2012 Trigg County Ham Fest wrapup
by Cecelia Hostillo, Columnist
Oct 17, 2012 | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 36th annual Trigg County Country Ham Festival is officially over, so I would like to take this week to wrap up the Homemaker sponsored contests and let you know the results. Forty different people entered 337 items. There was a wide variety of exhibits representing a cross-section of the many talents of the citizens of Trigg County.

Taking top honors in the Bake Off sponsored by the Cumberland Shores Homemaker Club were Faye Hainsworth, first place; Debra Holder, second place; and Julia Webster, third place. The top winners in the Canning contest sponsored by the Rockcastle Homemaker Club were Julia Webster, first place; Margaret Sumner, second place; and Jene Abrams, third place.

The Best in Show from the Arts and Crafts show were first place, Jaclyn Heyen for her original design crocheted clothing; second place, Madge Heyen for her counted cross stitch; third place, Julia Webster for her pencil drawing; and honorable mention, Joann Harvey for her stained glass.

A big favorite each year is the Cooking with Pork contest sponsored by the New Hope Community Homemakers Club. The results of this year’s contest were:

Appetizers: First place, Faye Hainsworth for Ham Pinwheels; second place, Alyce Chmielewski/Mike Garcia for Stuffed Jalapenos; and third place, Janeen Tramble for Sausage Stars.

Main Dish: First place, Julia Webster for Caramelized Pork with melon; second place, Debra Holder for Honey Mustard Glazed Pork; and third place, Faye Hainsworth for Barbecue Pork Fajitas.

Casseroles: First place, Julia Webster for Easy Sausage Strata; second place, Debra Holder for Scalloped Potatoes and Ham; and third place, Janeen Tramble for Broccoli and Ham Strata.

Thanks to all who entered their work and thanks to those in the community who came by the Extension Office to view the exhibits—your support of these contests is greatly appreciated!

What better way to wrap up the Trigg County Country Ham Festival than to talk about the best way to wrap up country ham—homemade biscuits! If you ask your mother or grandmother how they made biscuits, they might very well say a handful of this and a pinch of that. Most home bakers are not as experienced as our mothers and grandmothers and need to use a recipe. A recipe for biscuits is basically a chemical formula that includes the proper ratio of fat, flour, liquid, and leavening to ensure success. Biscuits are considered a quick bread. These breads are categorized as such because they are “quick” options to get you started in the kitchen. The difference between yeast breads and quick breads is the leavening agent. Yeast is a living cell that multiplies rapidly when given the proper food, moisture, and warmth. It must rise to allow the production of carbon dioxide that allows the bread to rise during baking. Quick breads use the chemical leavening agents of baking powder and/or baking soda. Baking powder and baking soda do not require time for rising, so the batter for quick bread is cooked immediately after mixing. The best thing about quick breads is that the options are limitless when it comes to ingredients.

The key to a good biscuit is in the mixing and kneading. It is important not to over mix and over knead. When liquid is added, gluten begins to form. The liquid needs to be stirred into the dry ingredients just enough to combine them and make sure all the dry ingredients are wet. Once the dough is formed, sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface and turn out the dough. Sprinkle a little flour onto the dough and onto your hands and knead by pressing the dough with the heel of your palm and then folding the dough and pressing again. Four to Six times is enough to develop the proper gluten without making the biscuits tough. Press out the dough to 1⁄2-inch thick and cut the biscuits. When baked, biscuits should just double in size. If you like biscuits a little thinner, roll the dough a little thinner. Just remember the more you work the dough, the more tough the biscuits will be.

The recipes at the end of this week’s column are the top winners from the 2012 Cooking with Pork contest and a recipe for biscuits that was my favorite recipe for using with students when I taught Foods and Nutrition at Hopkinsville High School. It is from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

For more information contact Cecelia Hostilo at the Trigg County Extension Office by calling 522-3269.

Information for the article was obtained from Sandra Bastin, PhD, RD, LD, CCE, UK Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

Easy Sausage Strata

1 pound pork sausage

6 slices bread

4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

6 eggs

2 cups milk

1⁄2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon ground dry mustard

1⁄2 bag fresh baby spinach

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain and set aside. Spray a 9” x 13” baking pan with a no-stick spray. In the pan, layer bread, sausage, and 2 cups cheese. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, and mustard. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, sausage, and cheese. Top with spinach and mushrooms. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 ̊F. Top the casserole with remaining cheese. Bake covered for 50-60 minutes or until firm in the center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Ham Pinwheels

8-ounces cream cheese, softened

8-ounces sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped black olives

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Chopped jalapenos to taste

2 cups grated cheese

Bacon bits

Ham slices

Mix all ingredients except ham slices well. Spread cream cheese mixture over 6 to 8 flour tortillas. Lay ham slices on top of cheese and roll tightly. Put in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Slice into 1⁄2”-inch slices to serve.

Caramelized Pork with Melon

1 small cantaloupe or 1⁄4 cup cantaloupe preserves

1 cup sugar

1⁄4 cup water

2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce

1⁄2 cup orange juice

4 pork chops or pork loin

3 green onions, sliced thin

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups cooked rice

Chop melon into small pieces and put in saucepan with water and sugar. Cook until tender and thickened. You can also use cantaloupe preserves instead of fresh melon. Mix cooked melon or preserves with Hoisin sauce and 1⁄4 cup of the orange juice. Season the meat with salt and pepper; brush with the melon sauce and brown in the oil about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the remainder of the sauce, remaining 1⁄4 cup orange juice, and spinach to the skillet. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add meat back to the skillet and spoon sauce over the meat. Cook another 3-4 minutes on each side. Spoon cooked rice onto a place; top with a pork chop and cover with sauce. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Biscuits Supreme

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cup shortening

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk all at once. Stir just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 4 to 6 strokes or just until dough holds together. Pat or lightly roll dough until 3⁄4-inch thick. Cut the biscuit dough with a floured biscuit cutter.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the baking sheet and serve immediately.
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