It’s the Christmas holiday season, which means it’s time for family togetherness, special kindnesses, and of course, stromboli-making. Regular visitors know that our family has a stromboli contest each year in which participants both young and old come up with their best ideas for filling a stromboli and we face off against each other in a hotly contested competition for the best and most creative.
(What is a stromboli? It’s kind of like a rolled-up pizza. You roll out a pizza dough, fill it with the fillings of your choice, and roll it up in a pinwheel and bake it. For a refresher, see Stromboli Bowl 2011, Stromboli Bowl 2012, and Stromboli Bowl 2014.)
This year we had an enthusiastic group of competitors ranging in age from 7 to… let’s call it post-retirement. The entries included:
1. Cincinnati style chili with spaghetti and cheddar (Jeanne)
2. Spaghetti carbonara (Sara)
3. Ground beef, blue cheese, onion and hot sauce (Grandpa Joe)
4. Chorizo, cannelini, cilantro, orange zest and chèvre (Chef Joe)
5. California street taco (Dave)
6. “Everything Meat”: Ham, sausage, cheesesteak, tomato, tomato sauce, and basil (Zach)
7. Calamari, basil and bacon (Luke)
8. Chicken cordon bleu (Sam)
9. Baked ziti (Lily)
10. Spinach, bacon, onion, and mozzarella (Joan)
Due to a scheduling conflict, our regular judges could not attend so we had two new judges take up the mantle. Judge Marv took on the duties with great flourish, arriving at the front door in full judicial regalia.
When all of the strombolis were baked, sliced, and labeled, the judges sat down and went through a grueling evaluation and discussion of the pros and cons of each. Then they came back with their final decision… (Drum roll, please): Most Creative – #4 – Joe’s chorizo and cannelini stromboli; and Best in Show – #10 – Joan’s spinach, bacon, onion, and mozzarella.
This year we’ve had so many offers for judges that we’ve decided to expand it for next year by moving it to a larger space and recruiting more judges. Any takers? Here’s to fun family traditions!