Thursday, April 29, 2010

What will Foodies be doing this weekend?

If you're near Dover, Ohio on Apr. 30 or May 1, you can enjoy the Dandelion May Fest and Great Dandelion Cookoff. Mixed in among all the run-of-the mill festival events at the Breitenbach Winery there will be dandelion wine tastings, cellar tours, musical entertainment and you can even buy dandelion soap at the Dandelion Arts and Crafts Show. The kids can participate in a dandelion picking contest and make their own dandelion jelly while they are there. The 17th Annual Great Dandelion Cookoff will feature locals creating innovative dandelion dishes while vying for a $500 prize. Sampling will take place after the judging.

How many crawfish can you gobble down quickly? You can enter a Crawfish Eating Contest on Apr.30 and May 1 at the 26th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival in Pensacola, Florida and follow it up with some stomping around the dance floor to authentic swamp, pop, cajun and zydeco music. Tht is, after you've watched the famous NASCRAW Races where the crawfish themselves compete.

They're also celebrating the Crawfish in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana this weekend at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. You've got 45 minutes to eat your fill of crawfish at this eating contest. Volume is measured in weight of crawfish consumed. Proctors stand watch to assure the crawfish are properly and completely eaten. There are also Cajun dancing lessons and contests, Cajun cooking demonstrations and more crawfish races. When they shout "ils sont partis," the numered crawfish race to reach the finish line of an 8" circular target. Their registered owners shout and loudly cheer the crustaceans along. Crawfish prepared in every way imaginable - boiled, fried, in etouffee, bisque, boudin, pie, jambalaya and even as crawdogs - will be available. There will be a Crawfish Etouffee Cookoff where great taste and showmanship help crown the Cookoff Champion. Samples are available after judging.

Prefer maple syrup to crawfish? Then check out the 44th Annual Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans, Vermont for all things maple. Watch them crown the Maple King and Queen, see maple cooking demonstrations. try various maple products , buy the latest edition of the Vermont Maple Festival Cookbook, tour sugarhouses and chat with sugarmakers. Attend the Maple Buffet featuring a maple ham menu and fill up on foods with a maple emphasis. There's a Maple Products Contest where locals compete in categories including sugar cakes, maple cream, maple granulated sugar and pure maple fudge. Then there's the Maple Syrup Contest (kind of self-explanatory).

Maybe you're more into fungus? If so, you should wend your way to Richmond, Missouri (The Mushroom Capital of the World) to attend the 29th Annual Mushroom Festival. Here they'll crown Little Miss and Mr. Mushroom (a title to make any Mom proud!), throw in all the normal festival events and lots of food made with mushrooms. Check out the entries in the Largest Morel Contest or get a workout by running in the 5K FuNgus Run.

Back in the North East, the Annual New England Regional Chili Cookoff will take place in Somers, CT on May 1. Sanctioned by the ICS (International Chili Society), this is the biggest chili competition in the area, drawing 3,000-5,000 folks annually. It's the 5th largest event of its kind in the world!! There's an admission of $5 + 2 cans of food for a local food bank. Over the past few years, they have raised $47,000 an collected 4 tons of canned goods for this worthy cause. Chile cooks will compete in three categories (red, green and salsa) for $3,200.00 in prize money and bragging rights. There's also a People's Choice Award where participants pay a small fee and are given three beads to vote with as they sample various competitors' products. The cook with the most beads in the end wins this special category. Additional events at this competition include a Chicken Wing Eating Contest and a Hot Pepper Eating Contest.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm in a chocolate kind of mood...

Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité - Tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you. In this village, if you saw something you weren't supposed to see, you learned to look the other way. If perchance your hopes had been disappointed, you learned never to ask for more. So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North..."And so begins the movie, Chocolat.

If you've never caught this one, you've missed a fantastic performance by Juliette Binoche and a very sexy Johnny Depp as her gypsy love interest. I just find this to be one of the best feel good movies around so when I saw it in the late night listings after all others in this house turned in, I had to tune in.

Only problem is, now I'm in a chocolate kind of mood. I sat here digging through my recipe collection while watching the movie, trying to find just the right, chocolatey, quickie item that I could whip right up. I settled for throwing a box of brownies together during commercials. After all, I don't want to be up ALL night!!

