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Ever since Pam was a little girl she loved to bake. Pam’s creative older sister Joyce would make train cakes inspired by her dad who worked for the railroad. Everyone would get excited about Pam’s sister’s cakes. Following in her sister Joyce’s lead, Pam wanted to make beautiful and delicious cakes too.

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One of Pam’s favorite things about baking is that you can experiment. She will often times try new ingredients and recipes when she bakes. Pam has a passion for creating different pastry and baked items. Her love for experimenting comes from her science background; she holds a master’s in Environmental Science and worked at 3M in their Environmental Lab for 4 years. She tests her new recipes on her husband David, who has no problem being the official taste tester! Lucky him, her new creations are usually “tasty” off the charts! 🙂

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Pam baked her first pie ever after they opened Black Bear Crossings Café and Banquet Center. While visiting her parents, Pam explored her dad’s book collection and stumbled upon an old Farmer’s Almanac cookbook. As she read the cookbook she noticed a sizable collection of pie recipes. Loving to experiment she decided to try out the pie recipes, not knowing she had found the perfect pie crust recipe! The first Thanksgiving that Pam introduced her pies to the customers at Black Bear Crossings she baked nearly 200 pies from scratch!

Pam’s best advice for baking is don’t over think it. Just have fun! Crisco is her favorite ingredient to work with for piecrusts. The one pie she hasn’t mastered is French Silk. According to Pam “me and Chocolate Mousse just don’t get along.”

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Pam’s husband David loves to tell the story of the group of retired U of M home economic instructors that used to meet at the Black Bear Crossings Café. One day, when they were meeting they had some of Pam’s pie. The instructors chatted with David and asked him who made Black Bear Crossing’s pies. David told them it was his wife Pam. Some of those instructors happened to be judges at the Minnesota State Fair! They said it was the best pie they have ever had! They encouraged Pam to enter her pie in the Minnesota State Fair Pie Competition! That was 17 years ago…

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17 years has past since Pam has thought about entering her pies in the Minnesota State Fair and now she is finally entering! This year Pam is entering in all three pie categories: apple, raspberry, creative apple. She wishes they had more varieties. Pam is a little nervous about the competition because everyone expects her to do well. But she has a positive attitude about it; if she doesn’t win she knows there is always next year! But if you have ever tasted any of Pam pies you know she has nothing to worry about! Wish Pam Luck in the 2013 Minnesota State Fair Pie Competition!

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