High temperatures and sudden storms are sure signs that the 2012 Delaware State Fair is underway. It is a tradition that has been carried on in Harrington, Del., for more than 90 years.
Judges in the culinary department tasted and debated long and hard before awarding ribbons to the many competitors in Baked Goods and Food Preservation contest. Judging is done by two-person teams and takes place over a two-day period.
By the end of the first day of Baked Goods, even the most experienced judges confess that they don’t want to see another cookie for about a week. The volunteers who judge in culinary are either food-service professionals or they have taken the training classes to gain the certification needed to judge.
This year’s Best of Show award was presented to Denise Deskiewicz of Greenwood, Del., who has been competing for a number of years and who uses recipes and techniques passed down through her family. Beaming with excitement, Denise explained to us how hard she worked to get her tomatoes so carefully and perfectly packed in the jar. The judges would happily have eaten the entire contents of the entry jar because the flavor was so appealing to them.Food columnist Judi Leaming writes for the Dover (De.) Post.
Denise Deskiewicz’s Canned Tomatoes, Whole
30-plus fresh tomatoes (Early Girl used)
7 sterilized quart jars
New lids and rings for jars (lids sterilized)
Water bath canner
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place five to 10 tomatoes at a time in the water for 30 seconds to one minute, just until the skin starts to split. Take out and immediately put in ice water. Peel the skins off and core out the stems. Place whole in sterilized quarts jars. Gently push down to force out any air and allow natural juices to escape. Place 1 teaspoon of kosher salt into each jar. Clean jar rims. Put on lids and screw tops. Place in the boiling water bath and process for 20 minutes after the water comes back to a full boil. Remove and place on towel or rack to cool. Make sure jars are properly sealed. Allow to rest for 24 hours before storing in cool dark area.