Culinary Corner

Don’t put off Harvest Pie entries: We want to taste those berries

Entries in annual pie contest due by Oct. 8; tasting set for Oct. 11 at Cambria Farmers Market

Special to The CambrianSeptember 2, 2013 

Can you beat this 6-year old? Bennjamen Murdoch, assisted by his grandmother, Lesli Murdoch, has won the popular vote for three years with a peach pie, lemon blueberry, and this raspberry confection. Enter the Harvest Pie Contest now!

CONSUELO MACEDO — Special to The Cambrian

Would that we never procrastinate! The time is now for reservations to participate in Marjorie Ott’s next cooking class at the Ollalieberry Inn, set for Monday, Sept. 9.

For a seasonal session on root vegetables — potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, turnips and radishes, a $40 fee will get you the demonstrations, but also sampling, a lunch, and stuff to take home.

Call 927-3222 or go to to secure your reservation. And save the Monday dates for gluten-free breads and desserts on Oct. 28; and Dec. 9 for holiday breakfast items.

Definitely don’t procrastinate on this one! For the past four years, Shanny Covey and I have sponsored the Harvest Pie Contest at the Historical Society’s Harvest Festival at the museum, and invariably have had to wait until the last minute for our friends to submit their entries as promised.

This year, because of logistics, we will be at the Friday Farmers Market on Oct. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m., so the Oct. 8 deadline is crucial! Can you imagine planning for hundreds of people to sample, after hearing only from three entrants?

Entry forms are available at Robin’s, Cambria Historical Museum, and online at www.cambria For a $5 entry fee, you have a chance to win a $100 certificate from Robin’s, Linn’s, or Black Cat restaurants.

So far, we have applications from three early birds, who hope to win by popular vote. Shoppers at farmers market will pay $5 each to taste five samples, so everyone wins!

Categories are fruit, nut and pumpkin, but no custard, cream or meringue because of refrigeration.

Call me for information at 927-3159.

•  •  •

I have waxed euphuistic about my favorite recipes using eggplant, pomegranates, and other seasonal fruits and veggies from the farmers market.

I heard from Corinna Borden of the national, who caught my June 13 column online and contacted me about our consistent support for the local market. In line with our Oct. 11-14 Harvest Festival, they have a campaign until Sept. 9 to celebrate the diversity of farm-to-table products. Go to

Last time I checked, we could still get luscious blueberries, straw-berries and raspberries; the latter gems have joined the list of super fruits which are so beneficial.

Last year, Bennjamen Murdoch and his grandmother, Lesli (Bubby) Murdoch, won the pie contest for the third year in a row with a scrumptious fresh raspberry entry. Can you top that?

Doing research I happened on a website that intrigued me: able-fruits, detailing the peaches and nectarines we have mentioned, but also watermelon, cantaloupe, cross-cut apples, coconut halves, figs and strawberry kebabs. Check it out!

By popular request we have Shirley Bianchi’s recipe, which we first ran on Sept. 19, 2001. Can’t enter it, but sure can enjoy it!

Avocado Pie

• Baked 8- or 9-inch pie shell

• 2 cups fresh avocado pulp

• 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 1⁄4 cup lemon juice

Mash nice thick Hass avocados for best results, though others will work.

Mix in the condensed milk and vanilla.

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, which will thicken the mixture.

Pour into the crust (try a graham cracker one for variety) and chill well before serving.

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. It appears on the second, fourth and any fifth Thursdays. Please send recipes and ideas to Consuelo, c/o The Cambrian, 2442 Main St., Cambria CA 93428; or email recipes to

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