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January 14, 2015
Home Cook Jamie Burris Wins Big with Rich Family History, Decadent Recipe
By Janet Tharpe
"Growing up we called it 'Kugela', but it's actually pronounced 'coo-GHEL-iss.' It's a classic Lithuanian dish!"
Jamie Burris was beyond shocked to learn that her family's beloved potato recipe had won top honors in the !
"My grandfather knew the recipe from his family," explains Jamie, a resident of Fayettville, AR. "My grandparents emigrated separately [from Lithuania] and met in Chicago." That was the beginning of a delicious family legacy. From that day on the famous Kugelis made an appearance at every major family gathering. Jamie laughs as she recalls a photo she has of her own Baptism. There, in the background, rests a steaming dish of freshly made Kugelis! It just isn't a party without someone making the recipe.
Before entering the Heirloom Recipe Contest, Jamie talked to her mom about the dish, a version of which happens to be the national dish of Lithuania!
"My grandmother was Polish and German, and didn't know anything about the [Kugelis] recipe when she married," says Jamie. "So my grandfather taught her and after that she took over!" Jamie learned to make the recipe from her mom, who had been taught a generation before by her mother. She now enjoys making it for her own hungry family!
This wonderfully simple recipe was a first for us in the Test Kitchen. We had never tasted anything quite like it, and it was universally loved by all who tried it. The straightforward ingredients - potato, onion, bacon, egg and condensed milk - combine into a richly delicious mélange of flavor. Serve it straight from the casserole dish, or slice it and give it a fry in butter for a decadent addition to your breakfast!
"We love serving it with ham," say Jamie, who looks forward to teaching her own daughter about their family's rich history with the recipe. "We'll make Polish sausage and those kinds of things, but this is really the only recipe that ties us back to Lithuania. It's a favorite family recipe for sure."
As Grand Prize winner, Jamie wins a trip to visit with the Kitchen Crew in Nashville, TN, the opportunity to prepare her winning recipe in front of a live studio audience at the next Blue Ribbon Showcase event, and a fantabulous $1,000 shopping spree at the Viking Kitchen Store! We're so thrilled to add Jamie to the list of winners we get to meet in person. It's always such a delight!
A big congratulations also goes out to the First Place finishers in each of the Heirloom Contest categories:
Mom's Swedish Meatballs - Marybeth Mank of Mesquite, TX
Eggplant Pie with Italian Sausage and Bechamel Sauce - Mary R. Morris of Grove, AR
Almond Laced Banana Cake - Mary Shivers of Ada, OK
For being such winning cooks, each of these lovely gals will be inducted into the Honorary Kitchen Crew!
Enter your favorite Kid-Friendly eats for your own chance to WIN! There's plenty of love - and prizes - to go around!