Smith. By the way, Judge Kathleen has posted an essay about her part in the day. If you’ve ever contemplated judging a pie contest, here are her words of wisdom.

If you’d like to hear Tinky talk about the Extravaganza on the Bill Newman radio show (her interview was a preview of the event; we hope lots of people heard it and attended!), click here. Tinky’s segment begins at about 45:50.

will-apron-cwebThe next Pudding Festival won’t take place until 2019. We DO have a fun food-oriented contest coming up in the fall of 2016–with a twist!

The Record Book of the Ladies Aid Society of Hawley, Massachusetts, includes “A Sketch of the Ladies Aid,” written about 1920 by Mattie Carter White. Mrs. White wrote:

At one time there was a contest for the women sawing wood. The men had a pie baking contest. Mr. Clarence Gould got the prize for making the best pie.

Several gentlemen in town have asked for a revival of the pie-baking contest. (No ladies have asked for a revival of the wood-sawing tradition.) And so in October we plan to re-introduce THE HAWLEY GENTLEMEN’S PIE AND TART EXTRAVAGANZA.


The contest will take place on October 9, the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend, at the Hawley Meeting House. The day will start with the arrival of the pies (due by 11 a.m., please!) at the Hawley Grove, across the road from the meeting house. While the judges deliberate, starting at 11:15, tours of nearby historical sites will be available for contestants and fans.

A delicious lunch hand-prepared by Hawley’s finest cooks will follow at 12:30 at the Grove. At about 1:30 (or whenever everyone has finished lunch), we will repair to the Meeting House for the Pie Parade, a brief musical entertainment, and the announcement of the winners!

Of course, men and boys outside Hawley are welcome to compete as well. Admission to the Extravaganza is free, although there is a $15 entry fee for the contest, and we request a donation for lunch. (We’d love other donations as well, of course, since the Meeting House restoration is an ongoing process.)

Start polishing those pie recipes! Please contact us if you have any questions.

And if you’d like a preview (with pies!), here’s a video. The recipe for Michael’s pie (and a link to the recipe for Tinky’s) may be found here.


Our new Pudding Head, Leslie Clark, smiles as judge Damon Herring applauds.

Our new Pudding Head, Leslie Clark, smiles as judge Damon Herring applauds.

The 2014 Pudding Festival fell on a GORGEOUS day. The puddings were beautiful and tasty. And the audience was enthusiastic.

The 2014 Pudding Head is a new resident of Hawley, Massachusetts, Leslie Clark. She was surprised but happy to find herself the winner.

The puddings arrived more or less promptly. Corn was still in season so we had three corn puddings! Leslie’s pudding was sweet rather than savory, however (sweet puddings ALWAYS seem to win our contest!). It was called Leslie’s Luscious Coconut Cream Custard.

Leslie's puddweb

We did have a photo of the kitchen crew, who worked hard and produced a delectable lunch, but unfortunately the camera on which that photo is located is currently misplaced. Here instead is a picture of happy eaters. As you can see, the Hawley Grove was filled to the rafters.


The pudding parade and entertainment went swimmingly. We had two cute cows onstage, plus a very youthful soldier leaving his mother to go off to war.


Cows Magic and Marigold

to warweb

Daniel Burt Jr. bids farewell to his mother.

We sang and laughed and ate and enjoyed the beautiful town of Hawley. What more could anyone want?

Thanks to Faith Montgomery Paul for taking most of these photos. Thanks to our judges (Michael Collins, Damon Herring, and Dédé Wilson) and our volunteers in the Sons & Daughters of Hawley and beyond, particularly musical director Alice Parker.

And OF COURSE thanks to our donors. The prizes and the event were appreciated by all!

Stay tuned for our next culinary event, the




Carrot Pudding by Kelly Morrissey, a delicious entry from the past

Carrot Pudding by Kelly Morrissey, a delicious entry from the past

Pudding Day is almost here!

Judges are debating attire, contestants are honing recipes, and members of the Sons & Daughters of Hawley are collating scripts and programs.

Please join us this Sunday, September 28, in Hawley, Massachusetts. (Past participants will recall that the last few Pudding Festivals took place in Charlemont, but PudCon is coming Home to Hawley this year. Visit this page for directions.)

A quick reminder of times:

11 a.m.

Puddings, recipes, and entry fees are due at the Hawley Grove, across the street from the Meeting House.

Farm Tour at Sidehill Farm

12:30 p.m.
Lunch back at the Grove

Pudding Parade, Entertainment, and Judging at the Meeting House.

Feel free to contact organizer Tinky Weisblat if you have any questions. And if you’d like to hear her talk about the festival, listen to Tuesday’s Bill Newman Show. The pudding segment begins at about 34:03. (You can also hear Tinky talk about her book Pulling Taffy at about 17:34.)

We’ll see you in Hawley!

pudding talkweb

Our own Tinky Weisblat stopped by to talk pudding (and make a little pudding) on the WWLP-TV program “Mass Appeal.”

Don’t forget: the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival is just around the corner, on Sunday, September 28. Please join us, with or without a pudding, for this highly enjoyable day in the country.

Here’s the video, in which Tinky throws together a corn pudding:


There are only three weeks left until the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival—and the day is shaping up! Prizes are starting to arrive, including the first prize (a combination of gifts: a blender/chopper from Cuisinart, a tea cozy from Ann Brauer Quilt Studio, and maple syrup from Wilder Brook Farm, plus much more).

And we have our judges lined up. Two have been with us before. Kathleen Wall, colonial foodways culinarian at Plimoth Plantation, has judged almost every year. And Michael Collins, chef at the late Green Emporium, will taste pudding again in between work searching for a new restaurant. They will be joined by first-time judge Dédé Wilson. Dédé is a baking expert, a cookbook author, and the founder of the online baker’s resource Bakepedia. We are honored to welcome her.

If you’re a cook, keep honing that great recipe and prepare to dazzle Kathleen, Michael, and Dédé. Please note that you need to enter ONLY on the day of the contest. Be sure to bring your recipe and a $15 entry fee (checks payable to the Sons & Daughters of Hawley).

If you’re not a cook, plan to join us anyway for a day of fun, food, and music for a good cause…….