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The Perfect Fall Weekend (Part 3 of 3)

October 21, 2008

To top off the weekend, I entered another pie baking contest – this one at Cincinnati’s beloved Findlay Market. It was apple-pie only, which seemed to be a good fit for me because I’ve made a gazillion of them this season, so I was fairly confident that it would at least be edible (lovely year for apples – even my own apple trees produced nicely, despite that they don’t get sprayed for critters or disease). (It’s nerve-wracking entering food that you can’t taste before turning it over to the judges….)

(Speaking of food, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do something new and cool for dinner, so I decided it was a good day to make some chili in the morning and let it cook all day long. Served with garlic and cheese biscuits, it was a delicious hit.)

The Findlay organizers decided to buck their own timeline, so I actually missed the announcement of the winner, but, when I arrived later at the scheduled time, I was really pleased to learn that the winner was little ole me. Yyeees!

This mix of Jonathans, Winesaps and Courtlands was the perfect mix of sweet and tart.

This mix of Jonathans, Winesaps and Courtlands was the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Pipkins Market in Blue Ash had a lovely selection of regional apples to choose from.

This cool apple peeler/corer/slicer gadget made easy work of prepping the apples.

This cool apple peeler/corer/slicer gadget made easy work of prepping the apples.

And, ta-daa!  A winner is born.  Er, baked.

And, ta-daa! A winner is born.

The prize was $25 in gift certificates and the coveted title of Apple Piemeister.

The prize was $25 in gift certificates and the coveted title of Apple Piemeister.

After the contest, I strolled around the market with camera in hand and took some snaps. It was such a gorgeous day, it was hard not to just take a dozen photographs of the sky.

Customers ordering from a butcher at one of the indoor stalls.

Customers ordering from a butcher at one of the indoor stalls.

The Elm Street entrance features produce vendors.

The Elm Street entrance features produce vendors.

Pumpkins with attitude.

Pumpkins with attitude.

Not sure who Mr. Pig is, but, he's that <- way.

Not sure who Mr. Pig is, but, he's that <- way.

The outdoor farmers' booths are packed on Saturdays.  Today, we enjoyed a little music with our pie.

The outdoor farmers' booths are absolutely packed on Saturdays. Today, there was some elbow room for arts and crafts vendors, plus we enjoyed a little music with our pie.

Lovely mums for sale stuff the bed of a wooden trailer.

Lovely mums for sale stuff the bed of a wooden trailer.

While I was at Findlay Market, dinner cooked away in the crock pot. Brilliant device, that. Chili would not be the same without a long, slow cook, and there’s no way I’d leave the stove on with the house unattended.

Mmmm.  Meat.  Meat!

Mmmm. Meat. Meat!

Spicy chili on a cool Autumn day.  Yum.  (I burned the hell out of my tongue during one of the tastings.  Clearly, the crock pot's definition of <i>low heat</i> is quite different from mine....)

Spicy, slow cooked chili on a cool Autumn day, topped with sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese. Yum. (I burned the hell out of my tongue during one of the late-afternoon tastings. Apparently, the crock pot's definition of “low” heat is quite different from mine....)

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