This week, I started working in earnest on the details for the Moxie Recipe Contest. Some of my newer readers may not know this, but last year I “hosted” a cooking contest during the Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls. Excitement, food, new friends, all stirred up with a splash (or a gallon) of Moxie soda. We had fabulous prizes, celebrity judges, and swag bags for entrants.
I was even on Tee Vee!
It was so exciting that I’ve actually been dreading this year’s contest. What if it falls short of last year’s thrill-a-minute food fest? OF COURSE there will be wonderful prizes to win again (like an orange Cuisinart immersion hand blender or two)! Yes, and celebrity judges! Swag bags? But of course. New this year, ribbons for the winners. But what certain something or special twist will make the contest new and fresh?
My first brainstorm, given that I’m an apron-loving throwback to another time was “Mid-century Moxie.” “Mid-century modern” is a term that applies to architecture, products, and the zeitgeist of the middle of the last century (including the 50’s). The Atomic Age, baby! By extension, it could include the food of suburbia. After the privation of World War II, Americans moved into the suburbs and cut loose. Their desire for convenience lead to casseroles, grilled nibbles on a stick, and inventive main dishes fortified by crushed breakfast cereal, Lipton onion soup mix, and Jell-O. The Moxie Recipe Contest could be a showcase for cooks to create recipes that captured the Mid-century modern flavor and spirit.
I ran the idea by a few of my trusted advisors and friends. They’re so kind, never saying things like “that’s the craziest idea you’ve ever thought up” or “it’s completely unworkable.” They say things like:
“First off, you know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE any recipe that calls for potato chips, a can of cola, mayonnaise, and tomato soup (in cakes), etc. I have even seen a casserole that you top with (no lie) Funyuns. My only concern is that the category might be too limiting. And I foresee a lot of cocktail weenies in crockpots with Moxie sauces (NOT that that’s a bad thing…). How about something like the television show Chopped.”
I did a little research and ran it by my trusted advisors again. Another said:
“Oh, I love Chopped. That could be difficult, though, because it requires a time limit, a provided pantry, and cooking live instead of at home. But we could adapt it!”
So here I sit at sunrise under my kitchen surgery light, testing half-baked ideas for the Moxie Recipe Contest with a toothpick. Thank goodness for my trusted advisors! But I need a few more suggestions. Are you a fan of Chopped? How would you adapt the show’s rules to the Moxie Recipe Contest? What ingredients (besides Moxie soda) would you require for the “basket?”
Naturally, we can do it exactly like we did it last year, but because two brains are always better than one, I’ll be taking suggestions today and through the weekend. Leave me a comment! A few things are certain:
The Moxie Recipe Contest will be held on Friday evening, July 11, 2014, at Chummy’s Restaurant in Lisbon Falls, Maine. The judging begins at 5:00 p.m.
More to come!