Remember the movie ‘Rocky’ and the many sequels~~I, II, III, IV, V, Rocky Balboa, and was there a Rocky VII? That’s what I feel like at this very moment as I write this post about the Pillsbury Bake-Off. However, unlike Rocky who got started in boxing competition to prove himself , his worth, and earn self-respect, my reason for throwing myself into the Pillsbury Bake-Off competition is for other reasons. It’s a challenge, the ultimate challenge for culinary creativity. There are several rounds to this major contest competition for home cooks. The stakes are high~~$1m to the big winner. The requirements daunting~~create something so exceptionally simple, easy, and clever and with just a few ingredients…oh, yes, you have to use Pillsbury product(s) and other sponsor products.
I’m one of the thousands of PBO ‘wannabes’ or a PBOW. As a first-time PBO entrant, I’m a little green, naive and clueless, but having entered many cooking competitions, I did feel a slight sense of confidence in Round 1. Duh, wrong! I got slammed in the confidence category after entering eight recipes into the ‘Doable Dinners’ category. None was chosen, and I was miffed! Each of the dishes I created was totally from ideas in my head…I did no research, I didn’t look at previous entries, I didn’t Google Pillsbury to get ideas…I just looked at those little blue tubes, the jolly green giant, the Smuckers’ boys and tried to see how they could be fashioned into something even more delicious that they already were. Well, obviously that strategy didn’t work. While the recipes were unequivocally delicious, there was something missing. So, like Rocky in Round 2, I’m re-shaping my approach and changing my training strategy for Round 2~~starters and sweets.
While the contest doesn’t officially open for entries for about another month, I’m furiously in the kitchen cracking open blue tubes, buying other sponsor ingredients (hoping they’ll be part of the ingredients list!), tasting more than I really want to, doing more yoga than normal to stave off the extra pounds that come from a bite of this or that, and deciding whether something’s a keeper that can be improved upon or something that’s trashed! I’m also spending more time at the Pillsbury website looking for trends, what’s won in past years, and the style of everything from how the recipes are written to ingredients–maybe there’ll be a spark, a clue, or some inspiration.
Staying connected with other wannabes is a must! While we’re all competing against each other, there’s a certain camaraderie of support that comes from
sharing with another what you’re going through…we’re the AA of the blue tubes–these folks understand, they appreciate your feelings, and they’re there to lean on. Score one! Score two is that I’m very grateful for a recent post from Christina Hillen Verrelli, a new friend of mine now, who was last year’s million dollar winner in the PBO. She’s sharing with all of us wannabes priceless information~~she’s been there twice~~the second time she walked away with the big kahuna prize~~just a home cook, like me and the other wannabes. Fearless is a word that describes Rocky~~got my boxing gloves on, am running up and down those many steps in my head, have the blare of the music in my brain~~time to read yet again Christina’s ’10 Tips for Entering Competing at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest‘! There’s only 1 more round after this one! Hoping for a KO in Round 2!