Thursday, August 4th, 2022

Baked Goods are Great at Fair

Auglaize County contestants dazzle with delicious stuff

By Leslie Gartrell
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Auglaize County Fair's cooking judge Pat Wooley takes a sample of marinated pork skewers to taste test during Wednesday evening's Greek themed cooking contest.

WAPAKONETA - Participants in this year's baking contest at the Auglaize County Fair had to go big or go Homer and submit their best Greek dish and/or Greek sweet for judging.
Contestants on Wednesday evening gathered in the fruit hall at the fairgrounds for the judging, as well as to sample each other's entries.
Horticulture chairman Larry Kill, who determines the theme for the contest, says he likes to challenge participants with a different country each year.
By choosing a foreign country as the theme, competitors have to get out of their comfort zone and get inspired, he said.
"That's how you find out who's a good cook, you (throw) stuff at them that they don't usually do," he said.
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Doris Cook's Greek lemon cake waits to be judged at the Auglaize County Fair.

Doris Cook, 81, is a longtime participant of the contest. The St. Marys resident submitted a Greek lemon cake, which she said introduced her to some new techniques and ingredients.
"I've never heard (of using) one cup of plain whole milk yogurt (in a recipe), that was really different for me," she said.
Cook said she usually enters the contest if she can find a corresponding recipe. Her philosophy, she said, is if no one enters the contests there won't be a fair.
Dixie Durkee, St. Marys, entered meatballs with lemon garlic orzo as her Greek dish and baklava as her Greek sweet. The 59-year-old said she got the meatball recipe from her daughter-in-law, who often makes Greek food and is a great home cook.
The competition is a fun way to try new foods and meet with old friends and competitors who take part each year, she said.
"The competition is fun. We get to meet each other every year and get to chat," Durkee said. "It's just a nice way to get together and chat with people who like to bake."
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

A greek salad, made by contestant Nikki Rohrbaugh, sits among other foods during judging of the Greek themed cooking competition at the Auglaize County Fair.

Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Many hands help cut into marinated pork skewers for judging at the Auglaize County Fair.

Nikki Rohrbaugh of Wapakoneta said she searched for an authentic Greek recipe before choosing her dish, which was a platter piled high with marinated pork skewers, Tzatziki sauce, homemade pita bread and Greek salad. She also entered a walnut cake for her Greek sweet.
Finding an authentic recipe for the contest proved to be somewhat of a challenge, she said, as most recipes used the metric system. The 37-year-old said she ultimately bought a food scale so she could properly weigh her ingredients to get a consistent product.
Rohrbaugh said she often enters the competition, as well as her sister-in-law, because it's a fun way to get together and try new things.
"Every year they change the theme or the ingredients you're supposed to have, and then your creativity is the limit," she said. "I encourage people to continue to participate. We all know each other, it's a good time. There's no hard feelings, and to see new faces is great."
Kill also encouraged people to participate in the contests.
"Just enter. You never know what the next person is going to bring," he said. "You don't know what's going to be here. So if you look at something and say 'Oh, that's not good enough,' bring it anyway."
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Judy Mowery's spinach and zeta cheese pie waits to be judged at the Auglaize County Fair.

Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Gunnar Smith's milopita, a Greek style apple spice loaf, wins first place at the Auglaize County Fair Greek themed baking contest.

Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Pat Wooley cuts into a contestant's Greek sweet for judging at the Auglaize County Fair.

Subscriber and paid stories on this date
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