The fair features plenty of competitions and plenty of good food
Food competitions in the Home Economics Building at the Missouri State Fair got off to a “grape” start Thursday morning with a wine cooking competition.
The Missouri Wine and Grape Board’s Cooking with Missouri Wine contest brought in a wide variety of entries. I found enchiladas, lasagna, waffles, chocolate cake, pancakes, sorbet and beef stew.
“We have 13 entries this year,” said Helene Wolf, contest coordinator. “It’s more than doubled” since last year.
Danene Beedle, marketing director of the Missouri Wine and Grape board, said, “I think people are excited about Missouri wines. Last year, we had a pretty normal start, but we have expanded this year.”
Judges for the contest looked for presentation, the creative use of Missouri wine and taste. Tami Walk, of Sedalia, took first place for her mushroom and artichoke lasagna made with es Bourgeois Solay 2010, while Barbara Clark, of Kahoka,took second for her strawberry Arnaud made with St. James velvet red. Coming in third was Sedalian Faye Hunton for her cherry chocolate cake made with St. James cherry wine.
Meeting the contestants and sampling their entries is always a bonus while coving these events. Another contest I enjoyed was the Superintendent’s Adult/Child Pie competition where I met 14-year-old Grace Black, of Lawson. Grace entered a blue raspberry pie with her grandmother, Cynthia Brunz. Her 12-year-old sister, Geena Black, entered a rhubarb-strawberry pie with their mother, Jennifer. Neither won this year, but they let me sample their pies. Delicious!
Taking first place this year was Blayne Vogel, 18, and his mother, Kim, of Marshall, for their fresh berry pie made with blue raspberries and cherries. Second place went to Sarah Myers, 13, and Hunton for their berry berry cherry pie.
Abbey Widick, 14, took third place along with Kay Appleberry for her marvelous Missouri raspberry pie.
More men participated in contests this year. I met James Deutch, of Marshall, who entered the Fleischmann’s Yeast Bake for the Cure contest. Deutch won first place for his sourdough cherry rose rolls.
He said his mother, who taught him to cook and bake, died from breast cancer. His rolls were a tribute to her.
“We make them about every other week. My daughter adores them,” he said.
Second place went to Carol Brewer, of Harrisonville, for her cherry-go-round celebration cake. Her tasty bread was topped with a paper heart and pink ribbon listing women’s names.
“It’s to celebrate all the people in our family who has survived cancer,” she said.
Third place went to Pam Steen, of Oak Grove, for her nutmeg twist out of cancer orange glaze rolls.
I think my favorite contest so far was the new heirloom recipe competition. Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance Family Heirloom Recipes Competition called for not only a family recipe no later than 1950 but a “brief story” about the person who passed down the recipe.
Taking first place was Army Capt. Brenda Bustillos, of Crocker, for her grandmother, Consuelo Bustillos’ recipe of pork-chile tamales with tomatillo salsa verde.
In her essay she writes: “My abuelita (grandmother) harvested all her corn — and still does — by hand. The dried product was destined to create one of her many fabulous corn-based creations. The traditions and sensory influences passed down by my abuelita, and the women before her, will continue to live in our hearts, minds and bellies for generations to come.”
Bustillos said her grandmother still grinds corn and chiles in a volcanic rock molcajete.
Maxine Griggs, of Sedalia, placed second with her mother’s bread pudding recipe, and Barbara Clark, of Kahoka, took third with her husband’s grandmother’s recipe for lemon blackberry cake.
The contest I thought the most fun was the Missouri Conservation Agents Wild Game and Fish competition. Sage Harlan entered a foot tall, three-pound, 30-point buck burger decked out with lettuce, cheddar and provolone cheese, ham and tomato — held in place with a hunting knife.
Harlan won third place, while Rodney Carr, of St. Louis, won second for his “Venturbit.”
Carr’s dish, composed of venison loin and turkey wrapped around rabbit sausage with dressing tucked below, was served with a cranberry relish.
“I’m so excited. I’m back in the winners’ circle!” Carr said. “I’ve been out for three years!”
Carr shot the deer and rabbit, and his brother shot the turkey. To make the dish, he marinated the meat for five days, then rolled it around the sausage and baked it “slow and low.” He created his relish with cranberries, figs, orange juice and oranges.
Laura McDougal, of Preston, took first for her crappie pizza made with peppers from her garden, yellow tomatoes and fried crappie with white sauce.Ř‡
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