Betty Crocker’s Apple Bake-Off

I live inside Boston’s city limits and I know my neighbors.  My street is 2 blocks long, but the sense of community here is immeasurable.  Last week, I received this email invitation:


News from Betty Crocker!  We will have our 4th Annual Apple Bake-Off on Sunday, September 16th! 

Location:  the Meadow  (the “Meadow” is my neighborhood’s nickname for the narrow side yard between two houses on my block)

If anyone wants to organize an apple-picking excursion on Saturday, 9/15, go for it!  (and yes, an excursion was organized and locally grown apples were cored, peeled, sliced and boiled for the Bake-Off)

See you at the BAKE-OFF starting at 4 pm!  BTW, Betty just might  make a surprise appearance! 

M.  (Betty’s agent)”

Today (Sunday, September 16) was a beautiful day with a hint of autumn in the air.   There were 10 entries in the Bake-Off, some prepared by teenagers, some by adults and at least one with the combined efforts of an entire family.  As you can see by the photo, Betty Crocker did make an appearance.

Five impartial judges (most under age 12 and one over 50) were selected.  Each judge rated the entries between 1 (yucky) and 10 (yummy) based on their own preferences for apple desserts and how well they thought each individual entry lived up to its potential.  After the judges had completed their taste tests, everyone present was invited to partake.  (Some indulged with such enthusiasm that dinner that night was no longer required).

When all 10 entries had been sampled, the judges’ scores were totaled.  It was a tight race and in the end, there was a three-way tie for first, a three-way tie for second and one third place winner.  But if truth be told, there are no losers on my street and certainly no one left the Bake-Off hungry.

One of the Apple Bake-Off judges.

A team of bakers with their apple tart.

About HomenDunRoamin

Teaching Artist & Writer: fiction, poetry & nonfiction. Recently completed work: a hybrid memoir. In progress: a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. The book examines violent and nonviolent resistance and the choices women are forced to make to survive.
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7 Responses to Betty Crocker’s Apple Bake-Off

  1. thehungrymum says:

    This looks super fab! Your neighbourhood sounds lovely 🙂

  2. Barbara says:

    What a lovely post and such great photos; reading over coffee and wishing I had stockpiled a sample plate for breakfast!

  3. friedmin says:

    Hello Deborah! Thanks so much for this article. As a life-long icon of the 50’s, it’s a pleasure to finally see a feminist writer welcome my contributions to our community. 😉 And what delicious entries we had this year! BTW, a slight correction. This was our 3rd Annual Bake-Off! You may recall that your mother won the first year and I believe you won last year.

    With continued affection,

    • Dearest Betty,
      Thank you for your comment! I truly hate to have to correct such an important icon as you, but I’m afraid Sarah would be insulted if we forgot her winning entry from last year. Here were the standings from the last 4 years:
      Year One: My mother for her apple pie.
      Year Two: Me (also for an apple pie).
      Year Three: Sarah for her apple scones.
      Year Four: Well, you know what happened this year.
      Thank you for your encouragement of all the bakers (and eaters) on the street!

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