FUN AND FAIR MAKE QUITE A PAIR
DEAR READERS: Would you believe it's almost time for the Oklahoma State Fair? It will be Sept. 13-23, but most things we do require some pre-thinking and actions.
The theme of this year's fair is “Home Grown Fun,” and that makes food contests especially special. The deadline for entering these contests is upon us. You still can enter until Aug. 15. It is even possible to enter if you miss the deadline. Check competition guides at okstatefair.com/state-fair/competition/arts-crafts for a list of contests and information about what to do if you miss the deadline.
And, of course, if you don't have Internet access, you can call the state fair at 948-6700 for entry forms and other information. Nancy Nortz, director of creative arts, also suggests checking okstatefair.com. There are many contests that don't show off your cooking skills, but I spend most of my “fair” time in the food contest areas.
The newest baking contest this year is the Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Pie Baking Championship at 6 p.m. Sept. 18. This contest will require using the frozen Pillsbury Pet-Ritz piecrusts for making one- or two-crust pies. The dessert-type filling can be anything — fruit, custard, cream, sweet potato. Use your imagination.
I plan to help judge this one and about five others during the fair. Get those entries in. But I want to see you next month at the fair, whether you're a contestant or a spectator.
DEAR MELBA: Please ask if anyone will share the recipe for Alamo Plaza fried chicken. I ate at the Alamo Plaza on Sundays as a child, and I still have great memories of the best fried chicken ever!
— JAN BANFIELD, Oklahoma City
DEAR READERS: While shopping at Sam's Club recently, Susie Pruden, of Edmond, was preparing fresh fruit samples for customers. When I noticed how she was doing this, I asked if I could share this information with you.
Using a drinking straw, she pushed the straw from the bottom to the top of strawberries and cherries. The stems came off the strawberries and the seeds came out of the cherries. Clean, neat and easy.
DEAR MELBA: Please ask if anyone has a tested, tried and true recipe for sand plum jelly. I have searched and found some references to sand plum jelly, but what I am really asking is if anyone has personal experience making it and will recommend not just a recipe, but also helpful trips, tricks, advice, etc. I am a newbie to home canning and I really want to do well at this.
— GENE WARD, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: I saw this sign on a church in Hartshorne: “If God seems far away, guess who moved.”
— MARY LEE COLWELL, Wilburton
DEAR MELBA: I thought this church sign was clever: “Looking for ‘Mr. Right?' This is His house.”
— RIKKI ABRAMS, Oklahoma City
DEAR MELBA: I don't have church signs, but I do get a lot of quotes from my email ministry. I send out devotions, quotes and sometimes chuckles by email. Here is my favorite quote: “For every Goliath ... there is a stone.”
— CAROL JACKSON, Oklahoma City
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.