Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Clever Fund-Raising Idea- A Cook Off


Hello readers?  Would you consider yourself a competitive person?  I do not.  I know that one of my sister-in laws would disagree because she witnessed me in a match of some kind with her sister.  I will admit there are some people that I would like to “beat” because they seem so determined to do the same to me.  So does this mean that I AM competitive?  I would prefer to deal out a game of solitaire than play a round of cribbage, any day of the week.  Recently though, I entered a culinary challenge and when I got Daughter #1 and D involved in the tasting process and they commented: “yeah, that is very good” I probed further: “what would I need to do to take the taste from “very good” to prize winning?”  So I suppose I do like competition, but only when I am competing with strangers.  I would be uncomfortable putting my skills up against those persons whom I love and cherish because I would want them to win and that may influence the way I approach the competition itself, perhaps with a goal to d-rail my own success.  I sound pretty mixed up, don’t I?

The Frenchman

The Frenchman let me post this photo of him to illustrate to Daughter #2 (currently in Nicaragua) that I do not just post unflattering pictures of her in the midst of eating. 

This past weekend, instead of assembly around our dining room table at home for mandatory Sunday supper, we did so in the fellowship hall of our church.  D, J1 and J2 were entered into a Sweet or Savoury cook off but it was also a potluck, so while the official entries were being judged, we could get our meal started.  I personally wish that I had left that table unvisited because once an official dish was assessed, it was put out for the rest of us to share and the entries were magnificent! My personal favourites were almost entirely in the Savoury category which is typical of my palette.

Here were to entries, in the order that they were registered:


Southern Cajun Gumbo and Rice

Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce

Swedish Cream

Biriani Lamb

Indian Butter Chicken

Beef Bourguignon

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Pecan Pie

Japanese Chicken

Classy Chicken

Fruit Crisp

Sriracha Balsamic Glazed Ribs

Mustard Rubbed Pork Roast with Blackberry Sauce

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Apricots and Walnuts

There were three esteemed judges: one a cook from a popular Italian restaurant, one a foodie blogger known to me and then I am not quite sure what the claim to fame was of the third judge, but he may have been selected for his neutrality, because he had interned at our church, but had returned to his home church.  The task of “neutrality” was a difficult one, because in addition to three members of my immediate family, Sister #3 had entered two dishes as well, one each in both categories.

I decided to cast my “People’s Choice” vote outside of my family.

Mustard Rubbed Pork Roast with Raspberry Sauce


Had I not, I would have had a difficult time voting between D’s dish and the Frenchman’s.  The latter was a combination of sweet and salty tastes in the Savoury category and as my readers know-this is absolutely my cuppa tea!

When all was said and done, my foodie family came away with the most prize ribbons:

Beef Bourgignon

Sister #3 took 3rd place in the Savoury category with her Beef Bourguignon

Sriracha Balsamic Glazed Pork Ribs

and J1 took 1st place with the Sriracha Balsamic Glazed Pork Ribs.

Whit Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Sister # placed again in the Sweet category having made her luscious white chocolate raspberry cheesecake,

J2 1st Place in Sweet

whereas J2 took top prize with her Fruit Crisp.

Cook Off Winnres w. Judges

A second family collected a couple of ribbons as well: Bob Blanchard for the Biriani Lamb and his wife Madelaine for her Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce.  People’s choice went to our Musical Director Julian for his rendition of Indian Butter Chicken and J1 was called up a second time for the “Best of Show” award.


This was a delightful way to spend a Sunday evening.  The cost to enter a dish for competition was only $3 and the money raised will go to youth mission work this summer.  Around our dinner table we agreed that in addition to this price, the cost to attend could easily be $20 per person (and not simply providing a potluck dish, as it was in this the first year).  We were stuffed with some of the finest tastes we had enjoyed in a very long time.  When I saw Sister #3 the next evening, she was still full!

Kath’s quote: “Competition is easier to accept if you realize it is not an act of oppression or abrasion – I’ve worked with my best friends in direct competition”. –Diane Sawyer


Love-that is all.