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Decadent contestant

By Staff | Sep 25, 2009

Kaye Postma, of Rhodes, has been entering different food creations into contests at the Iowa State Fair for close to 30 years. She's looking over her ribbons displays hanging throughout her kitchen.

RHODES – Entering just one food contest at her local county fair has led to almost 30 years of entering food competitions, including a family-sponsored competition at the Iowa State Fair.

Kaye Postma said it was the lure of the food contests at the Jasper County Fair that began her long-lasting hobby of competing.

“I did really well and thought it was fun,” said Postma, who lives on an acreage near Rhodes with her husband, Jerry.

Postma said she competed at the county level for a number of years before moving up a level and trying the Iowa State Fair.

“I thought I’d bake a pie and go to the state fair and thought well, it got us down to the fair. I got hooked and have been going ever since,” Postma said.

Kaye Postma made this popcorn sculpture to resemble the big slide at the Iowa State Fair, featuring gingerbread men as the riders. Postma won third place overall in the Snappy Popcorn Sculpture Contest at the 2009 Iowa State Fair.

Entering into food competitions at the Iowa State Fair has become a family affair with at least two of the Postmas’ children attending and competing. One son judges food contests now, and even grandchildren have entered food contests.

“One of us usually lucks out once in a while and wins,” she said.

Beyond the level of competing, Postma’s family has been sponsoring a gingerbread contest the last few years.

“Our contest is made up to be one that I would enter myself,” she said.

Postma found a recipe for gingerbread and began making cookies, which became a family favorite.

Kaye Postma loves to make gingerbread cookies and considers her recipe unique when compared to others due to the fact her dough is easy to work with and form into shapes. Gingerbread is such a love for Postma and her family that they even sponsor a gingerbread contest at the Iowa State Fair.

Her recipe, she said, is unique compared to others she has found and those that have been entered into their contest.

What makes hers different, Postma said, is that the flour is actually kneaded into the dough, which makes the dough pliable for sculpturing into all sorts of shapes.

“That is fun for me because I like to make whimsical and fun things,” said Postma.

Postma considers competing at the Iowa State Fair a family event, because her own family members are present, and because of the close friendships she has developed with the entire food department and other competitors.

“We always hope to go back and see the same people,” she said. “It just wouldn’t be August if we weren’t going to the fair.”

She noted that although preparing the food, transporting it to the fair and judging, for which she is known for not attending is all very tiring and nerve-racking it is something she still very much enjoys.

One particular year winning at the Iowa State Fair earned her and her husband a free trip to Atlanta where she participated in the Crisco American Pie contest.

“I had a lot of fun with that,” said Postma.

Winning at the fair has also led to some of her recipes being featured in various cookbooks as well.

Postma said she realizes how important cooking is when it comes to feeding a family and that sometimes cooks can be taken for granted.

“Getting the ribbon and the recognition is nice,” she said. “To me, cooking is an art.”

At the 2009 Iowa State Fair, Postma earned first place in the Sensational Sour Cream Creations with her sour cream savory party time taco casserole.

In the Decadent Dessert category, Postma took second with her decadent turtle cheesecake. She took third place overall in the Snappy Popcorn Creations contest with her giant slide in gingerbread people land.

She also earned second place honors in the Phil Stong’s State Fair Mincemeat competition.

Gingerbread cookies

This dough can be molded into desired shapes without cookie cutters, using like clay.

1/2 cup shortening (or 1/4 cup butter, plus 1/4 cup shortening)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

3/4 cup dark molasses

4-5 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream together shortening and brown sugar. Beat in eggs; add molasses and vanilla and blend well.

Sift together two cups of flour, baking soda and spices. Stir into creamed mixture until smooth. Stir and knead in enough additional flour until mixture is the consistency of clay.

On a floured surface, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters.

Place on greased cookie sheets or parchment paper-covered cookie sheets.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, depending on size of cookie.

Decorate with frosting.

Turtle pecan cheesecake

2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (with cream center removed)

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 1/2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into bottom of greased 9-inch spring form pan.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until creamy. Add sugar, flour, salt and vanilla. Mix well.

Add eggs all at once, beating only until blended. Blend in cream.

Pour over crust.

Place pan on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking 40-50 minutes or until set. (Edges of cake are puffed, middle of cake jiggles slightly when jarred).

Remove from oven, cool 10-minutes.

Run knife around edges of cake to loosen. Cool completely and remove rim from cake.

Carmel topping:

Combine 1/2 of a 14-ounce bag of caramels (about 25) with 1/3 cup whipping cream in small saucepan; stir until smooth.

Chocolate topping:

Combine 1 four-ounce package of German sweet chocolate, one teaspoon butter and two tablespoons whipping cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.

Drizzle toppings over cake and refrigerate.

Sprinkle with pecans just before serving.

Oatmeal sandwich

cookies

For cookies:

1 1/2 cup shortening

2 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups oatmeal

For filling:

3/4 cups shortening

3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

1 jar (7-ounce) marshmallow crme

1 to 3 tablespoons milk

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture.

Stir in oats and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, two-inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove to wire racks to cool

For filling, in mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar and marshmallow cream. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread filling on half of the cookies and top with remaining cookies. Filling can also be piped on cookies using a tip and pastry bag for decoration.

Yield: About 4 1/2 dozen.

Contact Kriss Nelson by e-mail at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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