Janet's Notebook
Florida Contest Winner Brings Ray of Sunshine to Blue Ribbon Grilling Showcase

In the Kitchen with Sherri and Leah

"Never trust a skinny cook," laughs Florida cook Sherri Logan Williams. Wrapped in her Just A Pinch apron and with a twinkle in her eye, Sherri is front and center as guest of honor at the most recent Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Showcase in Franklin, TN.

Indeed, Sherri is as down-home and delightful as the recipes she so often shares with us here at Just A Pinch. The showcase, part of Sherri's Grand Prize as winner of the Grill & WIN recipe contest, was a wonderful opportunity to gather together with other Club members, bloggers and media to get to know this wonderful cook a little bit better.

Sherri's winning recipe, Smokin' Baby Got Back Ribs won rave reviews as the hungry audience enjoyed an array of amazing Blue Ribbon eats. On the day’s menu were:

Avocado-Stuffed Tomatoes - Jeanne Benavidez

Land Your Man Baked Beans - Jenny Moretz

Pepper Slaw - Shirley Terhaar

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnappy Crust - Torrey Moseley

Almond Joy Cake - Diane Hughes

Sherri’s easy delivery and helpful tips captivated even those who may otherwise have been hesitant to prepare ribs on their own. More than one Club member came up to me after the showcase to share how much they had learned! A favorite topic was Sherri's simple explanation of how to best prep the ribs.

"I'm going to show you how to pull the skin off the ribs," said Sherri matter-of-factly, knife in hand. "I tend to like to take the skin off because it can be rather tough if you don't. Sometimes grillers and smokers like to leave it on there because they think the ribs will stay more moist, but to me all the seasoning and flavors really get down into the ribs [without it].

"Just take a paring knife and gently rub it above the bone. The skin sometimes comes off really easy and sometimes it doesn't." And what should you do if the skin gives you trouble? "Just get Leah to come over and pull it off for you!" The room broke into laughter as Sherri playfully pointed to 9-time Blue Ribbon winner and the day’s emcee Leah Stacey, herself a former contest winner.

Cooking since age twelve, Sherri's love affair with food - and Just A Pinch - has really blossomed over the years. "When I was growing up we always had ribs, but they boiled them in seasoned water. Then they would put all that barbecue sauce on the ribs and put them on the grill... and they would burn! I mean, they were still - to me - the best ribs, but after years and years I came up with my own rub... after trying it, literally, hundreds of times." And that persistence and dedication sure has paid off, not only in a big contest win but also in a recipe that is as versatile as it is delicious. "I've grilled 'em, I've smoked 'em, I've baked 'em in the oven. This rub is good not just for ribs, but also for chicken and for nice meaty fish like swordfish or mahi mahi. To me it tastes pretty good. And apparently maybe Just A Pinch liked it just a little bit too!"

In addition to her Tennessee getaway and VIP appearance at the Blue Ribbon Showcase, Sherri also won tickets to the legendary Grand Ole Opry, dinner with the Crew, and a $1,000 shopping spree and that fantabulous Viking Kitchen Store!

You could hear the emotion in Sherri's voice as she explained to the crowd what the experience meant to her. "I've met some really great cooks through Just A Pinch, really true friends. And while I may not have met them all face-to-face, they're just like family members to me."

We couldn’t agree more, Sherri. It’s an honor to have each and every one of you at the table.

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Sherri Williams - Nov 17, 2011
it was so much fun, shirley!
shirley terhaar - Nov 16, 2011
Dee Stillwell - Nov 14, 2011
Susan..It is March 23-26th...it anyone wants more info and cant find this link..just power search March..and it will come up. I hope u can still come even if its not during ur spring break Susan but understand if not.

March 23-26, 2012 JAP Meet Up Info & Chat
Virginia Muller - Nov 14, 2011
Thank you Sherri.....I ..will try that
Sherri Williams - Nov 14, 2011
virginia, go to the top right hand corner of this page you will see a red box that says "power search" type in the recipe you are looking for and hit whole site. i did a search and found a few recipes under the title....i hope this helps
Virginia Muller - Nov 14, 2011
There was a feature last week of a "Reese's peanut butter cake. I did not copy it and now I cannot find it. Can someone help me out and repost the recipe? Thanks, I wanted to bake it for Thanksgiving.
Susan Feliciano - Nov 12, 2011
Dee-- (Lilly Dee) I've forgotten when the meeting is in March. I just found out my spring break is March 28 - April 4.
Norma DeRemer - Nov 12, 2011
Congrads to you Sherri and I also agree that Janet's new hair cut is adorable. Let's all hope she changes her picture soon so all can see the wonderful change. What a sweetie pie she is.
Dee Stillwell - Nov 11, 2011
Susan, that is so cool u got to meet our Sherri..I can't wait till March and I have the same honor. : D
Susan Feliciano - Nov 11, 2011
Janet - I enjoyed the showcase SO MUCH! It was a joy meeting Sherri; she's such a great cook!
And I meant to say, Janet, I LOVE the new haircut!
Y'all take care. I just came up for air from my midterm exams.
Kathy Sterling - Nov 11, 2011
Great article and no one more deserving than Sherri..she is a great cook, friend and shares her passion for cooking with all of us. We are all lucky to be a part of this great group, we have made friends online who are like family, and Sherri is indeed a sister.

Thanks Just a Pinch for a great neighborhood of friends!
Sherri Williams - Nov 10, 2011
dee, annamarie & ann thank you so much for your kindness..sw☺
Ann McCue - Nov 10, 2011
Great Job Sherri!!! you have some fabulous recipes!!!!
Annamaria Settanni McDonald - Nov 10, 2011
That is awesome Sherri!!!!
Dee Stillwell - Nov 9, 2011
What a wonderful article about our wonderful and fabulous sister Sherri. I'm glad they all loved u as we do and got to meet u in the flesh..some of us will get to in Florida in March as well..I can't wait. Did u think to invite Janet while u had her attention in person? hehe...That would be so awesome if she could come...and any of the rest of the crew too.
I am so happy for u and the fantastic weekend they treated you & Roy to. A well deserved honor for such an amazing cook. love ya girl!