Lest you think I limited myself to butter in my newfound career path, it is important to note that I instantly became obsessed with entering all sorts of recipe contests. I pored over the website and made charts. I only entered contests with minimum prize money of $5000, since I am a broke-ass writer and piddly little hundred bucks here, basket-of-goodies prizes there aren’t going to cut it. And in cases where the finalists need to appear for an in-person cook-off, I made sure not to enter any contests where the cook-off dates conflicted with each other.
Because, and this is very important, I assumed that I would be a finalist.
In every contest I entered.
(This is where I also confess that I am genuinely baffled when I buy a lottery ticket and don’t actually win.)
Since I was fairly (okay, totally) certain that I would be a finalist in all of the contests, or at least most of them, I blocked off the dates in my Blackberry to be sure I would not double book myself. I thought about the prizes that would start rolling in, the money and the products. I would live like that book where the mom kept her impoverished family going with prizes from tagline contests!
You know, without the eighteen kids and abusive husband.
Some contests I was particularly excited about. The Tillamook Cheddar Mac and Cheese competition, which I entered three times. Five grand and 25 pounds of cheese for that one. My dad loves cheddar, he’d be so excited when that cheese arrived. A Colman Mustard Grilling challenge, five grand and a new gourmet grill. I mentally rearranged my back porch to accommodate the new equipment. The chicken contest, now down to fifty grand, probably due to the economy, but still, I entered that one a dozen times.
I was off to the races, and wondered where the hell I was going to store all the huge foam-core prize checks…
NEXT: The Polymath Finds the Holy Grail