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By Kimberly Wright|
It was a typically foggy July morning at the Aptos Market. The contest entrants had been asked to bring their entries between 7:30 and 9:30 AM. It was now 8:30, and I was wondering when the first entry would arrive, when Claudia Bei came with not one but three offerings. She had made Peach Alsatian Custard Squares and Peach Iced Tea, and also brought Marcie Bei's Farm-Fresh Peach Stuffed French Toast, which was keeping warm under a blanket of foil. Next came Adreanna Riley with her Peach Pie, still hot from the oven. The aromas were enticing, and I hadn't had breakfast yet! Next, Eileen and Michio Poppleton arrived with a huge Fresh Peach Pie and a Butter Kuchen with Peach-Almond Topping. Finally, Lloyd Martin arrived with his Peachza.
Next, the judges assembled. I wanted the judging to be as objective as possible, so I had assigned numbers to the entries, and asked the judges to arrive after the entries had been dropped off. Our judges were Nicole Bradford, junior member of the Slow Food Monterey Bay Convivium; Roger Mastrude, leader of the Santa Cruz II Convivium, and Lynn "The Honey Lady" of Amen Bee. Judging began at 10 AM. Entries were evaluated for presentation, flavor and aroma, texture, creativity and overall liking, with five points possible in each category. Once the judging was complete, I tallied the scores and announced the winners.
In the Adult division, first prize went to Marcie Bei's Farm-Fresh Peach Stuffed French Toast. Marcie earned high points for presentation, arranging the triangles of toast decoratively and garnishing with fresh sliced yellow and white peaches and a sprig of mint. The dish was delicious as well, with the French toast stuffed with cream cheese mixed with home-made peach jam. Despite Marcie's concerns, the dish was still slightly warm when judged.
Second prize went to Lloyd Martinís Peachza, a dessert (or breakfast) pizza. Lloyd's entry was perhaps the most creative; I wish he'd brought more than one serving! A sweet yeast dough was topped with mascarpone cheese and fresh peach slices and baked. I think I'll try this recipe.
Third prize went to Adreanna Riley's Fresh Peach Pie. Adreanna told me that she had gotten up at 6:30 to bake, and the pie was still hot when she delivered it. A good, traditional peach pie, it would have been even better with vanilla ice cream.
In the Junior devision we had Michio Poppleton's Butter Kuchen with Peach-Almond Topping. It was a good traditional coffee cake with an almond crumb topping around the edge. It looked very professional.
At last, the hungry crowd had a chance to taste the treats, and they rushed the table! Many thanks to Donna Bradford for helping to serve. By 11 AM there was hardly a crumb left. All I had managed was a small taste of the Peach French toast, so I cleaned up and went to Jeannie at Catering Magik for a spinach and cheese croissant.
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