Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week 5: Strawberries, Serendipity and the County Fair

Another week has gone by so quickly! But I did at least have a good reason for most of this delay, this week. I had to wait to see if I had won a prize!

On Sunday, our church leaders announced that we had had an imaginary earthquake, and they asked us to voluntarily live on our food storage for 6 days. No trips to the grocery store, just living on what we had in the house. We thought it would be interesting to do this experiment and see if we could make it. One of the things that I really like about our church is their concern that we be prepared for emergencies, and this was part of being prepared.

The biggest challenge in this experiment, other than possibly running out of milk, was the pie situation. We don't have a whole lot of fruit in our food storage, and not enough fresh fruit to make anything. Dried apple pie could be interesting I suppose. I could have made chocolate pudding pies, but I did that last week. And with not enough cool-whip they would not be as delicious as I'd like.

I finally settled on strawberry pie. We have a lot of frozen quarts of strawberries in our freezer, and it is supposed to be spring (you wouldn't know it nowadays with all the cold rainy weather we've had throughout May). I found a recipe that I thought would work, even though it called for fresh strawberries.

I was waiting for the frozen strawberries to thaw, so I didn't start trying to make the pies until Thursday (instead of Wednesday). After making the glaze and adding it to the bowl of thawed strawberries, I could see that this pie was not going to work. The formerly-frozen strawberries just had too much juice in them. If I put them in my beautiful pie shells, it would be like having strawberry soup pie.

Consulting with a few Facebook friends, it was decided that for this service-oriented project I would make an exception to our commitment to avoid going to the grocery store. At Albertsons I picked up some cream cheese, sour cream, and cool whip. I used these to make a recipe I've made before called Strawberry "Cheesecake" Pie. I could still use the strawberries, I just didn't need as much. My 16-year-old son happily consumed the leftovers. I finally wrapped up the pie-making at nearly bedtime on Thursday night.

On Friday morning, I was driving to work, with one pie sitting on my seat to take to a co-worker who had been having bad and continuous headaches for several weeks. That's when I heard Dana Jeffries of K103 talking about the Multnomah County Fair being held this weekend and how she was going to make a pie to enter when she got home that day. Hmmm, I thought, I have a pie, I wonder if I can enter? I hadn't decided yet where to take my second giveaway pie. This seemed a little too serendipitous.

Usually when I hear something like this and then have to go on to other things, I totally forget about it by the time I could do something about it. But on this day, I got home from work, remembered the morning broadcast, and looked up the location of the fair, how to enter, etc. I debated on whether I could go, and when I could go, and whether someone who lives in Washington County could enter another county's fair.

But with a little more Facebook encouragement, I set out after dinner to go to Oaks Park, a SW Portland amusement park that is maybe one or two steps above the traveling carnivals we got in our small town every summer. A lot of the rides are even the same--the spider, the tilt-a-whirl, the scrambler, and the merry-go-round, just to name a few.

I imagine that the reason Multnomah County has their fair so early in the "summer" is because they use Oaks Park as their locale--they are pretty busy the rest of the summer and wouldn't be able to give them the space to hold their event. And since Multnomah County is also mostly city, with not that much in the way of rural areas, this county fair is also pretty sparsely entered. It turned out that I had the only entry in the cream pie category. I only saw maybe six pie entries period.

Nevertheless I was thrilled to go back on Monday and see that I had won a blue ribbon and a check for $6.00. After all if they hadn't liked it, they could have refused it a ribbon.

It was so much fun to win a prize that I've decided I'm entering at least a couple of pies in the Washington County Fair in August. The competition will be stiffer there, so I will keep on practicin'!

Strawberry Delight Pie

1 pint fresh strawberries (frozen can be used)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 8-oz. container of whipped topping
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (I used a homemade baked pie shell)

Slice 1 pint of strawberries and mix with 1 Tbsp. sugar. Let sit until berries become juicy, then crush lightly to release additional juice. Beat cream cheese until smooth and then gradually blend in 1/3 cup sugar. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and strawberries until thoroughly blended. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust and chill until set, at least 4 hours. Slice and serve.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to try this recipe as it looks so delicious! Glad you won a ribbon. Your pie was outstanding.