The boys should be happy in the morning when they meander into the kitchen and find this surprise. I don't get up until after they leave in the morning as they are up and out long before 6! (For those who are now really concerned about our household, let me clarify. They are grown men, not children. They do much better without my interference in the morning.)

Now that I've put chocolate into your mind, too, let me share a few great chocolate quotes.

  • In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then, he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.
  • I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process. It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?
  • Exercise is a dirty word...Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate!
  • I don't eat candy bars with nuts in them. Nuts just take up space where chocolate ought to be.
  • "All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!" - Lucy Van Pelt

I'll leave you with this one piece of advice:

Put "EAT CHOCOLATE" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Chocolate dreams, y'all!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feelin Crabby (Steamed crabby, that is!)

It’s crab season on the Chesapeake!
From April until late November, Marylanders can enjoy “local” crabs.

Blue crabs are harvested up and down the Atlantic Coast, on the Gulf and even in some areas of the Pacific Coast and the salinity level of the waters they come from determine their exact flavor. Those of us raised along the Bay will quickly tell you, local crabs taste better. It’s not just the freshness factor. Local crabs tend to be tastier with sweeter and more full-bodied flavor. This is attributed to the brackish waters of the Chesapeake. The meat from local crabs also tends to be of a brighter white color. Us Marylanders (and our neighbors in Delaware and Virginia) prefer our crabs steamed “the Chesapeake way" , not boiled as found in the Deep South, Louisiana and Texas.

Most of us around here grew up steaming crabs at home but we also truly appreciate a good old neighborhood “crab house.” An old fashioned crab house is not fancy. You don’t go there for the aesthetic factor but for the great crabs they serve. Most have basic wooden tables generally covered in brown paper cut from a large roll or even layers of newspapers. Your utensils consist of a wooden mallet and a sharp paring knife. Crabs are meant to be eaten by hand. Your table will include a roll of paper towels in most cases. Expect to get dirty. Crabs are for casual eating. Don’t dress up. You’ll regret wearing white, so don’t. You may want to remove good rings although I’ve simply learned to scrub mine well along with my hands when the meal is done.

The beverage of choice in most crab houses is beer, usually draft. For non-drinkers, it tends to be iced tea or soda pop. Most crab houses serve these drinks by the pitcher. Crab eating makes you thirsty!!
“Going out for crabs” is more than just dining out. Crabs are a social event. At the height of the season, your crab house experience will include fresh corn on the cob (also usually steamed not boiled) and a big screen T.V. featuring a baseball game. (We’re gluttons for punishment and still stand by the Orioles.) Folks at one table chat with those at the next just as if they were great friends. They feel free to yell at the pitcher or outfielder. While we may not know our fellow diners names, we know their faces. Crab houses tend to have a lot of regulars. They also tend to close completely in the off season. Many are not heated, well-insulated buildings. When I was young, they tended to be glorified pavilions with screen walls and picnic tables.

Our crab house opened for the season on Thursday. We were there on Saturday and felt like we’d just returned home. Our waitress greeted us with hug. We hadn’t seen her since they closed in November. We asked about her family she asked about ours. She knew our beverage choice and put it on the table without our even asking. She knew we would want an order of fries with our crabs. It’s our version of Cheers! Where they know our names and are always glad we came. That’s why we go back, week after week.

When in the Chesapeake Bay area, be sure to find a good old fashioned crab house and sit down and try a dozen. That’s how you order them, by the dozen (or by the bushel if you’re really hungry!) Don’t go based on the billboards or ads. Ask a local where they go and then follow them.

Don’t know how to pick a crab? The server will always be able to give you a quick tutorial and the folks at the next table will usually be more than happy to show you “their” method. Go on, give it a try!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bret Michaels and the Diabetes connection...

While not really food related, I want to ask all of my readers to keep Bret Michaels in mind as he deals with the effects of a major brain hemorrhage tonight.

Whether you know Bret from his music, his VH1 show or his current stint on Celebrity Apprentice, you should realize he is an extremely talented guy and very passionate about his causes. Bret is a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at the age of 6, and has long helped keep the issue of juvenile diabetes in the public eye. It is not yet known if his current situation is a result of his diabetes, recent surgery or just one of those things that occurs in our lives. In any case, the situation and his anticipated recovery are definitely impacted by the disease.

