I just had a wonderful conversation with Pie Commissioner LeAnn Locher (aka: blogger LeLo in NoPo) about this year's Pie-Off at Peninsula Park, to be held Sunday, Aug. 16th at 1 pm.

Pie Off, 2008
  • Pie Off, 2008

The pie baking contest began last year on Twitter when LeLo started an impromptu pie challenge with fellow Portland bloggers Lizzy Caston and Radio Gretchen. Many tweets later, the Pie-Off had snowballed into a full blown grass-roots pie extravaganza, with 49 pies arriving on the big day at Washington Park.

With a new year and a new location, it’s looking like this year's Pie-Off may be even bigger than the last. But here’s something I know: You can win this contest. With eight possible categories, a few days left to practice, some hungry friends, and all that creativity sloshing around in your noggin, I know you got this one. Bring the meringue!

But for those who love baking without the pressure of competition, Locher assures me that there is very little pressure at the Pie-Off, “What it all comes down to is that there is a really beautiful simplicity in pie,” she told me. “It kind of has that ability to connect us with our mothers and grandmothers.”

My grandmother is super competitive. I remember the 85 year old Swede trash talking me while she kicked my ass in a game of Bocce. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s not necessary to have a competitive bone in your body, or the best pie in the world, to enjoy the Pie-Off. “It runs the gamut,” Locher said. “Last year we had some pies that were burnt.”

I explained that seemed right up my alley, considering my pies always look deformed in some tragic way. “You should give it a good name and a good story!” Locher said, “But I can’t guarantee anyone will actually eat your pie.”

Not eat the Patrick Alan Coleman black bottom gut bomb? For shame.

It’s highly recommended that you register for the Pie-Off here, but you can also register your pie the day of the contest. Rules are available on the Pie-Off website. Good Luck!

See last year's winner, Tricia Butler, cooking up her blue ribbon tomato pie after the jump!