Corsicana — Editor's note: See more photos from the Navarro County Youth Expo on the Daily Sun's Facebook page.
It is a year of “first-timers” for the Navarro County Youth Exposition Food Competition — not just first-time winners, but winners who are competing for the first time ever this year.
Senior Grand Champion Trecina Stevenson of Frost FFA has never competed in the food division before, but was inspired by the memory of her late great-grandparents, George and Fay Stevenson, who were enthusiastic canners. Her jalapeno jelly was a favorite with many of the judges.
Junior Grand Champion, Caroline Mousner of Collins Catholic School 4-H was also a first-time competitor, and her “Mom’s Banana Muffins” were a hit, as well.
Senior Reserve champion was awarded to Cheyenne Miller of Mildred FFA for her Salsa de Tejas. Hannah Chaffin of Blooming Grove FFA was honored for “Most Creative” for her darling barnyard cake, with three tiers and several darling edible animals, and a Kit Kat fence.
Junior Reserve champion went to Amanda Wilder of Frost 4-H for her strawberry jam. Amanda just moved to Frost in the last year, and prior to that, didn’t know what 4-H was.
“I didn’t really think I’d get anything, so I just participated for fun,” Amanda said. “My grandmother likes to can, so she gave me suggestions on what to make ... I’m also going to be in Creative Arts.”
Amanda’s mother affirmed that she and her brother were excited when they learned the Youth Expo had competitions for kids besides animal contests.
An army of brown and white mice made of marischino cherries and Hershey kisses took the award for “Most Creative” in the Junior division, and went to Ashton Owens of Mildred 4-H.
The Junior division is third grade to age 13, and senior division begins at age 14 through 12th grade. Classes are candies, cookies, pies, muffins and breads, canned products, and cakes. Cakes have sub-classes of enhanced cakes, fruit or nut, chocolate, pound or other.
They are judged on taste, texture, degree of difficulty and presentation.
Judging went smoothly this year as there were 13 judges, and everyone showed up.
The senior category had 105 entries prior to Monday, 58 Junior entries, for a total of 163. Some did not show for check in on Monday, and some were disqualified when they did show.
“It concerns me that our junior entries are low, because there are the kids coming up,” said Tresa Darby, food chairman. “The nice thing about having plenty of judges is you don’t have to eat as much, and the process is a bit faster, but the tallying people have more work to do.”
One popular favorite was the bacon peanut brittle, which was unusual and had great flavor and texture. Equally unexpected combinations were the cookies topped with chocolate and Fritos.
Complete placings in the food division will appear in our Youth Expo Roundup publication next week.
Deanna Kirk may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: email@example.com