Carol Shwanda chronicles her blended family's lives and experiences offering hope, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and humor to anyone who is in or about to enter into a blended family.
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Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook Off
A few weeks ago, in an effort to promote my Farmers Insurance Agency, I decided to enter my award winning Manhattan Clam Chowder in the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Clam Chowder Cook Off. It is an annual event on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk that benefits the Santa Cruz Parks and Recs and it is a terrific fundraiser and community event.
Paul and I went all out. We dressed up as farmers (get it), decorated our booth with hay bails and dragged the kids down to help us with the prep work. We had an absolute ball and it was a huge success in more ways than one. Here’s why.
About 8 years ago, when I was a single mom, I entered the cook off on a lark, and lo and behold, I won first place. I was thrilled and stunned. Yet the victory was bittersweet as I walked up to the podium to accept my victory plaque alone. I had no one to share my pride and joy with.
But now I do.
When I told Paul my plan to enter the contest he was gung ho. In fact, he did most of the work. It was his brilliant idea to create recipe cards with my business information on them. We gave out one to each of the 500 tasters who came to our booth. He designed our booth, created wooden signs and did all of the set up. And of course he bragged about me, my chowder and my insurance savvy to anyone who was willing to listen.
I was touched beyond words. So much so that when I fell into bed, exhausted, at the end of the evening, I snuggled in his arms and cried. Tears of joy that is, because I am so lucky to have him. What a guy.