Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Culinary Smackdown Announced + More October Food Events

Our September Smackdown winner, Jen from Our Good (Food) Life, has announced the October theme, Battle: Winter Squash! Details at Jen's place here. It would be great to welcome back previous participants who have been otherwise occupied with moving into new digs, crazy work demands, epic swims around Alcatraz, travels that make me jealous, or on blogging hiatus (you know who you are). It would be swell to welcome more newcomers to this friendly little virtual cook-off too - all are welcome! Deadline is October 31, and you can find the link to this month's details anytime by clicking the image on my sidebar (designed by my talented friend Chickory) below the thingie that says: "Where in the world is this month's Culinary Smackdown?"

Jen mentioned she was originally leaning toward pumpkin as this month's theme. If you're in the Cincinnati area and have a hankering to try out a pumpkin preparation, Marvin's Organic Gardens, in Lebanon, OH, is hosting its 2nd Annual Fall Harvest Family Festival Saturday, October 15, from noon to 5:00, complete with a pumpkin cook-off/bake-off in both sweet and savory categories. You can do the required pre-registration thing up until noon on the day of the festival.

ETA: 1st and 2nd place winners in each category (sweet and savory) will receive $100 and $50 gift certificates to Marvin’s. You can register either online or at the event. Full details on how to enter here on Marvin’s website, and more about the event on Marvin’s facebook page here.

Wherever you reside, Sunday, October 16, is Blog Action Day (BAD), an international opportunity for bloggers to make their voices heard. Since this year's BAD coincides with World Food Day, the theme is food. If you're a blogger and choose to participate, you can register your blog here. If you care about food and its local and global implications, you'll no doubt find lots of thought-provoking posts from around the blogosphere that day as a reader too.

As conflicted as I am about using the word "foodie" to describe myself, I believe there is an important flip side to my obsession. You can contribute canned foods to one of my favorite organizations, the Cincinnati Freestore Food Bank, at lunchtime this Friday on the Square, as a kick-off to the evening's events celebrating the 140th birthday of the Tyler Davidson Fountain.

And if you just want to have fun, how about the Cincinnati Chocolate Festival October 23 at Xavier's Cintas Center? Among others, three fine local female "celebrity" pastry chefs - Summer Genetti, Pam Sturkey, and Megan Ketover (who I continue to root for on Top Chef: Just Desserts - aired Wednesday nights at 10:00 Eastern on Bravo, ahem, not Food TV). Another of my local favorites, Chocolats Latour, will also be participating. Proceeds from the event go to a number of worthy organizations via Isaac M. Wise Temple's Sisterhood project.

ETA: There will also be an amateur chocolate cooking competition. Details and entry form here. Plus, tickets, which can be redeemed for chocolate tastings, raffle baskets, children's activities, chef demonstrations, etc., are available at Kroger at $5 for 10 (at the door, they’ll be 7 for $10). Items such as raffle baskets, most samples and activities such as demonstrations and Kids Zone will be 1 ticket. Wine and chocolate pairings will be 2 tickets and concession items will vary, according to the Festival’s facebook page. Wine and chocolate pairings? I’m in!

What's on your October agenda?


LaDivaCucina said...

I Eggy! I miss your posts! And participating in the smackdowns! And cooking REAL MEALS! haha! I've cooked real dinners for the first time the last two nights, yay! After this weekend, I should be done with all unpacking and hopefully, life will return to normal. I look forward to catching up with you and your posts and thank you always for your support and friendship! xoxo

Sharon Rudd said...

Diva, thanks for stopping by in the midst of your moving mayhem. Hope your life will finally be calming down soon, and you know we would love for you to join in the Smackdown. Cooking real dinners is a step in the right direction :)

BTW - to all - the folks from Marvin’s Organic Gardens tell me entries for the Pumpkin Cook-Off/Bake-Off have to be submitted by 1pm, the judging starts at 1:30, and at 2:30 the winners will be announced.

Jeff said...

Hey There,

I've had October 23rd circled on my calendar since the spring, but this is the first I heard about the cooking contest. I should go for it.

Thanks for the reminder!

Sharon Rudd said...

You should definitely go for it, Jeff! And we'd love to have you join the Smackdown too. As my MIA blogger friend, Buzzy, is wont to do, you could make one dish for both contests :)

Velva said...

I really enjoy following he cooking challenges on your blog.


Jenny said...

I think I could cook with squash by the end of the month. I'd like to try a soup recipe I found last week. I miss our blobby buddies too. :-). Have a great weekend.