Cambrian: Opinion

Pie contest on the menu at Cambria Harvest Festival

Pie and other desserts will be served following a historical walking tour of Cambria’s East Village as a fundraiser for the Historical Society.
Pie and other desserts will be served following a historical walking tour of Cambria’s East Village as a fundraiser for the Historical Society. Special to The Cambrian

With the first day of autumn on Friday the 22nd, it must be time to celebrate the annual Harvest Festival at the Cambria Historical Museum (Saturday, Oct., 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

We headline with musical renditions by the Indigo Jazz Quartet out back, food by Jeanne Brodie of Soto’s True Earth Market, root beer floats from the Native Daughters of the Golden West, and local beer and wine. Details at www.cambria

“But wait, there’s more!”

It’s also time for the Pie Baking Contest sponsored by Shanny of Robin’s Restaurant and me in The Cambrian’s Culinary Corner. Usually we have offered prizes valued at $100, but this year we are sweetening the pot by offering two grand sweepstakes prizes valued at $250 each, not only by popular vote, but by a panel of judges!

It is so worth your while to enter, or encourage your friends to enter now, but definitely by Monday, Oct. 2. Entry blanks and details are available on line, at Robin’s, the Historical Museum and, even more conveniently, in today’s issue of The Cambrian.

Please note that the same deadline is for the Historical Society’s Ranch and Farm Tour in small buses up San Simeon Creek Road. We will visit the historic Van Gorden Ranch where Dave Crowther grows wonderful avocados, the Stepladder Goat Ranch and Creamery on the property settled by the Gregg family, and the Pedotti Family Farm where they have produced wondrous peas and yellow squash on land originally settled by the pioneer E.A. Clarke family. The Hearst carriage house is also there! We’ll end the day with lunch and wine tasting at Centrally Grown. Information and reservations are on line, at the Museum, or, 805-927-1442.

The areas up the creek roads are warmer and sunnier than along the coastline, providing ideal microclimates for the fruits and vegetables we enjoy. Try your hand at pie baking with some of those, but skip the cream and custard types as your entry for the pie contest. Perhaps a pumpkin or nut pie is your métier … we don’t have separate categories this year, winner take all! Remember, two “Day in Cambria” baskets are in the offing.

Last spring, we ran the recipes for the winning pastry at the Olallieberry Festival, but held one in reserve for now. You won’t be competing with professional businesses, or this one by Pat Moreno, who garnered second prize in that contest.

Mississippi Mud Pie

First Layer:

1stick of butter, softened

1cup chopped pecans

1cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix above ingredients for crust. Press into bottom of a 9-by-13 pan. Bake for 25 minutes; cool on a baking rack.

Second layer:

1 cup powdered sugar

1tsp. vanilla

1 8-oz. pkg. regular cream cheese

1 3-oz. cream cheese

1 cup (8 oz. container) regular Cool Whip

Mix the ingredients together and carefully spread over the cooled crust, being careful not to break it. (If you do, press it gently back into place.)

Third layer:

2 small pkgs. instant chocolate pudding mix

3 cups whole milk (not nonfat)

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix until the consistency of pudding, and spread over the second layer. Top with a carton of softened Cool Whip, and grate a bar of semi-sweet chocolate over the top. Chill at least two hours before serving. Refrigerate any remaining dessert. (Any remaining?!)

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. Submit recipes and ideas to her at The Cambrian, 2068 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428, or email her at cambrian@thetribune