I love to enter cooking and recipe contests. But I didn't "find" cooking until I was in my late 20's. When Kevin and I married WAY BACK in 1990 I pretty much only knew how to make French toast, canned soup and anything that could be made in our college hot pot. Over time I read backs of boxes and cans and was able to at least cook things that didn't kill us.
But then about 1998 or so I was clipping coupons from the Sunday paper and saw an ad for a cooking contest where the grand prize was a new car. The sponsor's product was one I was familiar with plus I was driving a very old and very, very ugly paint-oxidized and dented Ford Tempo at the time (you know, the one I had backed into the side of the garage!). So I sent off a recipe. I couldn't believe how excited I was at the thought of someone handing me the keys to a new car -- and all for a chicken recipe!
So, are you on pins and needles waiting to see the photo of the car I won?!?!? Well, you'd be waiting a long time because I didn't win squat! I kept entering recipe contests and I kept losing. I gave up. Then I came home one day and found a big box on the front porch -- including a bread machine, oodles of cookbooks and baking mixes. I had actually won something! That was all it took for me to get hooked again and while I've taken some breaks over the years I've always found my way back to contesting.
I've just started back once again. And I think my brain has hardened and dried out! Where once I used to sit down with paper and pencil and the ideas would just flow out, now I find my mind wandering off and when I do come up with an idea it seems so "done" or "crazy" that I almost laugh out loud. It's just a few days until the Pillsbury Million Dollar Bake-Off closes entries for this two year span and I've sent in a measly handful of recipes -- I really would like to kick my own butt if it was humanly possible.
So, I thought to myself that I needed a change. I did the UNTHINKABLE!!! I bought a new colander. (What?!?!? Gasp! How could you do it Deb?!?!) The cheap plastic blue colander I've had since Kevin and I married almost 20 years ago is no longer. The handsome blue colander I used to create so many recipes over time is kaput. Yes, it's true. I've moved onward and upward. I've gone green -- literally. I now have a brand spankin' new bio-degradable renewable resource bamboo colander in modern lime green color. And I'm pinning all my hopes on this little green beauty. No, seriously. If I don't win, "talk to the colander!"
I write this somewhat in jest. But I have to say it was an odd time indeed when I brought the new colander home. Sarah helped me pick it out. And when we got home I pulled the blue one out of the cupboard and easily dumped it in the trash. And then I stood there like an idiot staring down into the trash. And I pulled the blue colander back out and placed it on the counter. I walked away. And then I went and got the camera and took a picture of it. And then I dumped it back in the trash and walked away again. And I thought about it some more. And I looked back down into the trash. And I walked away again.
Armchair psychologists would love me, wouldn't they!!?!? Just hope the recipe contest people follow suit!