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Posts Tagged ‘New England Cooking Contests’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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The pie parade followed.

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

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Some contestants entered more than one pie.

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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.

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The contestants anxiously awaited the results.

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

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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.

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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 segment begins at about 45:50.

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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.

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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.

 

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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…….

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The Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival is a unique event in a lovely New England setting. “A little bit country and a little bit Julia Child,” the festival highlights the many talents found in and around the hamlet of Hawley, Massachusetts—and gives cooks a chance to compete in a deliciously sweet historical fundraiser.

The festival is inspired by a historical event in Hawley. Around 1780, the town held a contest to determine who could create the largest pudding in Hawley. The eventual winner, Abigail Baker of West Hawley, made hasty pudding in a five-pail kettle. She was thereafter known as Pudding Head, and her home is still called Pudding Hollow.

The festival will take place on Sunday, September 28, at the historic Hawley Meeting House way up East Hawley Road in Hawley, Massachusetts. Its centerpiece will be a contest that remembers Abigail Baker. In this case flavor, not size, will characterize the winning pudding.

Here is the Schedule for the Day:

11 a.m. PUDDINGS ARRIVE. This means that if you are entering the contest—and we hope you will consider doing so—you and your pudding should be on site by 11. We are working on a few nearby activities for contestants and their families so that they won’t just be sitting around waiting while the judges sample pudding—although there is no more beautiful place to sit around than Hawley!

There is a $15 per pudding for entering the contest. All entry fees will go directly toward the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Meeting House.

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. FARM TOUR at our neighboring dairy (and pudding contest donor!) Sidehill Farm. Sidehill doesn’t usually give tours on Sundays, but its owners have graciously agreed to entertain festival attendees who are waiting for lunch. Meet the cows, tour the business, and don’t forget to pick up some of Sidehill’s delicious yogurt or raw milk. (The farm store will be open at the end of the festival if you want to wait until then to purchase products, but the tour takes place only at 11:15.)

12:15 p.m. LUNCH. We ask a donation for this feast, made by our volunteers, all fabulous home cooks. We will have cider to drink, donated by Clarkdale Fruit Farms, and ice cream for dessert from Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream. Please be as generous as you can!

1:30 p.m.-ish ENTERTAINMENT, PUDDING PARADE, AND JUDGING. Musical director Alice Parker and diva/cook Tinky Weisblat are hard at work crafting an entertainment that will laughingly (and musically) pay tribute to the role of cooking and pudding in our small town’s history.

After the announcement of the winners, audience members will be invited to come onstage to taste pudding. (Caveat emptor—or rather, eater: nibble at your own risk!)

We have designed this site to answer your questions about the rules, our donors, and the Sons & Daughters of Hawley, the historical society that sponsors this event. It will be updated as the date draws closer. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact festival organizer Tinky Weisblat.

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2009 Pudding Head Paula Zindler

 
The 2009 Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival is over—and it was a success!
 
We were worried that the date (Halloween) might keep people away. It actually seems to have attracted them. Several festival-goers competed for the best costume prize, which went to local chef Marty Yaffee attired as “The Lion Chef.”
  
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The Lion Chef

 
Lunch was a mob scene (but a tasty one), thanks to the efforts of Juanita Clark and her family, along with Sandy Cronin.
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The kitchen crew was cheerful and efficient.

 
Our entertainment, “The Witches of Pudding Hollow,” involved the title witches, their hapless male counterparts, a couple of ghostly spirits, and a lot of laughs.
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Witch Melanie works her magic with John and Ray.

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The Reverend Jonathan Grout and Witch Pamela

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Musical Director Alice Parker

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Original Pudding Head Abigail Baker--a witch AND a chanteuse.

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Ghostly spirits of Pudding Hollow cement the witches' spell.

 
Our judges worked extra hard to discriminate among the novel puddings entered in the pudding contest. We had entries from five out of the six New England states. (New Hampshire, where art thou?)
 
Bob Hall of Maryland won a bag of apples as the contestant who came the farthest.
 
Here the replete judges announce the winners (left to right: Edie Clark, Kathleen Wall, Michaelangelo Wescott). Thanks to the generosity of our donors, everyone went home happy as well as full.
 
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Mardi Smith of Newtown, Connecticut, took home the prize for Spookiest Pudding with her Fright Night Pudding.

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New Pudding Head Paula Zindler of Cummington, Massachusetts, looked a little astonished at her victory, but it was well deserved.
 
Her luscious Pumpkin Gingerbread Pudding (pictured below) featured a creamy custard made with sun-colored local eggs.

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Congratulations to all–and especially to all of our volunteers for making the day so joyful!
 
One of our fabulous judges, Edie Clark, has written a blog post that sums up HER experience that day.  Do take a look!

Meanwhile, here are a few additional images, just for fun.
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Costumed contestants await the start of the Pudding Parade.

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A Table Full of Pudding

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MORE pudding!

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Paula De Fougerolles and her family entered FOUR puddings in the contest!

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Our actors weren't highly rehearsed, but no one seemed to mind!

 
EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS to Phyllis Gotta, our wonderful photographer, for her contributions to this site and to our big day………

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