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Bread, wine, salsa and a teddy bear

Moffat County Fair Grand Champions win with experience and, in some occasions, a simple idea

Dan Olsen

— When it comes to taking home a Grand Champion ribbon from the Moffat County Fair, sometimes it’s because of years of experience, sometimes it’s in your genes and sometimes it’s just an idea that came to you.

Bread

Baking bread is something Bonnie Reiman’s father did when she was a youngster back in Massachusetts.

“I grew up in a baking household,” Reiman said. “We had a family bakery until I was 4, and we moved to Arizona. Dad continued baking there, making pies, cakes and cookies.”

Reiman took home the Grand Champion ribbon for her egg-bread at the Moffat County Fair.

She has been entering items in the fair for “quite a long time,” she said, and has her share of ribbons.

“I started baking when my kids were little, and just kept at it,” she said.

Her bread recipe is no secret. It came on a box of Red-Star Yeast.

She makes the bread from scratch, preferring a mixer to kneading the dough by hand.

The important part when making bread, Reiman said, is having the water and milk at the correct temperature. Water that is too hot will kill the yeast.

Wine

A glass of wine to complement any bread waits nearby.

One thing Jim Madsen likes about making wine is the ingredients are constantly changing.

“We had friends give us a recipe probably 40 years ago,” he said. “We started making wine and changing it a bit.”

Enjoying 6 or 7 years of success at the county fair, Madsen’s rhubarb-mulberry wine, which took Grand Champion last year, gave way to a raspberry-rhubarb concoction for the 2007 fair. And another Grand Champion ribbon was awarded to Madsen wine.

“My wife, Linda and I make the wine,” Madsen said. “It takes three months to ferment, and we use gallon jugs in the fermenting process.”

Madsen and his wife are not sure what they will come up with for next year’s fair, but it likely will contain rhubarb as one ingredient.

“Rhubarb makes an excellent wine,” he said.

Salsa

Something with a little kick, such as salsa, can awaken taste buds.

Salsa is a tough entry at the fair because you never know what the judges will like.

Jared Perea’s vegetable salsa was too hot for the taste of some judges, but his fruit salsa recipe was a success.

“I just throw in whatever sounds good at the time,” Perea said. “Fresh ingredients are important. Last year, I used everything from my father-in-law’s garden.”

He purees some fruits and vegetables for the award-winning salsa, and dicing up ingredients takes some time, he said, because he doesn’t want any big chunks in the mix.

Perea’s pineapple salsa took home the Grand Champion ribbon in the fruit salsa category this year.

Beautiful Bear

Eight-year-old Sarah Van Grandt knew immediately she wanted to enter the Beautiful Bear competition at the fair. The question was, what to wear?

Her “tannish-brown” bear, Mr. Bear, was ready to go, but he needed to look just right for the fair.

“We dressed him in a suit and tie, and a dragon outfit and a camel one,” she said. “I decided on the camel costume.”

Van Grandt’s first-time entry in a fair event won the youngster a Grand Champion ribbon and created a great deal of excitement for her family at the fairgrounds.

Things had bear-ly calmed down for the family by the time Sarah’s oatmeal drop cookies took Reserve Grand Champion ribbon.


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