Family heirlooms can be all kinds of things from jewelry to quilts, from clocks to tea sets. Each heirloom passes a story onto the next generation and just builds on over time.
The Missouri State Fair’s 2015 Family Heirloom Recipe Contest was hosted Saturday in the Home Economics Building. Observing the entire building for her fourth year, Home Economics Superintendent Lynne Beasley said she sees the competition as fun and a chance to meet some really great people. She said she believes the recipes are seeds that are passed down for ages. Beasley’s favorite parts of the competition are how the dish is presented, the uniqueness, and the history that is written for it.
Faye Hunton’s first competition was in 1987 when she entered one item, a black walnut cake, which ended up winning and to her surprise was given to then-Gov. John Ashcroft. This year, Hunton entered the heirloom contest with her grandmother’s Blackberries Cobbler recipe, which has been around since the late 1940s. She has placed countless times before in this competition and in other food competitions; on Saturday, her cobbler took second place.
Through all the cooking, cleaning, planning and traveling, Hunton has experienced what she calls “my 15 minutes of fame” moments. One was when her black walnut cake was made into a 10 foot by 15 foot State of Missouri and shown on the opening day of the Missouri State Fair. Hunton was the first to cut the cake, and she joined Ashcroft and his wife, Janet, to serve cake. Another moment when her Blue Goose Pie, made in Kansas City and weighing 1,500 pounds, was transported on mattresses for opening day at the state fair.
The world of competition can open up doors for all different people. Beasley and Hunton have both met new people through the Home Economics competitions. Hunton has made friends and connections that have lasted for years; she even has a Facebook group called Fair Friends.
Heather Patrick is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.