Judges enjoy county#039;s cool, culinary creations

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007


It was a sweet and savory extravaganza at the Greenville YMCA July 14 as the very first Salad Cook-Off was held in the Camellia City. The event was open to all members of the Butler County Farmers Federation (BCFF), with th3The BCFF Women's Committee sponsoring the inaugural event.

Ten entries vyed for the top prize.

Dixie Black (two entries), Melissa Crenshaw, Katye Giddens (two entries), Janell Powell, Lynn Powell, Linda Rogers, Kimberly Sims and Wanda Stinson put their favorite salad recipes on the line. Who would come out on top?

It was up to the three judges to decide.

 Francine Wasden, executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce; Linda Luman, retired Home Extension Agent and Home Economics teacher, and Percy Thompson, a retired Butler County farmer, admit they had a tough job choosing from among the variety of fruit and vegetable creations, from potato salads to festive sweet dessert-type side dishes.

However, in the end, only three could take the honors.

Linda Rogers won third place with her tasty Summer Potato Salad; Lynn Powell, the sole male competitor, took second place with his sweet, rich Fruit Fluff Salad, while Dixie Black took first place honors with her flavorful Broccoli Salad.

Once the judging was over, everyone present got to sample all the entries.

Wasden described serving as a judge for the event as a &#8220new, very fun experience.”

&#8220The cook-off was extremely well organized by the BCFF Women's Committee and I certainly enjoyed getting to participate,” Wasden said.

She explained the judges' criteria for selecting the winning salads.

&#8220 First, we went around the room and looked at the appearance of the salad and how it was displayed. Then, we made a return trip to study the recipes. We looked for things such as, were the recipes easy to read, specific in instructions; did they use ingredients readily available to most cooks?” Wasden said.

&#8220Last of all - and this was the really fun part - we got to taste all the dishes!”

Charlene Powell, chairman of the Women's Committee, lauded the three judges for &#8220taking their job very seriously.”

&#8220We are so pleased with how well everything went, and we certainly appreciate Amanda Phillips, YMCA director, for offering to let us hold the cook-off at the Y,” said Powell.

 &#8220Amanda's husband, Neal, also took time out of his busy schedule Saturday to come and be at our mercy to see if we had everything we needed. Many thanks to them both and to all of participants and judges!”

Black will go on to compete in the State Cook-Off scheduled for September 6 at the ALFA building in Montgomery and her Butler County pals will be cheering her on.

Powell said the inaugural salad cook-off was just one of many events the women's committee hopes to sponsor and participate in as the year progresses.

&#8220We were excited to see the enthusiasm for the event and especially to have a gentleman enter and take home one of the prizes,” Powell said.

&#8220We are going to continue to strive to promote agriculture and farming and to support the farmers of Butler County.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the BCFF Women's Committee is encouraged to contact Chairman Charlene Powell at 376-9980 or Ada Sue Thompson at 382-8102.