3/8/2014 2:04:00 PM Pecan pie-baking contest a highlight of spring festival Mystery tour gets a taste of pecans and Camp Verde
Thanks to Girltime Getaways, a mystery bus adventure company based in Minnesota, close to 50 ladies visited Summer Place Pecan Farm recently. Summer Place will participate in the Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival March 29-30. VVN/Bill Helm
Dick Tinlin, owner of Summer Place Pecan Farm, talks about pecans to a tour group recently. Thanks to Girltime Getaways, close to 50 ladies recently visited the pecan farm. VVN/Bill Helm
Spring Heritage Festival
On March 29-30, Camp Verde's Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival includes the Verde River Runoff and Verde Valley Archaeology Fair. For information, about pecan-related activities, check the websites at http://visitcampverde.com, www.campverdepromotions.org or www.summerplacepecanfarm.com
CAMP VERDE - Corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses or sugar are used to sweeten it.
Bourbon, chocolate or vanilla is used to flavor it.
It is frequently topped with whipped cream. Or served with vanilla ice cream on the side.
But without this species of hickory, this nutty dessert would not exist.
Its name an Algonquian word meaning "a nut requiring a stone to crack," the pecan is the one never-changing ingredient in a pecan pie.
A pecan pie-baking contest is one of the many highlights of this month's Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival, scheduled for March 29-30. Pies will be judged on appearance, taste and use of local ingredients, said Susie Thompson, manager of Summer Place Pecan Farm in Camp Verde. All pies submitted for the contest must be in generic - unidentifiable - pie pans.
Pies are to be delivered to the Fort Verde State Park office by 4 p.m. on March 28. Judging will begin at noon on March 29. Following the judging, winners will be announced on stage at the soccer field. Three prizes will be given out for the pie-baking contest: first place, $50; second place, $25 and third place, $20.
For more information on the pie-baking contest, call Susie Thompson at (928) 567-5202.
During the weekend festival, the people at Summer Place will be giving talks on pecans and growing pecans at the farm. Summer Place will also share tent space with the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, providing festival goers a convenient opportunity to enjoy both pecans and wine. Unlike past years, entrance to the wine and pecan tent is free.
"We will have in-shell, shelled, cinnamon, spicy, and pecan flour for sale, as well as pecan trees," Thompson said. "We will have all manner of pecan goodies, as in pralines, pecan caramel bites, jams and jellies with pecans in them, chutneys, snacks that will go well with wine, such as pecan pesto, pecan hummus and chips, brownies, pecan cheese puffs and gluten free items and pecan pie bars and fruit bars with pecans."
For those who are nuts about nuts, Saturday's activities include pecan shelling and pecan catapulting contests on the soccer field.
Recently, about 50 ladies visited Summer Place, courtesy of Girltime Getaways, a mystery bus adventure company based in Minnesota. After returning home from a vacation several years ago, twin sisters Marci Turenne Hansen and Michelle Levin created a business that gives women a chance to get away for a few days. With many of their customers already wintering in Arizona, the sisters decided that a trip to the Verde Valley - and a stop at Summer Place - would make for a fun day.
Summer Place owner Dick Tinlin told the ladies about the pecan, as well as the history of Summer Place. When not in Mesa, Carol Knight lives most of the year in Shelby Township, Mich. Knight, on her third Girltime Getaway, enjoys the weekend trips because the sisters focus on local activities.
"They've chosen the smaller, family-run businesses," Knight said. "And we learn from them. They're wonderful like that."