February 02, 2008
Now, the kugel-off is an event that has been riddled with controversy over its three-year existence. Now, we could employ UN Election Observers to maintain the integrity of the competition, I have realized that the event isn't about winning (that's just something losers say). People come to the kugel-off to enjoy kugel and have their own personal journey through kugel, not to see who wins or loses.
But, if you do care about winning and losing, though, here are the results. I just want to point out that, for the second-straight year, I have won the kosher for passover division.
1. Oh, Kugel — Dina
2. Special K (ugel) — Jacobson girls
3. Back to the Basics — David and Nate
4. For Cereal.... With Melk — Tani and Adam
4. Potato Explosion — Naomi
6. Challah Kugel — Shana
7. Squgel — Shira
8. We (heart symbol) Raisins — Madeline and Lauren
9. Grandma's Kugel — Pamela
9. Choc' ful of Kugel — Shoshana and Hannah
9. We were slaves, now we're kugel — Ian
12. Holy Crapple — Yael
12. First Try — Aaron W.
12. Sasquash — Aaron P.
15. Kugel Ha-mishmishim — Ian
16. Bugs Bunny Kugel — Ian
Now, let me explain why I lost this year. When my carrot and noodle kugels came out of the over, they were perfect. I was even told my an objective housemate, "Ian, this kugel is going to win" when he scrape the remains off my bundt pan. The problem lies in the reheating of the kugels.
Using an oven and a blech, I tried to reheat the 17 kugels. In this reheating process, my kugels were left on the blech too long and developed a charcoal blackness on the bottom. Luckily, nobody had these same issues. If you want to read two more pages of why I didn't win this year, let me know because I could write a dissertation about these excuses.
Kugel, the food of the people.
Today's kugel-off wasn't about winning and losing. It wasn't about a voting controversy.It wasn't even about my kugels' greatness.
It was about the people. More than 100 — that is.
We had about 100 people for today's glorious kugel-off (Malka and Elimelech Kugelov are proud). I don't really know how that worked (physically, given the space constraints of our house), but it was pretty great. In fact, it doubled last year's attendance.
While Dina made the championship kugel (I believe it was of the Yerushalmi variety), there was tremendous parity across the 16-kugel field. In years past, the noodle kugel would dominate the field. Not this year. We had representatives from all members of the kugel family (noodle, potato, squash, matzah, carrot, etc.) And all performed well.
The only married woman to enter a kugel in the competition came out victorious (That means, I need to find a wife).
On a personal note, I will now reflect on my experiences in three years of organizing this kugel-cooking competition. While I walk away with just one asterisked victory in three attempts, I do so with knowledge that I have put every drop of ruach into this event and my kugels that I could. Maybe I don't have the bundt pans to show for my efforts, but I don't need the hardware to prove the effort I gave to make these events successful. Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my poor performances. (Kugel, I would never quit on you.)
For the second straight year, I have taken top honors in the kosher for passover division.
I used this joke last year, but I liked it a lot. So, I will repeat it. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Kugel Stadium PA announcer said (he yelled. we don't have a PA system on Shabbat): You are part of the largest crowd participating in a kugeloff anywhere in America today.