July 1, 2009

July 4 Fun: Pie Eating Contest

Every year my family celebrates America's Independence Day with a big neighborhood party and one of the highlights of the afternoon is the pie eating contest. The standard "county fair" version of this competition would involve a bunch of big eaters each with his or her own double-crust fruit pie that they would try to consume as quickly as possible without using their hands.

We've developed our own take on this American classic for a couple of reasons. First, if you have read this blog for a while, you know that I can't bake a pie. Second, I didn't want anyone choking on a piece of crust and ruining all the fun. Third, I wanted a contest for all ages.

So, here's a fool-proof recipe for some easy Fourth of July fun:

Get Ready...

Prepare an enormous vat of chocolate pudding (I mix up a bunch of boxes of Jell-o instant pudding in my biggest spaghetti pot).

Buy many tubs of Cool Whip (I use Cool Whip Lite). Make sure to thaw them before the big event.

Purchase some disposable paper bowls and a lot of paper towel.

Get set...

Pick a spot for your contest. I suggest a grassy area or any place that you can hose off after the event.

Set up a table that can take abuse and have several rolls of paper towel nearby.

Make your pies. Add 1 cup of pudding to a disposable bowl. Top with 1/4 cup of Cool Whip. Make sure that every pie is identical so the contest is fair. I make about 10 pies at a time and have a "staff" making more as we need them (we go through a lot of pies).


Call "Round 1!" We start with 10 year olds. They're brave enough to go first and will inspire the younger kids. We save the adults for the grand finale.

Place a pie in front of each contestant. Have long-haired pie eaters tie their hair back. Make everyone put their hands behind their backs and explain that the first one to completely eat their pie -- without using hands -- is the winner.

Yell, "Ready! Set! Go!"

Stand back

Finally, announce the winner, hand out paper towel (they'll need it) and call "Round 2!"

Photo credit: Mike Scanlon

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