What food contests are being held in conjunction with the Douglas County Free Fair this year?
Three contests are being offered: the Presidents Pie Baking Contest, the Naturally Nutritious Food Festival and the R.B. Rice Contest. However, many people don't realize that anyone of any age can enter exhibits in the Open Class Foods Division of the fair. Out-of-county entries also are accepted.
For information on classes in which entries can be submitted, refer to the 1999 Douglas County 4-H and FFA Free Fair Book. If you do not have one available, contact Susan Krumm, 843-7058.
Making and entering exhibits in Open Class Foods in a great way to spend some high-quality family time in the kitchen or if you have some favorite recipes for baked goods that you haven't made in a while, why not pull 'em out, bake 'em and bring 'em to the fair. Who knows -- you might just take home a ribbon and some premium money. Go ahead, give it a try. It's great fun.
The President's Pie Baking Contest is a daily contest being offered Monday through Aug. 7. Pies can be entered from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. daily at the Fair Board Office in Building 21 of the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper.
You may enter baked homemade fruit pies on as many days as you desire. Daily prizes will include: first prize, $20; second prize, $10; and third prize $5. The overall champion will receive $100. The pies will be donated to the 4-H Food Stand to slice and sell, and proceeds will go to the Douglas County 4-H Council.
The Naturally Nutritious Food Festival is next Wednesday. Entries can be submitted from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Building 21. The classes include: fresh salsa, main dish featuring tofu or tempeh, main dish featuring chicken or turkey, international cuisine, healthy desserts and healthy snacks prepared by young chefs (ages 12 and under). Prizes include $15, $10 and $5 gift certificates from the Community Mercantile awarded to the top three places in all categories, and the grand champion will receive a $50 cash prize.
The R.B. Rice Contest is Aug. 5. Just create a special hot dinner dish or a tasty appetizer (hot or cold) using your favorite R.B. Rice Sausage flavor(s) and/or R.B. Chili flavors. Contestants must have been 18 by Jan. 1, 1999. Enter dishes from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 in Building 21. The first-prize winner will receive $100 and a commemorative gift. Second prize is $50, and the third-place winner will receive $25.
For more details on all of the contests, plus additional information on entering foods in Open Class competition, contact K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 843-7058.
Has the Kansas Wheat Commission come out with its 1999 booklet featuring recipes tested in its test kitchen?
The 1999 Kansas Wheat Commission Recipe booklets are available at the Douglas County extension office, which is at the fairgrounds. Drop by or contact Susan Krumm and she'll send one to you.
Can I freeze potatoes to preserve them?
Raw potatoes in combination dishes such as soups and stews do not freeze well. Upon thawing and reheating, they tend to disintegrate, particularly if the potatoes are whole or cut in large cubes. If preparing a combination dish for freezing, omit the potatoes and add them, instead, during the thawing/reheating step before serving. The best potatoes for freezing are those that have been cooked, such as mashed potato patties, baked stuffed potatoes or french fries.
For baked stuffed potatoes or mashed potato patties: prepare according to your favorite recipe, cool quickly in the refrigerator, then wrap in moisture/vapor-proof packing. Seal and freeze. The recommended maximum storage time is one month at 0 degrees. To serve, unwrap and reheat in a 350-degree oven.
For french fries: Pare and cut the potatoes lengthwise into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Rinse them quickly in cold water and dry well on paper towels. Oven method: Arrange the potato strips in a shallow baking pan, brush with melted butter or margarine, and bake, turning occasionally, at 450 degrees, just until they begin to brown. Cool them quickly in the refrigerator. Oil method: Blanch the potato strips in vegetable oil heated to 370 degrees until tender but not brown. Drain and cool them quickly in the refrigerator.
Place the prepared strips in moisture/vapor-proof containers or bags. Seal and freeze. The maximum recommended storage time is two months at 0 degrees.
To serve, return the frozen potatoes to a baking sheet and bake, turning occasionally, at 450 degrees until golden brown. Or, deep-fry the frozen potatoes at 390 degrees until golden crisp.
I've heard that tomatoes are not as acid as in the past. What do I need to do can them safely?
To ensure a safe acid level in whole, crushed or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or citric acid. The acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset the acid taste, as desired.
-- Susan Krumm is an extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper. She can be reached at 843-7058.