Apple Pie and a beautiful Sunday afternoon, who could ask for anything more? So CameraMom (who will be making a cameo in an upcoming post) and I made the 22 mile drive to Holstein Park, in part because we missed last weeks Andersonville Dessert Crawl , and part because I don’t know where else to meet men* (see footnote), for the 7th Annual Bucktown Apple Pie Contest.
The best part about this was undoubtedly the weather. It was such a beautiful fall day, so many families came out to enjoy the event. There was no entrance fee, just $1 tickets for a slice of pie (3), Ice cream (2), cider or coffee (2), pony rides (2), mugs w/free refills (7)…A well organized, albeit logistically challenged space.
Besides navigating the pie balancing crowds through the narrow hallways of the field house, the most difficult decision was which pies to try. With 165 entrants making 2 pies each, plus 15 professional chefs including Inspiration Kitchen’s Garfield Park Executive Chef David Rosenthall, who made FIVE ginger-apple pies, there was more pie than even I could have imagined. Mom and I circled the tables boasting their round plump delicious offerings, getting a survey of the pies to be had. How could I possibly choose just two pies to try? A strategy must be implemented: Mom and I each took a room and agreed to chose two pies from our respective rooms and share them both. This way we could maximize our tastebuds without maxing out our budget or our guts. On the selection round round I spotted #104, a candied pecan dressed pie from Mike Sandoval, which sold me on the spot. Next I chose #35, The John Dough (an Anonymous Apple Pie) from the not so anonymous Laura Holtz. I stopped by the Bobtail Ice Cream booth for a scoop of ala mode, made several desperate phone calls to reunite with CameraMom, ran into my friend Bridget, (all the while balancing 2 generous pieces of pie in a paper plate) and then found Mom, and a seat under the tent to savor our spoils. Mom and I enjoyed sporkfulls of four different pies, comparing the spices, crust, texture, and color of apples, while enjoying the music of Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders. (dig the hats).
We relaxed for some time and enjoyed several cups of coffee while I again surveyed the scenery, this time for single guys.
*Footnote: It’s inadvisable to try to meet guys with your mom, let alone at a decidedly family oriented event complete with pony rides and face painting. Thought I admit the face painting artist was pretty cool. I wanted to get mine done but I thought it would hinder my ability to pick up dudes. No Matter. I got to hang with the Mom, enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon outside, listen to some live music and had a belly full of pie at a total cost for 2 : $18. And a benefit for Holstein Park? That.. is money well spent.