Aug 19, 2022 - Food and Drink

Marcia Miller: Des Moines' blue-ribbon neighbor

A photo of pies.
A few of Marcia Miller’s winning entries from this year. Photo courtesy of Miller

My neighbor Marcia Miller is one of the state fair's annual culinary champs.

  • She's been entering the competitions since 2000 and has, for years, labeled and given me samples after they've been judged.

State of play: This year she has 39 food entries — pies, cookies and cake. And I've scored a taste of nearly all of them.

  • On Monday, she won first place in seven pie categories.
  • Miller's sour cream raisin meringue — my personal favorite — won in the overall cream pie competition.

Her secret: Persistence.

  • The recipes are perfected over multiple tries. Some are years in the making.

1 eye opening thing to go: The judges can serve a cold slice of reality.

  • Miller was the only entry in a "cake roll" category in 2016 and was awarded third place.
  • "Clearly, my entry wasn't quite ready for the state fair level of competition," she told me.

Check out the winners: Elwell Family Food Center

  • 9am-8pm through Sunday.
A photo of pie.
Score: One of multiple samples of pie Jason got to try. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axio
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