POTSDAM The Carriage House Bakery was filled with delicious smells and eager eaters Sunday during the Potsdam Food Co-ops annual baking contest.
People were packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the small bakery, lining up to sample the 29 dishes that had been entered, piling up platefuls of pies, cakes and cookies.
It gets the community out, and you get to sample all of these great recipes, said co-op board member Peter S. Brouwer, who volunteered at the event.
Each contestant made two entries, one to be sampled and judged, the other to be offered in a silent auction. All of the proceeds from the auction went to the Potsdam Neighborhood Center.
I think its an amazing turnout of community members to take the time to bake something, said Neighborhood Center Director Daisy J. Cox.
The $800 raised will support seed vouchers, which allow village residents in need to start their own vegetable gardens.
The bake-off and charity auction are a tradition that has lasted 15 years.
This is the place to be this afternoon, said contestant John E. Dewar, who runs Village Veggies farm.
Im a former doctor. Im a vegetable farmer now, he said.
His entry, an apple pie made with plenty of butter and cinnamon, was inspired by his wifes favorite desserts.
I bake my wife an apple pie every October, with apples straight out of the trees, he said.
Although she thought everything was delicious, Russell resident Caitlin P. Hill said her favorite dish was unexpected.
Surprisingly, it was the vegan chocolate mousse, and Im not a vegan, she said.
Everyone who stopped by was given the chance to vote for their favorite entries. When the event ended at 4 p.m. the results were tallied, and winners were determined for each of the four categories.
Everything was really good. Ive cast my vote, but my lips are sealed, said contestant Maliah M. Wright.
Ms. Wrights vegan triple-chocolate mousse was voted the best dish in the special diet category, reserved for foods that were gluten-free, vegan, or that catered to other dietary restrictions.
The mousse also took in the most money of any dish in the silent auction, at $80.
Mr. Dewars cinnamon apple pie won the dessert category. Zena Turners ginger pear cookies were victorious in the cookie category, while Susan Gillons butternut rice pudding was voted the best savory dish.
The winners in each category were awarded a $25 gift card to the co-op.