SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Lincoln Stage hosted two contests Sunday that both were a hollering good time. The Husband and Hog Calling contests have become Illinois State Fair traditions and a capacity crowd this year enjoyed listening to contestants use their lungs to get those husbands and hogs running.
The winner of the Husband Calling Contest is no rookie. Julianna Willeford of Nilwood, Ill., won her second consecutive Husband Calling Contest. She called for her husband, Timothy, who was “lost” on the fairgrounds.
“Thank God!” was Julianna’s response when she was announced as the winner. “After all, He’s the one that gave me the good lungs.”
The second place caller was Valorie Deichman of Champaign, Illinois.
The Hog Calling Contest was so close that the judges ordered a second round between the top two competitors, Chris Karr of Seymour, Ill., who was participating in the contest for his 21st year, and two-time defending champion Kyle Barton of West Des Moines, Ia. Following the “call off,” Karr was declared the champion.
“I was happy,” a relieved Karr said.
Karr was a hog farmer until 2002, and his family has showed at the Illinois State Fair for three generations. His skit involved a dehydrated “pig.” He said it was inspired by the drought that is plaguing farmers and ranchers throughout the United States.
The third place finisher was a rookie caller, Stan Chmeleck of Chicago.
Wake Up to Eggs Contest Serves Delicious Breakfast Food
A Washington, Ill., woman's breakfast recipe won first prize today in the inaugural, Wake Up to Eggs cooking contest at the Illinois State Fair. Dianna Wara calls her winning dish “Morning Jam and Egg-Filled Croissants.”
The contest took place in the Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Building. Contestants were challenged to prepare egg dishes that are both convenient and simple to make as well as able to be served for breakfast.
Wara said she entered the contest because she loves to cook with eggs. She said they are easy to prepare and go well with many different ingredients. Her original recipe is printed below. She said it reflects her love for sweet food.
For her effort, Wara will receive $200. She said she will probably use it to buy a new kitchen appliance or a set of pots and pans.
The Wake Up to Eggs contest was created in order to promote egg consumption. The American Egg Board and the Illinois Department of Agriculture wanted to come up with a fresh new way to showcase how easy the popular breakfast food is to cook with.
Kitsy Amrhein of Springfield finished second in the contest. Amy Wertheim of Atlanta took third.
Morning Jam & Egg Filled Croissants
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 tablespoon butter
6 medium croissants, sliced
Non-stick cooking spray
8 large eggs
4 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup honey ham, diced
6 thin slices smoked provolone cheese
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and preserves; set aside. Evenly spread the cream cheese mix on the bottom of each croissant.
In a medium bowl, add the eggs, cream, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Whisk well. Toss in the honey ham; set aside. Turn stove on to medium-high heat. Add butter and toast the cut sides of the croissants. Take croissant off and keep the stove on medium-high stove top. Spray non-stick cooking spray into the pan. Add 1/6 of the eggs to a 6 inch non-stick skillet. Cook omelet style and then flip when ready. Cook till the eggs are set. Take off the heat; fold the omelet in half and half again. Place the egg on the bottom of a croissant. Top with a slice of cheese. Finish cooking the remaining egg mixture.
Garnish: I like to garnish with a fresh fruit salad.
(If you can’t find medium croissants- 4 large may be substituted. You will add ¼ of the eggs to each skillet to cook).
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