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And the winner is ...
September 2, 2008 - Jane Mort
For some people, sending the kids back to school marks the end of the summer and beginning of fall.
For others, it's the kick-off of the first Penn State game.
And for some, it's the Juniata County Fair.
But for me, it's judging the annual bake-off at Burnham Community Day.
Joined by two other judges - this year they were Nancy Laub, of Mifflin County election office fame, and Susan Mowery, home ec teacher at Strodes Mills Middle School - have the opportunity to taste lots of great baked goods created by area cooks and have a lot of fun picking favorites.
This year was no exception, except the number of entries was disappointing. There were only three entries in several of the categories, and since the committee asks for first, second and third place winners, our job was merely to pick the three in the order we liked best. Unfortunately, there were several categories in which there was only one entry, or none!
The organizers even added a new category, Appetizers, which attracted only one entry in the adult division and one entry in the children's division.
Maybe it's the economy. My guess is that the disgraceful cost of gas and the horrendous cost of groceries may have deterred some people from preparing and bringing their goods to the event.
I hope the economy picks up and entries, too.
Speaking of the new Appetizers category, I think the Mango Tango Black Bean Salsa submitted by Nancy Aurand was the best recipe of the day. We didn't have to sample the dish because, as the only entry, it was an automatic winner. But, the other judges and I couldn't resist. The presentation of the salsa, surrounded by tortilla chips and cheese, in a decorative basket was appetizing in itself, but the taste of the salsa was out of this world! In fact, I snuck back to the table for seconds, even as the committee was getting ready to auction the remainder of the food items to raise funds for next year's Community Day.
Here's the recipe for Nancy's salsa:
Mango Tango Black Bean Salsa
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
7-ounce can whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
15-ounce can mango slices, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (or one whole fresh mango)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro OR 1/4 cup dry parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
In medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, mango, onion and cilantro. Stir in lime juice, garlic salt and cumin. Serve with baked tortilla chips or over softened cream cheese.