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Peanut butter recipe contest: Calling all cooks

Back during Hard Times, most folks were struggling to make ends meet but, around Brundidge, times weren’t quite so hard because the town had two of the earliest commercial peanut butter mills in the Southeast. The Johnston Peanut Butter Mill dates back to around 1928 and the Louis-Anne Peanut Butter Mill to early 1930.

The Great Depression took its toll on most everyone and it hit Brundidge rather hard, too. And, had it not been for work at the peanut butter mills and the daily supply of the sweet protein-rich foodstuff, life would have been much harder and the town might not have survived.

So, each October, Brundidge plays host to the Peanut Butter Festival, a harvest and heritage celebration, that pays tribute to the town’s proud heritage in the peanut butter industry.

The Brundidge Study Club is one of the many organizations that take part in the annual celebration. The club sponsors the Peanut Butter Recipe Contest and everyone and anyone who lives in Pike or a neighboring peanut producing county is eligible to enter.

“We encourage everyone to enter the Peanut Butter Recipe Contest because most people like peanut butter and have a favorite way to eat it,” said Darthy Young, project chair. “There are three divisions – adult, youth and professional – and five contest categories – candy, cookies, cakes, pies and other.

“Entries must include 16 to 20 cookies or pieces of candy, half a cake, a whole pie and five to six servings of other dishes.”

A recipe must accompany each entry and as well as the contestants name and telephone number.

All dishes must be entered before 9 a.m. at Brundidge Station on Main Street on Oct. 25.

“A panel of judges will determine the winners,” Young said. “The entries will be judged on taste, appearance and uniqueness. The recipes do not have to be original.”

After the winners are determined, the entries will be sold at the Peanut Butter Festival and the proceeds will be used for community projects. Prizes will be awarded to winners in all categories.

“Over the last few years, we have collected the winning recipes from past contests and we have complied them in Volume III of our Brundidge Bites cookbook,” Young said. “Volume III includes the winning peanut butter recipes from 2004 though 2007 and recipes from some of the best cooks in the county. They are all outstanding recipes.”

The cookbooks are a fundraiser for the Brundidge Study Club. They will be available for sale for $20 each at the club’s booth on the festival grounds.

The Peanut Butter Festival is sponsored by the Brundidge Historical Society and celebrates its 17th year on Oct. 25.