SIDNEY — The Sidney Daily News has announced its annual cooking contest is going virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest will be followed by the distribution of its 36th annual Harvest Holiday Cookbook.
Home cooks and bakers may submit recipes in six categories for inclusion in the cookbook, which will be distributed in the Nov. 21 edition of the Sidney Daily News and available for purchase after that date.
“With all the uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided we needed to change the format for this year’s event,” said Natalie Buzzard, general manager. “Hopefully next year we’ll be back to our normal cook-off.”
This year contestants are asked to submit a three or four line description of the recipe they are entering to explain why they like it and any potential special ingredients in the recipe. The recipe should include a photograph of the cook with the dish being entered, which will be part of the judging process.
Cooks may enter up to three recipes in each of the six categories. All recipes must be emailed to the newspaper, or typed or legibly hand-printed. Illegible entries will be discarded. Entries must include the names of the dishes, the categories they’re submitted in, complete lists of ingredients and instructions, and the names, addresses, phone numbers and email address of the submitter.
Sidney Daily News readers will vote on the entries this year like they did for the 2020 Readers’ Choice of Shelby County. The first round of voting will be from Aug. 30 to Sept. 13, which will determine the four category finalists.
The second round of voting will be from Sept. 14 to 20 to determine the category winner.
The third round of voting will be Sept. 21 to 27 to determine the grand prize winner from the readers and judges.
Category winners will be awarded $50 cash prizes. A best-of-the-best winner, to be selected from among the category winners, will take home the grand prize of $300.
Cooks who want their recipes included in the cookbook, but who do not want to compete in the contest, should so indicate on their submissions.
Emailed recipes are preferred and can be sent to SDNrecipes@aimmediamidwest.com. Recipes in hard copy can be mailed or delivered to the Sidney Daily News, 1451 N. Vandemark Road, Sidney, OH 45365. Recipes will be accepted until 5 p.m., Aug. 19.
The categories are as follows:
• Quarantine dishes: Dishes, breads, desserts — any recipe learned or created during quarantine due to COVID-19.
• Kids in quarantine: With extra time at home, how many cooks under the age of 18 tested new recipes for their family? Did you perfect your spaghetti dish or create a new one? Did you find a new family favorite dish?
• Fair fun: While there was no baked good competition at the Shelby County Fair this year, the SDN has created a category just for them. If you planned to submit your favorite cake, pie or cookies for judging, send in your recipe to be judged by the SDN readers. In addition to the baked goods, readers may also submit a recipe for their favorite fair food, such as a funnel cake, French fries or deep fried pickles, just to name a few possibilities.
• Main dishes: meats, casseroles, soups — the entrees that anchor a meal.
• Scrumptious Sides: Vegetables, potatoes, exotic grains and more make a plate look pretty and a meal tasty.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.