Most of us would rather not compete with our mothers or grandmothers for “best cook” honors, but that’s definitely not the case with the Resler family of Albion and Indianapolis. They have established a family tradition of rivalry for ribbons at the Indiana State Fair. Fancheon Resler, her daughter Kenda Resler-Friend and granddaughter Klaine Friend all compete with wonderful enthusiasm.
Klaine started going to the Fair when she was three weeks old, but in just a few years her first entry, nonbaked peanut butter cookies, beat those of her grandma. Mexican Cornbread (or Fiesta Confetti Braid), cinnamon rolls or red velvet cheesecake bars, all the Reslers know how to make the judges sit up and take notice.
Another family tradition is belonging to 4-H, which helped Kenda not only with baking but also with skills that led to winning a pony and a horse. That, as she says, is another story, but clearly the spirit of competition and wholesome rivalry brings this family a lot of fun and success.
The Reslers tell their own story, along with more than eighty other Hoosiers in food and agriculture, in Indiana Humanities’ book, Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest, by David Hoppe with photographs by Kristin Hess.