As we should all know, diabetes, in either form, is definitely a food-related issue. Most of us have family members who have dealt with Type 2 diabetes over the years and it is something you must be vigilant about. As Foodies, We should make ourselves aware of the disease. Know it's symptoms. If dealing with this disease, you should be well-versed with regard to the dietary guidelines for dealing with it. If you need medication to control the situation, be diligent in that area. It is a verr serious condition and can be devastating in it's impact on your life.

If you are so inclined, you can show your support for Bret by making a donation to the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food Festivals are EVERYWHERE this weekend!!!

Seems wherever you live, there should be a food festival taking place nearby this week. I've touched on just a few here and noted their most unique events but most include musical entertainment, parades, rides, arts & crafts, car shows and more. Go to their individual websites for more details and time schedules.

Have you ever really considered how much deep fried asparagus you could eat
in one 10 minute session? I mean, if you really really put some effort into it or, like, if you could win $1500? (That factors out to $9,000 an hour. Not bad pay if you can get it!)

Well, if you aren't already registered for the World's Deep Fried Asparagus Eating Championship on Saturday, this isn't your year to find out. That's right. The field is full and new entries are closed.

Last year, local food hero, Joey Chestnut, lost the title he held for four years to a protege, Patrick Bertoletti, who managed to down 7 lbs. 5.81 oz. while Joey was only able to do in 7 lb. 2.81 oz. Both are members of the IFOCE (International Federation Of Competitive Eaters) and hold numerous titles. You may have seen them compete in the Nathan's Hot Dog contest last July 4th on ESPN.

This contest is only one of the events taking place at the 25th Annual Stockton Asparagus Festival in Stockton, CA this weekend, Apr. 23-25. There are also the run of the mill festival events and a 5K (the Spear It Run), Spear Its of the Valley (local wines and such), a Celebrity Kitchen, recipe contests and more.

Prefer your green food to be in pickle form? Then you need to head for the 24th Annual North Carolina Pickle Fest in Mt. Olive, NC taking place Apr. 22-24. Eat some pickles. Have some fun. Some of the notable events at this festival include a Pickleball Tournament, a student Pickle Art Contest and a Tickled Pickle Poetry contest.

Or, you could check out the 18th Annual Crawfish Festival in Biloxi, Mississippi, Apr. 22-25. Visitors can purchase a $10 tasting ticket and sample dishes from numerous restaurants and cook teams and vote for the People's Choice Award. Over 20,000 Cajun mudbugs will be served at this gathering and ther will be a Crawfish Cookoff where over 18 local teams will compete for the coveted Budweiser trophy and a cash prize. This event is held over 2 weekends, so you can still make the trek next week, too.

Back on the East Coast, we have the 33rd Annual Vidalia Onion Festival in Vidalia, Georgia, Apr. 22-25. In addition to a Miss Vidalia Onion Pageant, one can enter an Onion Eating Contest, watch a Vidalia Chef Team Competition, an Onion Cook-Off Tasting, a Vidalia Onion Recipe Contest, and so much more. There's even some "onion entertainment," featuring Mark Ballard presenting the Vidalia Onion Culinary Experience of a demo of culinary expertise, wit and comedy about the vidalia onion.

Full yet?

No? Then truc
k on down to Celebration, Florida, for The Great American Pie Festival, Apr. 24-25. Hundreds of pie bakers from all over the country will compete in pie making at several levels - jr., amateur, and professional. There will be pie-making demos, PieCasso art, Pie Eating Contests, and a never-ending pie buffet.

They'll be selli
ng slices off of a 200 lb. fruit pie to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Crisco Kid's Creation Station will have children making their own pies, and they can participate in pie decorating, pie scraping and pie tin art. There will be a Pietopia demonstration on stage.

Feeling really adventuresome?

Check out the 8th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam in Waikiki, Hawaii on Apr. 24th. It's a street festival to celebrate Hawaii's love for Spam. Hawaiians consume more Spam per capita than any other state. Almost 7 million cans of Spam are eaten in Hawaii each year. This is one of Honolulu's most popular festivals. Spam themed souvenirs are for sale and stands throughout the festival will collect cans of Spam to go to the Hawaiian Food Bank. Check out the website for Spam recipes that share the taste of the Islands.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Truffles? Not for me, thank you!

