Winners and Losers

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of us all? We are mesmerized by competitions of all kinds: Super Bowls, Oscars, Apprentices, Survivors, Dancers with Stars, Idols, Cupcake Wars, Aspiring Chefs, Chopped Chefs — Winners and (alas,) Losers.

Stirring the pot has become the route to success for many ambitious home cooks. A Mom in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands nabbed the coveted title of Golden Spurtle thus becoming The World Porridge Making Champion.  And, closer to home, “Welcome to the New Jersey State for the Barbecue Championship. Compete for mouth-watering ribs, chicken brisket and pork, masterfully marinated, seasoned and smoked for hours to attain the point of perfection.”

Barbecue Championships ain’t just about grillin.’

Taking Home the Bacon

To get a leg up on the competition a retired, judge suggests: “Today’s spelling word, Class, will be “MORSELS.” Some of our contestants simply do not know how to spell this word.  Several folks submitted the following attempts: Morcels, more sells, morsals, morsles, morsoles, and mosels, among others.  And other pupils apparently gave up and just called them “chips.”

“Choose the name of your dish and its description carefully.  These are examples of titles that need a little work; “Chocolate Chip Mess,” “Gooy  Squares” and “Mean Mountain Mama’s Mudslide — This consists of  “a cake, covered with lots of chocolate pudding, topped with gobs of Cool Whip.  The runny stuff is then allowed to ooze over the sides of the cake.”

One competition entry called for Garden Fresh fish, (perhaps it came from a pond in the backyard?) Another recipe was called “Duck Pond Cake — It uses two cake layers, adds a “lake” of blue-tinted frosting and fills it with plastic ducks. It has areas of green frosting for “grass,” chocolate morsels for rocks in the lake, Bushes, (pretzel sticks dipped in melted chocolate,) and cascades of blue “water” run down the side of the cake.”  If only there had been a photo. ”Parasol Pie is a lovely idea that combines bottled ranch dressing with lemon Jell-O. The pie is baked in a yummy wheat germ-curry crust.”  Yummy, indeed.

Whether an award is worth the proverbial bucket of spit or a crystal trophy to be admired and covered by one and all is largely a matter that is seen through the eye of the beholder.  Of infinitely greater importance to our daily life than the three little words: “The Winner Is,” are those far  bigger accolades we all yearn to hear, words like  “Good Job,”  “Well Done,” and “Thank You.”

Thank you.