Janet's Notebook
Blue Ribbon Showcase Sweet Treat for All

Contest Winner Jane Freed

Oh, what a delicious time we had at the second Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Showcase! An enthusiastic crowd joined me and the Kitchen Crew in welcoming Springtime Cake Contest winner Jane Freed and her husband Bud to the Viking Culinary Center, home of the Blue Ribbon Showcase.

Traveling with Jane all the way from her home in Clarkston, MI was also a surprise guest... a gigantic cutting from Bud's own rhubarb patch! Affectionately dubbed "Al", the impressive rhubarb made quite a splash! I was pleased as punch to join Jane and "Al" in the kitchen as she shared her lifelong love/hate relationship with rhubarb. Like many of us, her childhood memories of the tart weed-like fruit are less than sweet. In fact, Jane joked that her grandmother would be laughing if she could see her as an adult touting the benefits of rhubarb.

"I can hear my grandma laughing right now," Jane joked during the cooking demonstration. "She is laughing up there...'15 minutes of fame for rhubarb, Jane?!'"

And well-deserved fame it is! Jane led the audience step-by-step through the preparation of her Grand Prize-winning Great Spring Rhubarb Coffee Cake. All the while, guests were treated to a menu chock full of Blue Ribbon favorites:

Snickerdoodle Muffins - Robyn Fischesser
Ham, Egg & Cheese Cups - Heather Stepniewski
Creamy Crockpot Hash Browns - Penny R.
Robin's Fresh Fruit Salad - Robin Hearon

Lending her enthusiasm and knowledge once again to the Showcase was previous contest winner, Jan Mullikin. Jan pulled double-duty as event emcee and Just A Pinch cheerleader, handing out door prizes to the audience and keeping us crazy cooks in line. Fun just seems to follow Jan wherever she goes!

The Showcase's grand food finale was a sampling of Jane's delicious dessert. The coffee cake was so moist and buttery, with just a hint of the rhubarb's earthy tartness. Many non-believers were soon singing the praises of this under-appreciated fruit. All thanks to Jane and her passion for food.

Before heading off for a whirlwind $1,000 shopping spree at the Viking store and a trip to the Grand Ole Opry, Jane shared a heartfelt wish to all of the 'Pinchers in attendance. I'd love to leave you all with her thoughts:

"Thank you Lord for the food before us, the friends beside us, and the love between us..."

And thank you, Jane, for sharing your gift of cooking and friendship with us all!

Get to know more of Jane's recipes and ENTER for your own chance to win a cook's dream getaway to Nashville!

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Kitchen Crew - Aug 2, 2010
Hi Corinne,
We host Blue Ribbon events quarterly, so there will definitely be one in the fall. We hope you'll be able to make it! More info coming soon. :-)

-Just A Pinch Kitchen Crew
Corinne Mihelic - Aug 2, 2010
Received my apron today and was so excited! I love it ") Thank you!
We will be vacationing in Pigeon Forge in November or December, and I was wondering if the Blue Ribbon Showcase is a monthly thing? Maybe we could attend while we are there!
Kitchen Crew - Aug 2, 2010
We'd love to have you, Leah! The next Blue Ribbon Showcase will be in honor of the Ultimate Salad Toss winner. Details of the when and where will be coming soon. We'll be sure to make sure you get all the info!

-Just A Pinch Kitchen Crew
Leah Stacey - Aug 1, 2010
I don't live too far from Nashville, how do I get in on being in the audience for the next contest winner's showcase? I would love to join in on the fun!
NIKKI SMITH - Aug 1, 2010
I just tried the carrot cake recipe...She right the carrot cake is to die for..so moist and light...My boyfriend that hates carrots of any kind loved that cak and is already asking when am i going to make it again...It was so easy to make..I definelty will be making this for all my potlucks and holiday parties..Thanks Jane...
Jody Wood - Jul 29, 2010
Also looking for a good Beerok recipe, they use to sell them at the town fair.
Jody Wood - Jul 29, 2010
I am looking for a really good scallop potato recipe, If you know of one please let me know!
Rose O'Connell - Jul 27, 2010
The Rhubarb Coffee Cake is delicious. I have found a new found taste for rhubarb. The whole menu for the recent showcase is great. I would serve them to any guests.