I must be missing something. There was one of those cooking competition shows on tonight and the judges went on and on about how much polish was given to the dish simply by using a few black truffles for garnish and by making a truffle sauce to drizzle over the meat. That dish was a winner. I just don't get it. What's the great appeal of a truffle? (We're not talking the candy variety here, folks.)

I guess I’m just not sophisticated enough but after my one and only run-in with truffles (Again, I’m not talking chocolates!) - I just don’t understand their mystique.

Some years back, The Big Guy's sister was in town for a visit with the family and we decided to go out for a special dinner at Tio Pepe’s, a popular and classy Spanish-themed restaurant in Baltimore. The Big Guy and both sister-in-laws all ordered familiar dishes but I thought one of the specials sounded good - veal stuffed with black truffles, with a truffle sauce and truffled mashed potatoes. I LOVE veal but I had no idea what a truffle actually was. My brother-in-law had also been considering the same dish but also had never had truffles.

I did ask what a truffle was. Brother-in-law authoritatively told me they were “the things pigs dig up in the French countryside.” I’m never sure when he's is putting me on and I often unconsciously play his straight man. He can be convincing. He did know what he was talking about that night but I don’t think he went far enough. I assumed it was a root vegetable like a potato or beet. Nobody mentioned it is basically a “fungus.” (I’m not a mushroom person either.) He simply asked me, “If Tio’s serves it, how bad could it be?

When our dinners came - I was very disappointed. I thought the taste was awful and the only word I could come up with was “pungent.” Of course, the entire plate was permeated with truffles! I nibbled here and there and finally managed to down about half of my meal. At that point, Brother-in-law, also unhappy with the taste, had not eaten ANY of his meal. he called the waiter over and adamantly declared them the “WORST truffles I have ever eaten!!” (Remember, he’d never eaten any truffles before.)

The waiter apologized profusely, immediately took his plate, and brought him another meal of his choosing. I had suffered in silence and was grateful for my sister-in-law having shared her green beans with me! They were delicious. (It's kind of hard to return a meal you've already eaten half of! )

I learned something that night, the squeaky wheel really does get the oil - or at least the best meal cooked in a fantastic oil! ? (My Brother-in-law had a great meal that night.)

The second thing I learned, was to only order foods you really can identify. Even if you've never had it before, it should be something you at least know something about!

Hope y'all have a chance to have a good meal this week. (Even if you do eat and like truffles!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Bye, FatMan and Catfish Frying and Racing in Tennessee

Good Bye, FatMan !
For those of you who may have followed or occasionally read Fat Man Seoul, a blog about a Foodie's journey through Korean cuisine, it should come as sad news that FatMan ended his Korean saga with Saturday's blog post. He is moving on, leaving Korea, and setting off on new adventures. At this time, he has no plans for a new blog.

I always liked (and identified with) this statement from FatMan's "About Me" blurb:

"Some people eat to live. some live to eat. I belong to the latter, and it shows . . . at all the anatomically wrong places !"

We will miss you, FatMan.

Interested in the food of Korea? You can still read old posts of Fat Man Seoul here until next year.

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Perhaps FatMan is on his way to Paris, Tennessee, in my quest to bring you news of Food Events from across the nation (maybe even the world), I've found we've already missed the first day of The World's Largest Fish Fry , held there every April. There's still plenty of time to enjoy this event, though, as it continues through Sunday.

Dating back to 1961 when the Jaycees took over the one-day Fish Fry from the Chamber of Commerce, the event has grown to an entire week and includes a myriad of activities. In addition to a daily $10 all-you-can-eat meal in the Fish Tent, there's a carnival, a cowboy rodeo, arts & crafts show, Grand Parade and, later, a Small Fry Parade and fishing rodeo for the kids. The two most noted events, however, are the Hushpuppy Eating Contest and the Catfish Races.

The winner of the Hushpuppy Eating Contest is the person (18 or over) who eats the most hushpuppies in 3 minutes or who is the first to finish the allotted 30 hushpuppies. When finished, they must stand up and clearly shout "Done" to prove their mouth is empty. The official application for the contest specifically states no "yupping, or otherwise losing the contents of one's stomach" is not allowed (Duh!!!) and will be grounds for disqualification.

