Sandi Klingler has a wall full of blue ribbons at her farmhouse in Bullock County, but none are more special than the one she earned for her Black-Bottom Pecan Pie back in 1992 in the South Alabama Fair’s Crisco pie-baking contest.
That was her first recipe contest, and it’s what got her hooked. Since then, she and her fantastic recipes have won a ton of state and national cooking contests, and the wins just keep coming.
She’s garnered thousands of dollars in cash, a couple of top-of-the-line ranges as well as trips to New York City. And she’s won in everything from the Whirlpool cake contest — judged by Gale Gand of Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams” — to, well, to the national Spam cookoff.
Every winning recipe is an original. Sandi says she comes up with a basic idea, then tweaks the recipe until she and her family judge it worthy of contending.
Sandi and husband Bill, who serves on the Bullock County Farmers Federation Board of Directors, returned to the farm in the early 1990s after working in the airline industry. Bill raises cattle and pecans — the latter being an ingredient in many of Sandi’s dishes, including her award-winning Big Fat Bumpy Life Cake, which she shares with Friends & Family readers in this edition of the “Country Kitchen.”