By Chris Maza
EAST LONGMEADOW – Ever since her older sister Maria took part in Jif Peanut Butter’s Most Creative Sandwich contest in 2010, Julia Boucher has been waiting eagerly for her opportunity to show off her own culinary skills.
Now she has that chance.
Eight-year-old Julia is one of 10 online finalists for the nationwide competition pitting kitchen creations made with Jif peanut butter with a trip to New York City for the final round and a chance for a $25,000 college fund on the line.
“I was looking at scholarship opportunities years ago for her older brother and sister and we came across this,” Julia’s mother, Beth Marsian-Boucher, told Reminder Publications
. “We experienced it when her older sister got to the online portion and got to go to New York City. Julia was so impressed with that whole experience, she thought about it for years and when she was old enough to try out, she started.”
It was a creative process that took some time, Julia said. Trial runs with sandwich creations ranged from jalapeños to turkey, her mother added.
That process was something Julia said she particularly enjoyed. After all, trying out new things in the kitchen is more than just a hobby for her.
“I would like to be a chef when I grow up,” she said.
Eventually Julia developed the Peanutty French Toast Roll-Up, a sandwich complete with peanut butter, apricot jam, apples and cinnamon and cooked with an outer layer of French toast. A dipping sauce topping of maple syrup and peanut butter accompanies it.
“I like French toast and I like roll-ups, so I just thought maybe I could put them together,” Julia said.
The Boucher family found out a couple of months ago that Julia was an online finalist and representatives from the company came out to meet her, shoot a video and make other preparations for the online portion of the contest.
“You have to keep it a secret for about a month, which isn’t easy,” her mother said.
With the online component now active, Julia is looking for people to vote for her sandwich by logging onto www.jif.com/promotions/most-creative-peanut-butter.
A link to the recipe for the sandwich is available online as well. A video on how to make the sandwich is also available on the Reminder Publications Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReminderPublications
“The top 5 people get to go to New York,” Julia explained.
Those five finalists will spend a week in March in New York City.
“They show the kids a good time,” Beth said. “They’ll do some TV shows and some radio spots.”
The weeklong trip is culminated by the final event on of March 21 at which a winner will be chosen. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize, the other four finalists will receive $2,500 college funds.