How Do We Iron Chef?

We’ve just returned from a fun week-end with my family. We traveled four hours north to my parent’s home where we met the rest of my siblings and their families for our annual spring “Remix.” Since distance and weather have made it difficult for us to get together during the winter months, we meet in early spring for a whirlwind weekend of food and fun.

One of our traditions during the Remix is our very own “Iron Chef” competition. Inspired by the show on FOOD Network, we choose a “Secret Ingredient”. Speculation and rumors start circulating months before the competition about what secret ingredient will be chosen!

When the officials (usually a group of grandchildren under Grandma’s watchful eye) have made the decision, they send word via email a few weeks before the event. This gives everyone time to think and come up with creative and amazing ideas. All family member’s are encouraged to bring an entry to the Remix using that ingredient.

Then during the remix we have our “competition” when all the entires are labeled and laid out on a table. We choose 2 or 3 family members to be judges. I even found chef jackets at a thrift store for the judges to wear so they look more “official”!

After the judges have tasted everything, they go off to deliberate while we sample all the goodies. Then each entry is given a creative prize title.

This year our secret ingredient was cheese. We had everything from a castle sculpted from cheese to Velveeta cheese fudge. There was the traditional entries, such as a cheesecake baked by my nine-year-old nephew. But we also had the silly entries, like the cheese popcorn that my brother in law took from the package and labeled “moon pebbles”.

There was a snowman cheese ball, cheesecake brownies, cheese straws, Red Lobster cheese biscuits, pain d’ fromage, artichoke cheese fondue, and even, believe it or not, Velveeta cheese truffles. (Which were not a hit!)

All ages participated, from the youngest grandchild (2 years old, with Mom’s help) to grandpa, whose Greek mozzarella bread won the prize for the best use of ethnic ingredients.

It’s a family tradition that combines creativity, laughter, and food, three things that define our family and every family gathering!

What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

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