If you have an amazing original recipe that you think could win a blue ribbon, be sure to enter that dish in one of the culinary contests at the Georgia National Fair.
There are more than 20 food contests at this year's fair, which is October 4-14 in Perry.
Categories include the usual baked goods and chili, but Georgia produce is well represented with contests that require using Georgia-grown blueberries, peaches, peanuts and shrimp.
There's even a contest for grits! You can't get more Southern than that, right?
Prizes vary but the winner in most categories receives $100. Second- and third-place finishers earn money, too.
To learn specifics about each contest, visit georgianationalfair.com.
This recipe is from the folks at Karo Syrup, which sponsors one of the contests. The winner of this contest gets $150.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Yield: 36 lollipops
3 dozen lollipop sticks
1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon food coloring
1- 1/2 teaspoons flavor extract
Place sticks on parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving several inches between each stick.
Cook and stir corn syrup, sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then cook, without stirring, to 300 degrees or until a small amount of mixture separates into hard, brittle threads in very cold water.
Cool for one minute, then stir in food coloring and extract. To color and flavor: use red food color with anise; green with peppermint; yellow with lemon; and orange with orange flavoring, OR create your own flavor and color combinations.
Pour a small amount of candy over one end of each lollipop stick to make a circle 2 inches across. If candy sets too hard to pour, stir over very low heat to re-melt.
Let cool completely before removing from pan. Store in a covered container with waxed paper between layers or wrap each individually.
Recipe Note: For more intense flavor, use several drops of flavoring oils rather than extracts.