PARKERSBURG — It’s not the holidays without The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times Cookbook. And for the 69th edition, participants are encouraged to share with readers a holiday staple that must make its way to the dinner table to make holiday celebrations complete.
From now through Sept. 10, community members are encouraged to turn in recipes in the following categories: Sips, Starters and Sides; Centerpiece (main dish), and Sweets. Once all recipes are turned in, judges will select the finalists — five per category. If selected, the finalists will prepare their most cherished dishes for the judges to sample during the tasting party Oct. 25 at Rockport Church of Christ. Winners will be crowned and the grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card from Piggly Wiggly.
Everyone knows a dish is amped up when it’s presented in a piquant fashion, and judges will also select the finalist with the most appealing plate.
City Editor Jess Mancini, former cookbook editor Amy Phelps and long-time judges Kiki Angelos and Mrs. Joseph C. Snyder will lend their palates to the contest this fall. Appointment times will be set up with finalists, who will prepare their dish and presentation and take it all with them after it’s served.
We all think of our holiday favorite foods. And this year, we are asking people to share theirs. For Mancini, he cherishes Italian fish dishes his mother used to prepare.
“The holidays would not be complete without baccala and squid. My mother and her sisters, everybody in the family every year would get a lot of baccala and (they) would fry it or bread it and kind of make it look like a hushpuppy, then put the fish in the middle. That was something,” he said. “My mother used to get fresh squid and my brother and I would clean the squid out. She used the meat and she would put that in the spaghetti sauce. We always had that at Christmas. To me, that’s Christmas whenever I get baccala.”
When people submit recipes, they are encouraged to share the dish their holiday season isn’t complete without.
Last year’s grand prize winner Anna Dean has a passion for cooking and baking and loves the opportunity to participate in the contest every year.
“I love meeting with the people and this is what I love to do, cook — especially desserts,” she said.
Over the years, Dean has saved the cookbooks and she has each edition.
“I still have them right up to date and still use some of the recipes. Some of the (people) I really enjoyed doing the cookbook contest with have passed on,” she said.
Although some of these folks have passed on, Dean said she enjoys being able to honor them by using their recipes.
When she won the grand prize last year, Dean said several community members called to congratulate her and some even recognize her when she’s at the grocery store.
“I so much enjoy going back with the ones who have entered before and get to reminisce with them,” she said.
Dean also enjoys the opportunity to compete with her daughter Tammy Morrison.
“We compete with each other. Sometimes she wins, sometimes I win, but we have a good time,” she said.
Results for first, second and third place in each category will be published in the Oct. 26 editions of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times and the grand prize winner will be announced when the cookbook comes out on Nov. 17.
The following rules apply:
1. Each contestant may enter no more than 15 recipes, up to five recipes in each of the three categories. Make sure to note what category you are entering and count your entries before sending them in. If you send more than five recipes in any category, NONE of the recipes will be entered into the competition. If you send in a recipe for a category that is not present, it will not be entered. Please double-check your categories.
2. Recipes can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Google form https://tinyurl.com/ysxrdpxv. Every entry must contain your name, address and telephone number. If we cannot contact you, you cannot win. For each submission, name the category in which the recipe being entered and the name of the recipe. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1787, Parkersburg, WV 26101.
3. Read your recipes through before sending, or even better, have someone else read them to make sure they are complete. Be sure to include pan size, temperature and length of cooking time. DO NOT say, “put in oven and cook until done.” DO SAY, “put in a 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.” Only give brand names if necessary to the success of the dish, but do give package size. Remember, readers will be trying to duplicate your dishes at home, so make it a pleasant experience for them by making your recipes easy to read and directions easy to follow.
4. Recipes may be emailed to email@example.com. The same rules apply: One recipe per message, with the category, name of recipe and complete contact information (name, address, phone number) on each. The recipe MUST be in the body of the email, NO attachments.
5. Recipes must be email time-stamped no later than midnight Sept. 10. Late submissions will not be accepted.
6. If selected as a finalist, you must be available to attend the Tasting Party on Oct. 25 at the appointment time assigned. If you are unable to attend, an alternate will be chosen. Complete details will be provided to the finalists.
A selected amount of recipes will be published in the cookbook, sending your recipes DOES NOT guarantee it for publication.
Contact Candice Black at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.