Thursday, November 18, 2010

What sounds good this weekend?

Some of the more unique events around this weekend include darting turkeys, pecans and a Jewish food festival.

The Annual Dart the Turkey & Dessert Baking Contest in Clearfield City, Utah takes place Friday evening where darting begins at 6:30 p.m. This is quite a variation on the turkey shoots I've attended here on the East Coast. I've seen both guns and bows used but never darts!

Apparently the dart shoots include classes of competitors as young as 6 years of age! Targets can be purchased for 25 cents each and winners of each age category win a free turkey.

I'm guessing the companion dessert competition draws just as much (if not more) interest! Now in it's 21st year, this part of the competition will accept entries from 6:45 to 7 p.m. with judging beginning at 7:15. Categories include Best Pie, Best Cake, Best Dish, Best Cookie, Best Candy, Best Student and a new category this year - "Best Cooking Light Recipe." That last one is, oh so important, when competing in a dessert category!!

Do you think my KCBS BBQ judge credentials will get me a seat at the judging table here?

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Then there's the Pecan Fest in Chetopa, Kansas. among the events here are all day musical entertainmant, a 5K run, a talent show, arts & crafts show, quilt display, car show and inflatable games (?) !! For us Foodies, the day begins with a Pancake and Sausage Breakfast at the Masonic Lodge and features an All-You-Can-Eat Smorgasboard Luncheon for just $6. (Desserts will be sold separately.) They warn attendees to "come on time! We'll seve until the food is gone!" Tickets for this go on sale at 10:30 a.m.

Of course, there is a Pecan Cooking Competition. The single Adult category includes cakes, pies, cookies, candies and assorted entries. The Children's category is actually split into the four categories of cakes, pies, cookies and assorted entries. Age Divisions include adults, 8 and under, 9-12 and 13-16. There will be ribbons for winners of each of the individual categories and special awards for "Best in Show" and "Most Unusual Use of Pecans."

><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Rounding out the weekend's menu is the Nosh Fest in Cooper City, Florida. A "nosh" is a taste. So come nosh on traditional Jewish style foods such as corned beef and pastrami, lox and bagels, falafel and Israeli salads, matzo ball soup, potato pancakes (latkes), noodle kugel and more. There will be a cooking competition, cooking demos and music throughout the day.

So, go out and have tasty weekend, y'all!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let's go "Gourmet" in Vegas this week!

The World Gourmet Summit is happening now in Las Vegas.

This sounds like something I can really get into. I mean, it contains the word "GOURMET" in its name and takes place in Las Vegas!! Do I need more incentive?!?

Well, my husband has demanded more info before making a commitment. Never let it be said he leaps before looking. Okay, to be real, I don't believe he has any intentions of signing us up for this one but "Las Vegas" did catch his attention! He does like Vegas. I always say I have a better shot of going anywhere if I can bribe him with a nearby casino.

So, what is the World Gourmet Summit?

According to the press release it's "a food and wine extravaganza including culinary demonstrations and wine -pairing classes, gourmet dinners, and a Grand Gourmet Safari, with over 80 wineries presenting in excess of 150 wines and internationally renowned Master Chefs presenting their favorite specialties." It goes on to bill the event as an opportunity to "rub shoulders with fellow devotees from around the world." Ooooh, great food and wine and a good shoulder rub, what's not to like? It's happening today through the 20th.

The events list includes such activities as a Culinary Master Class & Wine Pairing Seminar, a Master Chef's Dinner, Panel discussions of Food & Beverage topics, a "Chateau Musar" Tasting Session, The Las Vegas Grand Gourmet Safari, and the Food & Beverage Hall of Fame Gala. Each day ends with a Get Together at the "Fire Pit" of the Signature at MGM Grand for socializing. I'm particularly interested in that Safari!!

The main goal of this event is to raise scholarship funds for hospitatlity students. Attended predominantly by members of the Food & Beverage Forum, all events are open to the public. There are auctions featuring items such as stays in luxury hotels around the world, dinners in some of the best restaurants in the industry, fine wines and more. While there is an online auction associated with the event featuring the most coveted lots, there are also a number of live auctions conducted on site. Since 1996, a total of $550,000 has been distributed to students at a number of colleges and universities around the country.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Festivals Are Still Happening ...

One of my favorite entertainers will be heard in Basile, LA Friday night when Chubby Carrier takes the stage for some of his zydeco party sounds. One has to bear in mind, "a Chubby party just don't quit!" Chubby will get things rolling at the LA Swine Festival on Friday night and the party will roll on through Sunday (11/5-11/7).

In addition to all the standard festival fare of music, games, car show, etc, there will be a Queen's Boudin Eating Contest, the Queen's Greasy Pig Chase, a Hog Calling contest and, of course, a Pork Cook-Off. The Cook-Off will feature the four categories of Pot, Pit, Cajun and Cracklins. Cook teams can enter one or more categories. A secondary competition will be held among the cook teams for the Chug-A-Lug Champs. Additional awards will be given to the cook-off team who chug-a-lugs the most beer purchased at the beer booth. (Tally will be kept at the beer booth.)

Hmmm, this could provide just the inspiration I need to put together a cook-off team. Think it's too late?

><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>

Feel more like a nut ?

Then head on out to the 13th Annual Pistachio Festival on 11/6 in Newberry Springs, CA where you'll find Food - Fun - Live Music - and ...PISTACHIOS!

Or ...

You could head on down to the 7th Annual South Carolina Pecan Festival in Florence, South Carolina on 11/6. There you'll be able to check out the Pecan Cook-Off, trot along in the Run Like A Nut half marathon or simply sit back and enjoy the entertainment of more than 30 performers on this event's 7 stages!

If that's not your cup of tea, so to speak, check out

the Society Hill Catfish Festival just down the road in Darlington County, SC, also on 11/6. Some folks come for the music, some for the crafts and games and even more just to get together with old friends, but ALL end up eating some of the delicious catfish served under the big tent at St. David's Academy. The catfish stew is so popular that the organizers start selling it by the quarts and gallons the night before this free, one-day festival!

Whatever you choose to do, get out there and enjoy this Fall weather as the outdoor festiva
l season is quickly coming to a close for many of us in the cooler part of the country.

Go out and get yourself some good festival food while you can!!!