Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)
By Deborah Sampson
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This year he was in the running for the Savory Stew Cook-off. This was the fifth year of the cook-off, and his second in entering it.
Last year the three judges agreed that most of the entries were good, but Willis Bates was by far the best. They could not stop talking about the ingredients in Will’s stew; the combination gave it a unique taste, one fitting to be the winner.
When the samples were given out to taste, all the people seemed to agree, it was a hit.
This year though, Will had to go out of town on church business and would not be back till the day of the cook off. Tom was sorry to hear it, but it meant this year might be his turn. He looked around at the other entries and summed up that he had the best chance of winning this thing.
Tom shook his head, what was this, a new entry? He moseyed over to the table as the stew was being set down, he could see the man clearer now, it was Bradley Lane, a newcomer to the church, Hum-m, Tom said to himself, he needed to investigate this.
Bradley set about stirring the stew in the round flowered slow cooker, it gave off heavely whiffs of the savory stew, Tom could see bits of perfectly cut carrots, potatoes, peas, celery, and bite sized pieces of tomatoes. Chunks of beef that looked so tender, it could melt in your mouth, boy, Tom would like to find a way to taste this concoction, and the herbs Bradley used smelled delicious.
Tom left to go back to his stew, not that his wasn’t really great, he reached for his spoon to stir his stew again, his looked good, had many of the same ingredients. But was something missing?
His church sponsored this event every year, and there would be anywhere from eight to fifteen entries. It would appear to be eleven so far, the judging was set for noon, about an hour to go.
Tom saw his family coming up to the table, his wife, Katy smiling at him, she hadn’t change much since they were married almost ten years, now, still as pretty as ever, on one side was their son, Adam, and the other side, a petite version of Katy, was their daughter Candance.
“We just want to wish you well, honey, we’ll be rooting for you.” Katy said, reaching up to give Tom a kiss on the cheek.
“Thanks, guys, I need it this year, I think.” Tom reached for the spoon again, "I’ll see you in a little bit."
Tom looked at Bradley again, he knew the Lord said to be gracious, and want good for others, but Tom wasn’t feeling like losing to a newcomer, this year it was his turn, and no he didn’t like it one little bit, he ought to go tell Bradley to shove off.
Someone just walked up to Bradley, now who was that? Oh yes, it’s his daughter Samantha, she was giving her dad a hug, he forgot he had a family too, some of Tom’s emotions calmed down.
It was true; Bradley had just as much right as he did to be here, may the best stew win. He knew he had to ask the Lord to forgive him of the not too kinds of thoughts earlier, and he set about doing just that.
The bell rang a few minutes later, signaling it was time for the judging to start.
All the stew was tasted and the judges huddled together to talk over the findings.
"Ladies and Gentleman we have reached a decision, Savory Stew number Nine won. For the second year in a row, we have picked Willis Bates’s stew." The judge announced.
“What, he’s not here, come on how can that be?” Tom asked himself.
"Bradley was so kind to bring in Will’s stew for him since he couldn’t get here in time. Thanks to Bradley, Will’s stew won again!" The judge continued.
The crowd clapped for the winning entry.
Tom, scratching his head just started laughing, he hadn’t been right about anything today, except that Will’s stew smelled delicious. He aimed to go get a sample of the best tasting Savory stew at Calvary Center. He smiled, maybe next year.
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