Linda Reeder served as a judge of baked goods at the Washington County Ag Expo in 2012 and 2011.
"Although cooking and baking isn't new to me, the judging was. I worked with an outstanding lady who has judged many, many years all over," she said. "It was a pleasure to sit next to her and learn more of the judging part."
Reeder is a paraprofessional at Boonsboro High School. She lives in the Smithsburg area with husband Greg. Her son, Jacob, is in basic training for the U.S. Navy in Illinois.
Reeder said she learned about cooking and raising a family from her grandmother.
"She raised a lot of animals for meat. She taught me how to take care and raise chickens, turkeys and rabbits," she said. "Though I don't raise rabbits, we do have chickens for eggs and raise our own beef, and, in the past, have liked to raise turkeys for Thanksgiving."
Reeder said winning a baking contest such as Ag Expo's is about more than producing a tasty product. Presentation is important. So is following contest rules.
"The important thing to do for entry is to read the rule book," she said. "The rule book states, for instance, how many (pieces of your product) you need to show on your plate."
Other tips from Reeder:
- Make sure your item is completely baked.
- When slicing an entry — for example, if you are showing potato candy — be sure slices as close to the same size as possible.
- If an item is supposed to be round, keep it round.
- For bars and brownies, when cutting samples, cut pieces from the middle of the pan, not the edge.
- Keep your kitchen work space clean and free from lint and hair.
- Enjoy what you're doing.
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— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor
Gran's Hot Slaw
1 medium head green cabbage
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Dash of paprika
Dash of pepper
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
4 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
Shred cabbage finely. Boil in slightly salted water until tender.
While cabbage cooks, thoroughly combine mustard, salt, sugar, flour, paprika and pepper. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Add milk and vinegar.
Cook over hot water, stirring frequently, until thick. Add butter. Stir until butter melts.
Drain hot cabbage completely. Pour hot dressing over hot cabbage and thoroughly mix. Serve hot.
— Courtesy of Linda Reeder of Smithsburg