Lana Miller accepts a $300 Sobeys gift card on behalf of her father Lance, who won first place in the contest with his mother’s Pineapple Slice recipe. Prizes were also issued for 2nd and 3rd place. – Lucie Roy Photos
by Lucie Roy
Morinville – A local senior has taken first place in Sobeys Morinville’s Annual Christmas Baking Contest. Miller’s pineapple slice recipe won the judges’ favour Saturday afternoon and earned the local baker a $300 prize.
In his mid-60s, Lance Miller’s baking hobby became a passion 13 years ago after recovering from a stroke. Miller enjoys baking. “It is his passion now, and this is his first time in entering a contest,” said his daughter Lana Miller, adding her father cooks other things as well but has a fondness for baking and a sweet tooth. His mother’s recipe is what Mr. Miller created for the contest, a recipe that has been around for a long time. “He will be thrilled he won and it is a great tribute to his Mom,” daughter Lana said, adding she brought two baking dishes for the contest: the pineapple slice recipe on behalf of her father Lance, and a plate of chocolate brownies from her mother, Arlette Miller. Lance’s entry came in first place. Second place went to Alicia Kennedy with her Gingerbread Cheesecake Squares with egg nog and whipped cream. Third place went to Cassandra Francis for her Star Light Lemon Squares, and Honourable Mention went to Kari Hauer with her Turtle Bars. The first place prize was a $300 Morinville Sobeys gift card, $200 for second place and $100 for third. Other entries included Caramel and Apple Squares, Chocolate Brownies, Rocky Mountain Bars and Whisky Pecan Squares.
Mayor Lisa Holmes, Councillor Stephen Dafoe and Fire Chief Ron Cust judged the entries, which were down from last year’s record of 42. Morinville Sobeys franchise owner Stuart Trenchard said weather, time of year, and the many other activities taking place this weekend were likely factors in fewer entries.
Despite fewer entries this year, the competition was fierce. Judging went into deliberations and a second taste to determine second and third place. “It was very close,” said Mayor Holmes as the judges were making their final decisions.
Lance Miller’s family Pineapple Slice recipe
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup hard margarine, softened
– 1 1/2 cup Compliments Flour
– 3/4 cup icing sugar
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix as per pie crust and spread in a 9 by 12 inch, greased baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until light brown.
Topping: Mix the following in medium bowl
– 398 ml Compliments crushed pineapple using the liquid.
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1/2 cup Compliments maraschino cherries usinf the juice.
Cook above ingredients in microwave at full power for 1 1/2 minute at a time for approximately six times.
Heat mixture one more after mixture thickens and stir after each 1 1/2 minute.
Add 1 teaspoon almond flavouring [and food colouring if desired]
Spread on base while mixture is hot and top with meringue made with 3 egg whites, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of shredded coconut. Then brown meringue slightly.