Sunday, April 4, 2010

All in the Family

No sitting in librarys hunched over microfiche machines. No flying across the country to find the info you need. Just google it and it appears! I had always thought that great Aunt Hilda was in the Bake-off in the 40s. Well, I was wrong. Her great accomplishment was that she was the first female pharmacist to graduate from the University of Minnesota. How cool it that. But I wasn't too far off with the story. It was her son John that was in the Bake-off. He got second place in the 17th Busy Lady Bake-Off, Junior Division. He won $1000 at the age of 16. His recipe had a creative name: Gold Rush Brunch. They lived in Alaska at the time and lived through the earthquake. Here's the clipping I found online--and wow, that's a lot of sour cream!

Here's the recipe:

Gold Rush Brunch   
John Forrest Edwards
$500 Junior Second Prize Winner and $500 
Bright Idea Bonus Award Winner in Pillsbury's 17th Busy Lady Bake-Off

1 pkg. Pillsbury Hash Brown Potatoes
1/2 cup (1 medium onion) chopped onion
2 Tblsps. chopped parsley
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Pillsbury's Best Flour (Regular, Instant Blending or Self-Rising)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 pepper
1 1/2 cups dairy sour cream
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. sliced Canadian - style bacon
8 eggs

Prepare potatoes according to package directions; drain well.  Stir in onion and parsley.  Place in well-greased 13 x 9 baking dish.  Melt butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.  Pour over potatoes, lifting potatoes lightly to permit sauce to mix well.  Arrange bacon in an overlapping row down center of dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Make 4  indentations on each side of bacon; slip 1 egg carefully into each indentation.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.  Bake 15 to 20 Minutes longer or until eggs are set.

Hilda's comments:
4 cups of cubed fresh potatoes which I prefer using, cook them partially.
Sliced ham works well. I've also made it without eggs.

I heard from John shortly after the I was in the Bake-Off and wanted to add his comments here:

    I don’t remember them having category winners when I attended in 1966.  For comparisons sake, then the top prize was $25,000.00 and second place overall was $5,000.00.  There were also, a first place Junior Class prize of $2,500.00, and a second place Junior Class prize of $500.00.  Back then those were the top winners of the contest.  They also had a theme that year and it was ‘Busy Lady’ of which they gave away three more bonus prizes of $500.00 each for the recipes they judged to be the best that went along with that theme.  The idea was to be able to throw together a recipe quickly without much muss and fuss for the lady that was on the go.  So, a total of seven people were awarded prize money, out of the 100 contestants that participated in San Francisco.
            Only the two top prize winners appeared on TV when Pat Boone (the show’s host) announced the winner’s and presented them with their awards, while the other 98 contestants stood in the background singing the Pillsbury ditty, ‘Nothing says loving like something from the oven, and Pillsbury says it best’ accompanied by a full orchestra (very corny).  This was a 1/2 hour show broadcast live from the San Francisco Hilton’s ballroom. 
            The best thing was my mother got to fulfill one of her life long dreams, and that was; to attend the Pillsbury Bakeoff.  She really didn’t care if she was in the contest, she just wanted to go and see it live.  Because, I was still a minor at 16, she accompanied me as my guardian.  Laura’s news brings back very fond memories of, sharing that experience together with mom.

1 comment:

  1. Just read your blog piece about your Great Aunt Hilda's son, John, being in the Bake-Off teen division. After reading the recipe and then Hilda's notes, I couldn't help but wonder how young John felt when his very own mother passed along his prize winning recipe with the recommendation to use FRESH potatoes instead of the Pillsbury product which was essential to John's winning entry!!! Good thing Pillsbury never caught wind of that one. I tried to post this on your blog, but failed since I don't have any of those profile IDs.....keep in mind - I'm 67. Plain old e mail is quite an accomplishment for me!! I'm so excited for you - being a finalist in the Bake-Off is so thrilling....addicting, actually. I was in the 19th (1968) and in the 26th (1975). I have never ceased trying to make it just one more time. Don't know if you are aware, but one is allowed to be in only three Bake-Offs, so I figure, I've got one more chance to win the million bucks - which doesn't seem as much as it used to......but it's the competition of it all that keeps me going - ptiful, isn't it? I wish you could see my file of Bake-Off ideas and entries! Some I still believe in and continue to send them in with a few slight changes. It's such a game trying to figure out just what they are looking for and WHY they dissed so many of my really yummy recipes. There have been years when I have been so mad at them for ignoring my best entries, that I never wanted to enter again. But then the announcement of an upcoming Bake-Off comes, and I'm ready to go again! I know you are enjoying every minute of being a finalist, Laura, and I'll be watching for good news to come your way in the form of a check! Debby Keenan (Bill McAuliffe's sister)