The beef recipes—which are especially fitting this month, since October is Beef Month—are the winners of Alfa Farmers’ 2003 Heritage Cooking Contest, which was held in late summer. The annual event is a statewide competition that features Alabama-grown commodities, and this year’s theme was beef.
Frankie Davis of Dale County claimed top honors in the contest with a zesty Mexican ground beef casserole, while those same south-of-the-border flavors—this time blended into a hearty soup—earned Montgomery County’s Stacey Nestor second place. Terri Gilley of Cullman County, who placed third, went the more elegant route with a delicious grilled filet mignon.
The pork recipes, meanwhile, are the first-, second- and third-place winners in the Alabama Pork Producers’ 2003 State Pork Cooking Contest, which was held concurrently with the Heritage competition this year. Franklin County’s Annette Sturdivant won the blue ribbon in the Other-White-Meat cook-off with an original pork chop and rice skillet meal.
Leeann Vann of St. Clair County placed second with a sweet potato-stuffed boneless pork loin, and Cullman County’s Nancy Garrison won third with her super-easy slow-cooker roast.
As for the Czech recipe, it didn’t win any contest—but it might, should Alfa ever happen to sponsor a dumpling contest. The recipe, for Yeast Dumplings, is courtesy of Albena Gruber of Elberta in Baldwin County, and it is authentic.
Dumplings of some form or other are standard fare at most any Czech meal, and Albena says her grandmother—who got it from her mother, who got it from her mother—brought this recipe over from Czechoslovakia decades ago when the family came to America.
Albena rounds out the “Country Kitchen” with one of her wonderful non-Czech recipes, a moist pumpkin bread that will make you look at your jack-o-lantern in a whole new way.