Newfielders gathered in front of the Newfield schools on July 26 to listen to some live music by Under Construction, enjoy classic “fair food” for dinner (provided as a fundraiser by Newfield Lions Club), and engage in some friendly competition as Newfield’s best bakers sharpened their knives for the Newfield Old Home Days Pie Bake-Off.
Seventeen people entered the contest this year—exactly the same as last year.
Those who attended in 2018 noted that there were far fewer apple pies and more peach this time around; last year there were seven apple pies, which almost prompted the organizers to give them their own special category.
Vicki Cody, a member of the Old Home Days Committee, made a fresh strawberry pie. She would have normally put cream cheese between the filling and the crust, but the jam-like strawberry glaze on top must have been enough to make it a standout: the pie won first place in the adult category.
“It’s the glaze,” confirmed Cody’s husband, Jim Cody. “Plus her crust is the best ever.”
The judges for the event were Ed Miner, Judy Horton, and Mary Beth Gehrig-Smith, who judged the entries on overall appearance, crust, filling, firmness and taste. None of the judges knew which pie belonged to which entrant.
Not far behind first place, with a score of 62 compared to Cody’s 66, was Sarah Miner, followed by Janette Luby with a score of 53.
“It was tough,” said Gehring-Smith. “It was a close call between the top two, particularly. Either one could have been the winner.”
There were six youth pie bakers, and six-year-old Jake Redman took first place, followed by Levi Redman and Kailey Cotto.
A prize of $20 went to the first place winners in each category.
“I’m most encouraged with the number of kids who entered, and they did it all on their own, with their mothers’ guidance, of course,” said Phyllis Van Allen, of Newfield, who was in charge of the bake off.
Cherol Whitley, 10, who came in just behind the winners, said she came up with the filling all on her own. “All I helped with was the pie crust,” confirmed her mother, Sheri Whitley.
When asked if she would continue baking pies, Cherol Whitely said: “Of course! As long as I get to eat it.”
The pies, which only had tiny slivers taken out of them for the judges, were sold by the slice at the Lions Club tent following the contest, while the two winning pies were auctioned off for $10 to raise money for Old Home Days.