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Aug 6, 2008

Winning Is Icing On The Cake For Kids

The heat of competition got a number of children into the kitchen for the recent youth cooking contest sponsored by Bruton Memorial Library.

The dessert contest that has been held for the past two decades produced seven winners in two age groups, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12.

Judges arrived hungry for the noontime July 17 event in the library community room, saying the tastings would be their lunch.

"All this stuff really looks good," said one enthusiastic judge, Misty Ester of Camellia Rose Tea Room & Gifts in Plant City. "These kids did a good job."

Winners each got a blue ribbon, chef's hat, lunch at Bob Evans restaurant and something from the prize collection, which included age-appropriate cookbooks.

Ester and the other judges - Vivian Ruis and Susan Mason - selected the winners.

They and their cooking creations are: Seth Bender, 8, Granddad's Taste of Heaven; Laura Futch, 7, Sawdust Pie; Emma Poole, 6, Banana Split Cake; Emily Gagnon, 10, Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls; Lavonne Shakes, 9, Mexican Celebration Cakes; Alyssa Martinez, 11, Cookie Crumb Cake; and Noor Pal, 8, Vermicelli Pudding.

Other unique creations garnered ample attention from the judges.

Bugs & Dirt, a concoction by one of the youngest contestants, 4-year-old Celia Young, started with chopped chocolate graham crackers representing the dirt. That was garnished with chocolate sprinkles to represent ants, raisins playing the part of beetles, with gummy worms tossed in for good measure.

The entry was packaged in a new brightly colored pail, the accompanying shovel substituting as the serving spoon.

Jared's Cookie Pizza came from a recipe "out of my head," 11-year-old Jared Evans wrote on his entry form. The youngster who began cooking three years ago made his entry with sugar cookie mix, fruit roll-ups and white chocolate, with food coloring providing panache.

"We've been doing this off and on for probably 15 or 20 years," said Carol Lane, children's librarian, who organized the event with the help of her assistant. Debbie Clark.

Author: George Wilkens
Source: Tampa Tribune