Savoring the Seasons — Time for pie: Hawley revives men’s pie and tart contest

For The Recorder
Published: 10/4/2016 2:28:53 PM

When I first heard about the Hawley Gentlemen’s Pie and Tart Extravaganza, I laughed and immediately had two thoughts.

My first thought was, “Fabulous! Tinky Weisblat has created another fun, food-centered community event with roots in Hawley history. If anyone can put on an extravaganza, Tinky can.”

Clearly, with the Extravaganza, Tinky has cooked up a truly unique chance to eat tasty food, cheer on contestants and enjoy music and laughter. For information about the Sunday’s schedule, contest rules and a list of prizes and donors, call Tinky at 413-339-4747 or visit:

My second thought was, “A men’s pie contest reminds me of the cookbook my mother and other women from my childhood church created in 1971, and that my older sister Nancy sent to me a few years ago after finding it in a box of old books.”

The Los Gatos First United Methodist Church cookbook has the usual recipe sections — bread, soups, appetizers, main courses, desserts, etc. However, it also includes a few pages called “men’s section” that feature recipes by men, regardless of whether they’re soups, desserts, or whatever. I don’t know why they separated out the men’s recipes, although perhaps it wasn’t common in 1971 suburban California for men to submit recipes to a cookbook.

I checked the cookbook. There aren’t any pie recipes by men, though there are men’s recipes for Swedish Tea Ring, Hobo Stew, Dill Pickles, and Unusual Christmas Fruitcake.

This week, I have a savory pie recipe that Michael Collins prepared when Tinky and Michael promoted the Extravaganza on “Mass Appeal.”

Not long after those first two thoughts, my third thought was remembering how, when I first started writing this column, I had a stereotyped idea of who would read it. I assumed my readers would be women who liked to cook.

Then, I was shopping in a downtown Greenfield store and the male store owner said, “What are we eating this week?” and told me about a dish he liked to prepare. Not long after that, at the Greenfield Weekly Peace Vigil, Peter Tusinski shared a favorite recipe of his. And, Jim Smethurst talked about how he was using the vegetables from his garden.

I often run into people who comment on my column. Now, I’ve given up my stereotyped assumptions, and I’m no longer surprised when men ask about a particular recipe or tell me about something they’re going to prepare.

Last Saturday, while I was standing in the vigil, a man who looked familiar, but whose name I don’t know, stopped and told me about a special soup recipe. I encouraged him to send it to me so I can share it in this column at some point.

What are you enjoying in these early fall days? Guys, if you have a wonderful pie recipe, I hope you’ll enter it in the Extravaganza. Then, send me the recipe so I can share it.

I always enjoy receiving recipes from readers, whatever their gender.

This Week We’re Eating …

Michael’s Breakfast Pie

By Chef Michael Collins, Barrel Shop Gallery Airbnb, Colrain

4 to 5 strips of bacon

½ C. sliced mushrooms (Shitake or mushroom of your choice)

uncooked top and bottom pie crusts

4 large eggs

¼ C. milk

1 tsp. fresh thyme, crumbled

1 tsp. fresh basil, crumbled

1 tsp. fresh parsley, crumbled

a few gratings of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fry bacon in a pan. Take it out, but do not remove grease from pan. Drain bacon on paper towels, and crumble it. Sauté mushrooms in remaining bacon grease. Return crumbled bacon to pan, and toss. Place fried bacon and mushrooms in bottom pie crust. Whisk together eggs, milk, herbs, and seasonings. Pour egg mixture over bacon and mushrooms. Place top crust on pie. Make a few holes in the top for ventilation. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes more, until golden brown. Serves 6 to 8.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals, and writer/editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to


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