‘No-fail’ crust proves the topper for Janice Murray

A combination of four different apple varieties and grandma’s pie crust turned into the winning entry for Janice Murray at the Shortt Supply 12th Street Pie Baking Contest Saturday.

“I was pretty flabbergasted,” said Murray, who was “flattered” when the 21 judges narrowed the 51 pies entered down to a dozen and hers was included.

“I was just honored to make it that far,” she said. “Then when they made their final decision, you could’ve picked me up off the sidewalk.”

At the suggestion of Terry Draper of Draper’s Farm in Mt. Hood, Murray used a combination of Elstar, McIntosh, Empire and Golden Delicious apples in her winning pie. For the crust, she used a recipe given to her by her grandmother.

“My grandma gave me a recipe box when I graduated from high school,” Murray said. “All these years I’ve used her pie crust recipe. It’s no-fail.”

For her efforts, Murray won $1,000 from Brian and Karen Shortt, owners of Shortt Supply. The pie contest is a fundraiser for Helping Hands Against Violence, with the $10-per-pie entry fees going to the women’s shelter. This year, slices of pie, along with ice cream donated by Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and Providence Brookside Manor, were sold to spectators who gathered in front of Shortt Supply for the event. Those proceeds also will go to Helping Hands.

Murray also must bake five pies in the next few months to auction off at local civic functions, with the proceeds going to the women’s shelter. Last year’s pie contest winner, Pam Regentin, a potter, donated five hand-made pie plates that will go with Murray’s auctioned pies.

Murray, who had never entered the pie contest before, credits Brian and Karen Shortt with their generosity for hosting the event — and providing the prize money.

“Talk about two wonderful people — they’re very civic-minded and enthusiastic,” she said. “I don’t think you can give them enough credit.”

Murray hasn’t decided what she’ll do with the prize money. “My property tax bill came at almost the exact same time, but everyone said, ‘You can’t spend it on that,’” she said. “I still can’t believe I won it.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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