The most noted event is the "Catfish Races" which are preceded by the spectacle of "tall tales storytelling." Sponsors of each fish in the races vies for honors by telling a tall tale of how their fish came to be considered for the race or how their fish was named. The wilder the tale, the more likely they are to win a plaque proclaiming their storytelling prowess, a gift certificate from a local merchant and bragging rights as a storyteller. Anyone can sponsor a fish for $25 and one can elect to have a handler or wrangle their entry themselves. Either way, these fish will NOT be part of dinner in the Fish Tent. A side business of selling caps, T-shirts and aprons specific to the race has sprung up in recent years and business sponsors have even been known to field cheerleading teams for their fish!

By the end of the Fish Fry on Sunday, over 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) of fish will have been served and over 100,000 folks will have visited some area of the festival.

Monday, April 19, 2010

“Nothing like smoked pig in the morning!”

We stood there, at the edge of the field, Saturday morning and inhaled deeply. Ummm, ummm, ummm! The air was filled with wood smoke - a whiff of hickory there, a tinge of mesquite from the left, a hint of apple wood and, yes, the subtle nuance of cherry floating by from another direction. Oh, what a beautiful morning!!

This was the 7th Annual Pork in the Park BBQ Competition in Salisbury, Maryland this past weekend. A Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event, this competition featured 134 cook teams and is the second largest KCBS State competition in the country. For many teams, this was the first event of 2010 and they were ready and raring to cook their best. A contest this size needs at least 160 judges and, in an amazing organizational feat, judges of the four official KCBS categories were 100% Certified.

At 7:30 a.m., Whole Hog judging was just two hours away and we were there as Pig Police, Pork Cops or Pig Patrol. Pick a title. The name varies from contest to contest but the job’s the same. We observe the preparation of each team’s Whole Hog contest entry from the smoker to the turn-in table.

When competing in whole hog, a cook team must cook the hog in one piece and then submit samples of five specific cuts. (Specific lists of cuts vary slightly from contest to contest.) All samples must come from that one pig. It takes skill to be able to cook all areas to perfection. If the loin is perfect, the shoulder may not be quite done and the ribs could be dry.

You must also be able to cut with precision to obtain six comparable samples of each of those five cuts. (All judging is done using six samples.) Whole Hog competitions are not the place to start your competitive career. (This is not to say newbies haven’t tried. A few have even been quite successful.)

The team I observed this time is a young team in terms of competing. They have only tried a few contests and this was their first whole hog. It was an all round learning experience but they stuck with it and turned in a very reputable entry.

As Pig Police, we did not judge the Whole Hog category. A separate batch of judges had that pleasure. In an exit poll, we found most were very pleased with the quality of all of the entries.

At noon, judging of the official KCBS categories of chicken, ribs, pork and brisket began. ALL KCBS contests must include these four categories and they are judged in that order. All other categories such as Whole Hog, and the Friday events for Anything Butt (Chef’s choice) and Seafood, are optional for the cook teams. Specific guidelines for those competitions are determined by the event organizers and not by KCBS. The four official categories are strictly regulated by KCBS and are judged exactly alike, whether here on the East Coast, in the Mid-West or even in California. (The same rules are applied to contests held in Germany, Ireland and other overseas KCBS events.) Only these four scores are used to determine Grand Champion and for national rankings. I did, personally, judge the KCBS categories as well as Friday’s events.

We spent the next two hours, viewing and tasting the entries in the chicken, ribs, pork and brisket competitions. ALL KCBS judging is blind judging, meaning we have no way of knowing whose entries we are tasting. Teams are given number codes before submission which are changed again at the turn-in table. Even after judging, we cannot find out whose food we tasted no matter why we might want to know. All samples in a category are first graded on appearance. Then samples are distributed and graded on taste and texture. Each table of six judges judge the entries of six teams.

Each sample is graded separately on a scale from 2 to 9 with 6 being “average”. A 2 denotes “inedible” and a 9 is “outstanding“. Scores are then tallied and ranked using a computer program. There is a tie-breaker system in place. Cash awards and trophies are awarded in each separate category and for the overall winning teams (Grand Champion) with the highest total scores. Total numerical scores are kept by KCBS to determine the top team of the year, announced at the American Royal in Kansas City in October.

