Weatherford News

Whisking it all...Peach Festival Food Competition has cooks in the kitchen

One delicious slice of homemade peach pie.
One delicious slice of homemade peach pie. Getty Images

Baking the world a better place.

Donna Tillman, Administrator at Holland Lake Nursing Center, and her staff have been allowing bakers to do just that - every second Saturday in July during Weatherford’s Annual Peach Festival. Billed as the Peach Festival Food Competition, cooks from all over have been throwing their recipes in the ring to see if they can win a coveted blue ribbon.

“All of this actually happens the Friday night before the festival,” Tillman said. “Judging takes place then and the winners are announced Saturday at the festival.”

For the last three years, the nursing center has been sponsoring the event that sees upwards of 50 people or more competing in a variety of categories for the meager entry fee of just $3, or two entries for $5.

“The proceeds go to United Way,” Tillman said. “It’s the Peach have to have a competition like this.”

Tillman said some of the competitors are quite creative with their entries.

“Last year, peach popcorn won the miscellaneous category,” she said. “We even had a roast with peaches that won the savory category that was absolutely delicious.”

She said, of course, there’s always lots of cakes and pies, judged not only for their taste, but for their presentation as well. Jams and jellies were also heavily entered.

“It’s really lots of fun," Tillman said. “You start laughing at the judges, about an hour into judging, as they start to succumb to a ‘sugar-like coma.’ We give them salty snacks like crackers, pretzels and chips to counter the sugar buzz they are experiencing.”

Tillman said she gives out certificates to every contestant and of course the blue ribbon to the winner in each category. But, as a bonus, every competitor receives a free entry into the festival.

“It’s touching,” Tillman said. “You hear people coming in and saying, ‘This was my grandmother's recipe,’ or ‘This recipe has been in my family for years.’ You get to meet all kinds of people.”

Tillman said the junior division, up to age 17, is always lots of fun and hopes to see even greater participation this year.

“This is just another way for us to be involved in the community,” Tillman added. “Plus, it builds good will and it celebrates the peach and the festival.”

Speaking of baked goods

If baking isn’t your thing there are some terrific baked goods available during the Peach Festival.

▪ Weatherford’s Back Home Bakery will be serving up some delectable treats like: Peach petit fours, Peach cheesecake, Peach cupcakes, Peach cake balls, Peach bread pudding and Peach cobbler. Just to name a few.

▪ In Hudson Oaks don’t forget Ultimate Cupcakes who are very well known for their Peach Ultimate Cupcake, and of course they use locally sourced, hand selected Parker County Peaches from Hutton Peach Farm.

Call 817-596-9090 for more information.

Peach Festival Food Competition

All entries must have some content of peaches.

Categories: Cobblers, Pies, Cakes and Cupcakes, Ice Cream, Breads, Cookies and Bars, James and Jellies, Salsa, Pickled Foods, Savory and Miscellaneous.

Each entrant must complete an official Food Contest entry form. Only One entry per person, per category

Time: Turn in time is between 4-6p.m. Friday at Barlow Hall (All Saints Anglican Church) located at 123 SS. Waco St, Weatherford. No late entries will be accepted.

Awards: Award announcement, Sat., July 9 at the Peach Festival - noon - at the Kids Tent (corner of Your and Dallas Ave.)

Important: All entries submitted must have the following information neatly typed or printed on a 81/2x11 sheet of paper. Name and age (age only required for those entering the Youth Division). Address and phone number. Recipe for each entry - please include all ingredients, with measurements, and instructions. Entries will not be accepted without recipe.

Rules for Jams and Jellies and other canned entries: All entries for canned foods must be submitted in a standard Ball, Kerr or Mason 1/2 pint, 12 oz., 1 pint, 1 1/2 pint or 1 quart canning jar. Sealed and processed using the standard hot water bath method. No wax seals accepted due to health reasons and extreme heat conditions. All seals, rings and jars shall be clean and free of labels, names or other markings. No rusty seals or rings will be accepted. All home canned food must have been processed within the last calendar year. (Aug. 2014 thru July 2015)

Rules for all other entries: All home baked and other cooked entries must have been prepared and cooked no earlier than 48 hours prior to the contest date. All baked entries must be in a disposable containers unless they will be picked up after judging. No entries can be accepted that require refrigeration.

Ice Cream entries must be hard frozen. Entry must be in 1 pint