Heron named cookbook contest winner

VIENNA – After sharing her recipes and learning new ones for the last three decades, Janet Heron of Vienna was given the grand prize for her Key Lime Ice Box Cake for the 59th annual Parkersburg News and Sentinel/Marietta A.M. Cookbook.

“Oh my goodness” was Heron’s first response to being told of her win. “I am thunderstruck.”

Heron has participated in the local cookbook competition for roughly 30 years and said she never considered she could win the grand prize.

“I never expected to win because I’m not really a good cook,” she said. “I get by, but I’m not like these other people who win are.

“I’ve not won anything like this since the golden horseshoe in eighth grade and it’s wonderful,” she added.

Heron said the recipes she chooses to make are based more on ease than anything else.

“Yes, I think about how the food is supposed to taste, but I prefer recipes that are easy and don’t take a long time or are complicated,” she said. “The easier the recipe, the more I like it.”

Because the Key Lime Ice Box Cake recipe does not include a large list of ingredients or require baking, Heron thought it looked good.

“Really, my oven is broken and I was looking for something to make for dessert that didn’t need to be baked and this was it,” she said. “It was very good and everyone who tried it liked it, so I decided to turn it in for the cookbook.”

Heron’s Key Lime Ice Box Cake was chosen from 395 recipes from a total of 53 contestants who entered recipes in this year’s competition. Of the 35 contestants chosen to participate in the final round of the competition for the tasting at the Williamstown Women’s Clubhouse in Tomlinson Park, Williamstown, held Oct. 23, four were not able to participate.

Along with the $500 gift card from Foodland, as this year’s grand-prize winner, Heron will be invited to judge at next year’s tasting party.

“I love to go to the tasting parties and talk to all of the other finalists,” Heron said. “I never thought of being a judge and I don’t know if I will be comfortable doing it.”

The judges for the cookbook were Kiki Angelos, restaurateur and accomplished cook; Patty Christopher, a food columnist for the newspaper; and Sarah Jalbert. The 2012 cookbook winner Joseph Sprouse was unable to attend the tasting and will be invited to be a judge next year with Heron.

Fred Ponko, with the culinary staff of the Blennerhassett Hotel and 2010 cookbook contest winner, served as the master of ceremonies.

Along with presentation, the dishes were judged on taste, preparation, originality and overall appeal.

The cookbook includes all recipes submitted for this year’s competition and is available in today’s edition of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel/Marietta A.M. Additional copies are available at the newspaper office at 519 Juliana St. in downtown Parkersburg.