A blueberry cupcake recipe earned Mary Helms of Houston County a blue ribbon and first place in the Alabama Farmers Federation Women’s Leadership Division Heritage Cooking Contest, Sept. 6 in Montgomery.
Helms and her husband, Fred, live on a farm in Rehobeth, where they grow peanuts and cotton and raise beef cattle.
“I am shocked, shocked,” Helms said when her recipe, “Blueberry Delight” was chosen as the winner of the 36 county contestants from throughout the state who competed in the contest. “I’ve never won anything.”
Helms, who received $150 as the first-place winner, said she had a special reason for choosing blueberries as a key ingredient for her cupcakes.
“The recipe was modified from one that originally called for strawberries,” Helms said. “I chose to use blueberries because we have some farmers in our county who grow blueberries. Plus, I used peanut oil in my recipe, and we grow peanuts on our farm.”
Rhonda Hughes of Jefferson County won second place and $100 for her Chocolate Key Lime Cheese Cupcakes. The third-place winner was Janell Powell of Butler County who received $50 for her Key Lime Cupcakes.
The Heritage Cooking Contest is held annually to highlight agriculture in Alabama and to acknowledge the tradition of favorite recipes.
“Featuring cupcakes in this year’s Heritage Cooking Contest sort of falls in line with all the reality shows about cooking that are popular right now,” said Kim Ramsey, director of the Federation’s Women’s Leadership Division. “Cupcakes allow cooks to display their individuality through decorations and unique ingredients. You can do so many things with them to make them fun and different by adding your own special touch.”
While judges sampled each of the entries and examined their recipes, members of county Federation Women’s Leadership Committees attended a program by Jennifer Cooper, owner of Gigi’s Cupcakes with locations in Montgomery, Auburn and Columbus, Ga.