Monday, October 3, 2011

Fourth Annual Spreading Smucker’s® Traditions Recipe & Essay Contest

Now you all know I don't like or know how to cook.  I think I've made that clear plenty of times.  However one of the things I do love, besides eating, is sitting in the kitchen whenever my mom or grandmother are in front of the stove making one of their deliciously scrumptious meals. With my mom she'll go into detail about how to do this and that, and I'll just watch her move so effortlessly about the kitchen and click with everything around her.  It's as if the spoons and spices just flow right to her and she knows EXACTLY what's she's doing.  Half the time she's not even looking! And the best thing about my mother is that she makes all types of foods from Spanish, to Italian, American and so much more.  She has a passion for it all.  

Now my grandmother, her specialty is Spanish, Puerto Rican, food.  From Pernil to Arroz con Gandules, this woman cooks it up.  And whenever I'm in the kitchen with her, she talks to me about each ingredient she's adding in, and always manages to tell me how she learned how to use them all.  She'll start talking about how her grandmother taught her this, or how her mother or even her sister taught her that.  Just today she was making chicken and was telling me how she learned it from a lady on TV years ago; she gets inspiration and lessons from everyone and everywhere.  One of my favorite and probably the memory I'll take with me forever, is making Pateles with her.  Now if any of you have ever made Pateles, you know it is a tiring process that takes DAYS! Yes, you have to buy the stuff, start peeling bananas, bleeding out those little red seeds, then smashing and grinding the bananas, washing and prepping the leaves, etc.  By the time you're ready to eat them, you're over them completely.  BUT, working with my grandmother on these delicacies, has always been interesting and an eye opening experience.  Listening to her stories and her telling me how to do this and that, is always a little treat for me.  So while I'm not a chef, I LOVE watching the women in my life cook and talk to me about their recipes with such love and devotion.

So what's a perfect time to bring up families and special recipes and combining the two?  Now, during Hispanic Heritage Month, and Smucker's® is going to help!  From now until November 16th, Smucker's® invites you to visit their site, or, to enter and share your original recipes using at least 1/4 cup of  any of their Smucker's® jams, jellies, preserves or fruit butters, plus an original essay of 200 words or less (in English or Spanish) about how the recipe is a part of your family's traditions and how it makes family celebrations, special.  Then in March 2012, five contest finalist will be selected and flown to New York city for a live recipe demonstration and judging, where one will win $20,000 towards a dream family reunion!  Doesn't that sound amazing! How incredible that a family recipe could possibly win you such a wonderful gift with and for your family!  And Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect time for this contest, as Latinos all over the country are celebrating their history and culture together.   Hmmm, I wonder how a Orange Marmalade would mix in with Pateles.

For Official Contest Rules visit or  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older.  Void where prohibited.

So stop reading, and start cooking and writing!  Good luck to all of you.

Happy Blogging All!

Disclaimer:  While Confessions Of A Latina Loquita did receive Smucker's® products, it did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  Participation is completely voluntary and all opinions noted in the above are my own opinion. 

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