Saturday, May 15, 2010

California Knows All About Strawberries!

Mmmm... This has to be one of the most delicious appearances I have ever attended. I was asked to judge the “Berry Blast Off” Recipe contest at the 27th Annual California Strawberry Festival. Thousands of people attend the festival from all over the country as well as abroad. Hundreds of people sent in their tastiest non-baked strawberry dishes and out of those entrants it was narrowed down to 2 finalists. The two ladies made their dishes in front of an audience of onlookers with the media capturing their every move. They were judged on taste and freshness/flavor, texture, ease of preparation, presentation and creative use of fresh strawberries. The 2 dishes were Strawberry Bruschetta with Lemon Cream Sauce and Snappy Shrimp & Strawberry Coleslaw with Hotty Maple Vinaigrette. Both were very delicious and it was so hard to decide between the two. But in the end the Merry Graham's Snappy Shrimp & Strawberry Coleslaw with Hotty Maple Vinaigrette won. She received a grand prize four-night Carnival Cruise vacation getaway.

I enjoyed judging this event with Chief John Crombach of the City of Oxnard Police Department and Kate Linder of the Young & The Restless. Once the judging was over Mom and I had time to walk around and visit the different booths. There were so many unique and creative creations made of strawberries; strawberry pizza, strawberry nachos, strawberry popcorn, strawberry pasta, and so many more! I enjoyed meeting so many nice people. I want to say thank you to all the attendees who took time out to take pictures with me and hear my story. I really enjoyed the moments we shared together. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and ate lots of strawberry items. A BIG thank you California Strawberry Festival for having me at this wonderful event. I was honored to have been asked as one of the 5 guest judges.

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