The annual Della Lutes Cook-Off has been held since 1996. The cook-off is at 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon at the Horton Congregational Church immediately following the Pig Roast and Pie Auction. The Cook-Off is the cherry-on-top of the Hanover-Horton 4th of July weekend celebration.
Della Thompson Lutes, a Michigan author who grew up in Jackson County during the 1870s and 1880s, wrote six loosely autobiographical novels about growing up on a farm and in a small southern Michigan town. Her first novel, The Country Kitchen won the prestigious American Booksellers Association award for “The Most Original Book” of 1936—the same year Gone With The Wind won its other award. Lutes’ unique writing style is marked by her interweaving a slice-of-Americana life with mouthwatering recipes.
To enter the Cook-Off participants must be willing to re-create a dish from any of Della Lutes’ novels or many cookbooks. Recognition goes to first, second and third place winners. The much sought after prize is a red-and-white checked apron awarded to the first place winner.