I can say I think this may have been the best overall selection I’ve had in a long time. All of the chicken samples I judged were above average or excellent, however, none were outstanding in my opinion. Only one rib was not of excellent or outstanding quality among the samples at my table. I would have been happy with a rack of any one of those entries. Only one pork sample was disappointing and only one slice of brisket was tough.

Just for the record, we do not eat the entire sampling at that seating. Two maybe three bites of each sample is enough to score with. We bag up our half-eaten leftovers and carry them home for some excellent leftovers. I’ve only met one judge that has eaten everything presented to him at a judging session - easily over 2 pounds of meat!! This is why we, personally, do not judge Whole Hog on the same day as regular judging. I believe I would explode even using a 1 bite system!

Over the years, I have become a whiz at “recreating” with the left-overs. Pork enchiladas are on tomorrow’s menu.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Are you a FOODIE, too?

I'm a FOODIE ! I hang out with other foodies, too.

This is the crowd I was with this weekend.A crowd of 165 or so Certified BBQ judges gathered
for the 2010 Pork In The Park BBQ competition and I was,
as usual, among them.

So, what exactly IS a "FOODIE" ?

We are folks who enjoy food with all of our senses. We love to eat it, of course, but we also study it, talk about it, read about all kinds of foods, prepare it and experiment with different flavors, cooking methods and presentations and such. We follow food news, trends and fads. New restaurants catch our attention. We watch food oriented TV shows, films and documentaries, often while paging through a culinary magazine or book. You'll find us at food festivals, wine tastings, brewery tours, cooking demonstrations and competitions - anywhere other food aficionados gather. We are quite literally obsessed with all things culinary, and we're not searching for a cure.

That's how I see the direction of this blog - an information and discussion outlet for all things culinary. If it has to do with food, it will be fair game for this site!

I hope you'll join us for this magical mystery tour through all things edible !!!

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I guess you're wondering just who I am.

For over twenty years, my husband was the chief cook in our house. I've always liked to cook but he's the one who had time on week nights. He got home hours before me and was literally chomping at the bit by the time I came in each evening. He always says he learned to cook in self defense - he was hungry!!

His skill and expertise came as quite a surprise even to him. While he started out doing simple meals, he quickly learned to add a spice or two or to try a different preparation method. He gleaned tips from the Food Network and felt a kindred spirit with Rachael Ray. (They both like fast meals.)

When I stopped working in the legal field and became a housewife (by choice) a few years ago, I took over the daily cooking. (He now claims to have forgotten how.) I'm not a big fan of measuring cups and tend to just throw a "splash of this" or a "splish of that" into my dishes (Yes, there IS a difference between a "splish" and a "splash" .) and so, evolved the name of this blog!

Sneak Peeks at things to come...

In the first year I was at home, I put together a 250 page family cookbook featuring recipes from 5 generations on both sides of our families. I tried to make it a very special publication by including family stories (about food), essays about those family cooks before us who are no longer with us and those I called the "Cooking Divas" who are still with us today. I included loads of old and new family photos, humorous cooking quotes and anecdotes and even some food-oriented cartoons. I used a basic word processing system and printed all 36 copies on our little old home printer. I'm planning to get started on a supplement in the near future. I think every family deserves a journal of this sort and encourage all of you to record those recipes for posterity in one form or another. In the weeks and months to come, I'll bring you stories of other families' efforts in this endeavor and give you some guidelines for producing one of your own.

As mentioned above, I am a Certified Judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society. My husband and I are part of a hearty and brave troop of happy eaters who trudge from one competition to the next where we are forced to sample some of the best slow-cooked, wood smoked meat known to mankind. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. In the next few days, I'll tell you a bit about the very special world of competitive barbecuing. Later, I'll bring you some interviews with some of the cook teams and maybe even convince some of them to share a guest blog with us.

I am part of the Etsy world (an online marketplace) and have discovered some fantastic craftspeople there that do crafts related to or inspired by food. I'm working on some feature articles about some of these folks and their fantastic creations.

Of course, there is news of food festivals and events coming this way, too!

There's a lot more, too - book reviews, recipes, food trivia, and more...

Y'all come back now, ye'hear!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We're not ready!!!!


This is the new home of Ramblin Mama's culinary adventures. Right now, we're still in the drafting stages and it may take us a week or two, but we'll get there (eventually)!! Watch my other blog, Random Splashes of Thought, for news of our grand opening here.