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Brock: Let me be the judge of that pie

National Pie Day came and went Thursday without nearly the publicity and fanfare such an auspicious day deserves.

Jan. 22 is the official Pie Day and in no way should be confused with national Pi day celebrated on March 14, which is the Greek sign for mathematics and — judging by the state of the economy of Greece lately — probably doesn’t deserve its own special day.

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According to the American Pie Council, which until Thursday I had no idea existed, “It’s not just a dessert, it’s a tradition. Throughout our lives it’s always been there, like family and friends. It doesn’t matter if it is apple, cherry or chocolate cream. It makes the time we spend the together a little sweeter. Pie. Grab a slice of life.”

No truer words were ever written, because homemade pie is the best dessert known to mankind.

The key word is homemade, which means from scratch — both crust and filling. Once you have homemade pie, those bought at most supermarkets or restaurants is like giving a starving dog a rubber bone. Pie makers are, in this man’s opinion, real artists that put Picasso and Rembrandt to shame. I have been blessed to have known a few in my life.

Most — but not all — were women, beginning with Mom, whose sweet potato pie has yet to be topped despite me sampling all on those rare occasions where I see it on a menu. Now that she is baking for her maker, odds are it never will be bested. My favorite type of pie from my artist mother-in-law is anything she makes, including some I had never heard of before I married her daughter like raisin nut, rhubarb and huckleberry.

My daughter is doing a pie apprenticeship under her grandma that is progressing nicely.

This year’s Thanksgiving dinner pumpkin was a blessing. My friend, Carol from Montana, made a sour cream coconut and my buddy, Clark, makes a rhubarb cream. Both were too good to share without my sophisticated palate.

After 50-plus years of sampling (i.e. gorging) pie, I believe myself somewhat of an expert on what makes a great pie. So, as my way of thinking of others first and my desire to give back, I would like to offer my services as a pie judge.

No need to pay me, nor is any contest too big or small. Just one slice at the time for anyone who wants the Harvey Brock vote of approval.

We can start today. No need to wait for the next National Pie Day on Jan. 22, 2015.

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at