Olympia’s Temple Beth Hatfiloh will hold its fourth annual “Blintzapalooza” blintz-making contest on Sunday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The juried competition offers blintz artistes the chance to strut their stuffing, so to speak, and will raise funds for worthy causes in the process.
This year’s primary beneficiary is the Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center’s Therapy Program, a local foundation assisting sex-abuse victims of all ages as well as the victims’ families.
“It’s a grassroots organization that’s just starting up this year,” said Linda Blustein, one of Blintzapalooza’s organizers. “It’s a group of therapists who work with children who have been abused, and they are trying to bring all their resources under one roof and offer therapy and any services that kids who have been abused might need.”
Other recipients of proceeds will be the International Trauma Treatment Program — a training and networking forum in the South Sound for caregivers and counselors working in the world’s war zones — and the Community Youth Services building fund.
Blintzapalooza evolved from a homemade-bagel competition dating back a decade, when there were no bagel delis in Olympia, Blustein explained. In addition, bagels were trucked down from Seattle and sold with cream cheese and lox. The Olympia community was invited as a form of public outreach.
“We call it ‘the bagelization of Olympia,’” Blustein said. “People would buy them by the dozen and freeze them: That’s how novel bagels were [here] at the time.”
As bagel restaurants began opening in town, the focus of the contest shifted to blintzes. Blintz chefs bring their creations already made, to be judged by area celebrities. The identities of this year’s judges were unconfirmed at this writing.
But the big blintz showdown will be only one of March 18’s attractions: Visitors can purchase blintzes and bagels with lox and cream cheese; there will also be a major used-book sale. All money raised will be donated to local non-profits.
Alana Carr, Linda Blustein’s daughter, has won the Blintzapalooza competition twice. (Her winning entry last year was a Ricotta cheese and orange blintz.) She said she makes up a new recipe for each contest and advises entrants to be creative and to enjoy themselves while contributing to humane causes.
“These are really important charities to support: It’s a great thing,” the 15-year-old said.
Temple Beth Hatfiloh is located at 802 S. Jefferson St., Olympia. For information, including how to donate books, call 360-754-8519.