Duncan… The Magazine Winter 2018 - Page 12

Schacht sinks teeth into success after announced first man to fill ‘greatest baker’ apron By Charlene Belew Finding a crust above the rest and a filling almost as good as gold is what it takes to make the best pie. Nate Schacht, Duncan’s Community Development Director, found the best combinations throughout his years in the kitchen with his mother and was rewarded with the “best baker” apron and bragging rights as the first ever male “Best Pie Maker.” “Ever since I was a little kid I was fascinated with baking and cooking. I guess you could say I just loved to eat,” Schacht said. “I can remember hovering around the kitchen anytime mom would be making a meal or a tasty dessert – my favorite is her homemade apple pie!” Most of his time in the kitchen in his younger years happened during Thanksgiving and Christmas. “During the holiday seasons was the best time to be in the house,” Schacht said. “The smell of pies, cookies and home cooked meals just made the house feel so warm and welcoming.  And it was also the time where we would all gather as a family 12 DUNCAN MAGAZINE | to prepare candies and cookies for all our neighbors – it was a Christmas tradition to make these sweets and I would deliver them while wishing them all a Merry Christmas.” As Schacht grew older, he found himself asking his mother for some of her recipes so he could get into the kitchen himself. He says it helped him, in a way, remember his late father. “I will be the first to admit, my meals never turned out as good as when mom would prepare them,” Schacht said. “I guess that secret ingredient was love! I never let that slow me down though in my own kitchen. It gave me an opportunity to try new things, experiment a little, which today leaves me with a smile because my dad was a high school chemistry teacher and the idea of experimenting in my kitchen allows me to remember the great times we had together while he was still alive. So cooking and baking for me is a bit like meditation for others. I find it very relaxing.” Schacht, who hales from Indiana, began working at the Director of Community Development in 2016. During his years before this, as he integrated into the area of Duncan, Schacht made many friends, including WINTER 2018 now councilman Mike Nelson. “Dr. Mike Nelson approached me early on and asked if I liked pies. Thinking at first he was offering me a pie to enjoy I quickly found out he had a bigger plan in mind,” Schacht said. “He explained to me that the Stephens County Fair has a pie contest and thought it would be a great way for me, as the ‘new kid’ to the area to meet some new people, so I took advantage of this opportunity and made my brother’s favorite – a Purple Pie.” The Purple Pie, Schacht says, is a mix of cream cheese, blueberry pie filling, lemonade concentrate, condensed milk and cool whip in a graham cracker crust. “The look on the faces of the fearless judges my first year (2016) was pretty funny because they are all looking at this purple ‘thing’ sitting in front of them,” Schacht said. “It seemed like 20 minutes went by before one was brave enough to give it a try – and they liked it enough to award me a third place ribbon for the ‘other’ category!” The next year, Schacht wanted to bring something to the table that brought his home state with it. “In 2017, I entered the famous Indiana Sugar Cream Pie. Sugar Cream