(MITCHELL) - A little butter, some sugar, rich buttermilk and good persimmons make a great pudding. Residents will put their cooking skills to the test at the 65th Annual Persimmon Festival Persimmon Pudding & Novelty Dessert Contest in Mitchell.
The puddings will be judged Saturday.
Alverta Hart, who is chairwoman for the event, knows what its like to have the best pudding.
Hart won the contest in 1992. She started entering the contest in 1963.
"I won a lot of honors and it was a great privilege to compete," she says. "I then became a judge and now I chair the event. It's fun and wonderful to meet the people who work so hard at their creations."
Hart appreciates all the hard work these cooks put into their puddings and novelty dishes.
Individuals just don't throw ingredients into a bowl and mix. A lot of time, effort and careful planning goes into each dish, Hart says.
"The persimmons are the key," Hart added. "If you don't have good persimmons you don't have anything. It's the texture, taste and consistency of the persimmon that makes a winning pudding."
There are some tricks to making a great pudding. Hart shifts all her dry ingredients before adding it to the persimmons and buttermilk. Also when cooks add their baking powder to the buttermilk they need to wait for it to stop bubbling before adding it to the recipe. Hart also uses a wooden spoon and mixer when making her puddings.
"Everyone has their own way and that way works best for them," she said. "But it's fun to share and learn from others."
A panel of four judges will taste and then decide which pudding is the best.
"It's a tough job, there are so many great entries," Hart said.
First place in the pudding contest will be awarded $200. First place for the novelty dessert will be $100.
Entries must be at the First Church of God at 405 12th Street between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. and are strictly enforced.
The pudding must be a 4x4 inch piece on an 8 or 9 inch paper plate, covered with either wax paper or plastic wrap. No toppings are to be put on the puddings. A recipe will not be needed at the time of judging.
Novelty dessert can be anything except cookies. Persimmon pulp must be one of the main ingredients. The recipe for the novelty dish is needed at the time of judging and should include the name of the recipe and the name of the entrant.
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