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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pies and Herbs.

The Wyandotte Framers Market, here in Wyandotte Michigan holds a Cooking Contest each year. Entries must contain ingredients purchased at the farmers market. Winning this is a feather in any cook's cap, and providing the ingredients for a winning entry allows a vendor, among other things, bragging rights for the year.

Last year, I was excited when some of our basil was used in a winning Basil and Tomato Torte, and so this year, I was a bit disappointed when I first heard that the theme would be Pie.

You can read about it, and download an entry form here.

I was assured that savory pies were as welcome as sweet pies, and I know we have lots of ingredients that go well in savory pies. But face it, as a judge, if you have to choose between a double layered apple cherry pie with fresh honey or a chicken pot pie with sage, which one will get your vote?

I was a bit discouraged at first, but then I got to thinking.

When we think of pie, especially sweet pies, most people think of spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, to name a few.

But Herbs are also good in Pies.

Try some Sage, Rosemary or Thyme in your next apple pie.

Lemon Balm, or just a touch of Basil will add an extra kick to a cherry or berry pie.

Mint is always welcome in a chocolate pie.

Lemon Balm or Lemon Verbena add a touch of class and an exotic twist to a lemon or Key Lime Pie.

A quarter cup of fresh grated Horseradish gives an Apple Pie a new and unique twist sure to impress even the staunchest critic.

Sage gives a Home for the Holidays feel to peach pie.

Lemon and Basil combine to make a meringue pie that will leave everyone asking for one more piece.

Thyme and Blueberries make an excellent pie, while Thyme combines well with butter to add a little extra to any crust on any fruit pie.

Thyme and almonds turn a great strawberry pie into a masterpiece pie.

So, as you plan your pie for the cook off this year, dont forget to stop by our stand at the market and get some herbs. And remember, fresh Mint, Lemon Balm, Sage, Thyme, or other hebs also make a beautiful garnish on almost any pie. Presentation is such an important part of any cooking contest. Make your pie look and taste it's best with an addition of some herbs!

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