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Sontag cook wins contest

A Sontag woman is over $300 richer after capturing the grandprize and the honor of being the overall winner in this year’s TheDAILY LEADER Wooden Spoon Cookbook Contest.

A Sontag woman is over $300 richer after capturing the grandprize and the honor of being the overall winner in this year’s TheDAILY LEADER Wooden Spoon Cookbook Contest.

Winners were announced Thursday night at a reception at theEpiscopal Church of the Redeemer.

Jo Ann Wonsey had few words to say as she was named the topwinner in the contest for her “Jalapeno Wraparounds.”

“All I was expecting was a certificate,” Wonsey, shaken andsurprised, said. “I’ve sent in recipes before and the newspaperjust published them.”

This is Wonsey’s first year being selected as a finalist in theWooden Spoon. Her “Jalapeno Wraparounds,” also the top Appetizerscategory winner, is an adaptation from a recipe she received from afriend.

“I’ve made it for others, and they fell in love with it,” shesaid.

Wonsey’s winning recipe was selected from over 200 overallrecipes submitted for the 24th annual cookbook. Her name will beadded to the list of over 20 other overall winners in thecookbook’s history.

Not expecting to win, she has made no plans on how she willspend the money.

“I’ll probably spend it on somebody else. That’s my problem,”she said.

Wonsey said she may even consider entering the contest againnext year.

“With me, anything is possible,” she said. “I have learned totake life as it comes to you and be thankful to God for the smallfavors He allows.”

Wonsey is married to Jim Wonsey. They have two children and fourgrandchildren. She is a homemaker.

Other finalists in the Appetizer category were Zenus Owens for”Crab Stuffed Shrimp”; Lawrie Gulley for “Hot Artichoke Crostini”;Rhonda Lyons for “Crawfish Hot Dip”; and Jackie Powell for “TacoCheesecake”.

Owens’ Crab Stuffed Shrimp recipe was also chosen as the winnerof the annual “Chucky” Award, named in honor of former PublisherChuck Jacobs.

Debbie Brady Thomas is the first place winner in the Soups,Salads and Fruits category with her “Lemon Ginger ChickenSalad”.

Other finalists in that category were Jackie Powell for”Mississippi Catfish Chowder”; Jane Coleman for “Mammy Jane’sShrimp and Corn Chowder”; Peggy Bessonette for “West AfricanChicken and Groundnut Stew”; and Lawrie Gulley for “Donna’sCrabmeat Bisque”.

Winner of the Main Dish category is Deborah Slaughter with her”Honey-Gingered Pork Tenderloin”. Other finalists in the categoryare “Aunt Rita Mae’s Shrimp Cornbread” entered by Jane Coleman;”Slow Roasted Brisket in Jack Daniels Sauce” entered by Paula ReedYoung; and “Shrimp Pesto Pasta” entered by Lawrie Gulley.

Mary B. Smith is the winner of the Vegetable category with her”Barbecued Green Beans”. Other finalists in the vegetable categorywere Cecelia Barlow with her “Bourbon-Laced Sweet Potatoes”; DebbieBrady Thomas with her “Crab Stuffed Potatoes”; Pat Smith with her”Hopple Popple”; and Myrtle Crossley with her “SquashCasserole”.

Winner of Desserts and Sweets with “Lemon Loaf Freeze” is SheilaDay. Other finalists are Steve Yates with “Summer Dream Cake”;Debbie Brady Thomas with “Decadent Fudge Cake”; Ginny Shirley with”Pina Colada Squares”; and Sue Smith with “Fresh Red DeliciousPound Cake with Caramel Glaze”.

Pat Smith won in the Breads and Rolls category with her unique”Peach Cobbler Bread”. The other finalists were Ginny Shirley withher “Blueberry Stuffed French Toast”; and Mrs. Max H. (Eleanor)Ford with her “Vegetable Squares”.

Winner in the For Your Health category is Angie Hammond with”Chicken and Purple Onion Pizza”. Other finalists were LawrieGulley with “Congealed Cranberry Salad”; Melba Johnson with “WeightWatchers Apple Cheddar Salad”; and Faye Bein with “Ashley’s ItalianFish”.

In the Kids Cuisine category, the winner is Stephanie Slaughterfor her “Cheesey Bacon Bites”; Haley Renfroe for “Peanut ButterChocolate Tarts”; and Courtney Bessonette for “Magic CookieMuffins”.

This year, the winner of The DAILY LEADER Employee category isKim Sasser Windmiller with “Chicken Delight”.

For 24 years, The DAILY LEADER has enjoyed sharing these recipeswith its readers by publishing the cookbook. This year, without adoubt, we share with our readers a most outstanding selection ofrecipes in all categories.

All category winners received $50 prize money from The DAILYLEADER and numerous gifts and gift certificates graciously donatedby area merchants.

A copy of the Wood Spoon Cookbook is included with today’snewspaper.