Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 30, 1995, Image 54

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    814-Lanca«tar Farming, Saturday, Saptambtr 30. 1995
Potato F
Cambria Co. Correspondeni
The 4th annual Potato Fest
being held in the main streets
Ebcnsburg on Saturday, Septet
ber 30, beginning at 9 a.m. Thi
harvest festival) celebrating thi
potato, is sponsored by the Ebenr
burg Business District Author
(EBDA). Spokesman Tim Hout
promises that “the festival wi
feature all-day family fun and ei
The Potato Fest was initiated >
the EBDA m an effort to promoi
the area’s potato industry. Most
the area’s potatoes are grown in
the northern pan of Cambria
County and Ebensburg seemed the
logical place to hold this festival.
In addition to a Farmer’s Mar
ket featuring locally-grown pro
duce, the business district will
hold an m-iown sidewalk sale.
The food booths are popular, as
they arc at any festival, and many
ol these will be serving a “potato”
menu. This includes such items as
potato candy, potato soup, baked
potatoes, the ever-popular Ircnch
Ines, potato picroghis, and even
“llowenng” potatoes
A large assortment ol home
made crall items is expected in the
craft booths and a variety of enter
tainment will be continuous
throughout the day. This includes
music, a dog show, an ice sculp
ture demonstration, a clown, ma
gician, and “Unicycle Sam.” “Mr.
Potato Head” will even make an
appearance. A “children’s activi
ties” tent will also be in operation.
Local schools participated in
the poster contest and potato carv
ing contest held this past week.
Entries arc to be judged and prizes
will be awarded to the winning
students. Last year, carved like
nesses ol Bill and Hillary Clinton
were entered in the contest.
Another feature of the festival
is the Miss Potato Fcst Pageant.
A few of the’chipping compan
ies which purchase Cambria
County potatoes distribute sample
Doug Weakland, 4-year-old son of Rick and Dawn Weak
land of RO Portage, holds spuds from his dad’s recent po
tato harvest.
Mid Mandichak (left) and her sister, Donna Penatzer, In
the kitchen of “Mid’s Homemade Candy,” RD Ebensburg,
are busy preparing potato candy for Potato Fest ’95.
bags of their product to festival
goers. It’s quit possible that these
chips were made from locally
grown tubers.
Why the potato? The lowly
spud may seem an odd thing
around which to center a celebra
tion, but here in Cambria County,
potato is king! In fact, according
to figures given by Ron Hostetler
of the local PSD extension office,
Cambria County ranks second in
potato production in Pennsylva
nia. Only Erie County produces
more. Both “chipping” and “table
stock” potatoes are grown in the
This year's potato season has
been a real challenge to area farm
ers. Present drought conditions are
making harvesting a little more
difficult since the ground is harder
than usual. Hostetler did remark
that surprisingly, in spite of the
drought, yields seem to be pretty
respectable. “In general, the area
potatoes are not as big as usual as
a consequence of the drought, but
there are a lot of potatoes on the
The potato is an economical
and versatile vegetable. Potato
candy, the stuff that you ate as a
kid a concoction of mashed
potatoes and confectioners' sugar,
rolled out and smeared with pea-
nul butler, will be featured. How
ever, Mid Mandichak, owner of
“Mid’s Homemade Candy” locat
ed in RD Gbensburg, has taken the
old-fashioned potato candy recipe
and through trial and error in her
candy kitchen, updated it for a
more modem taste.
Mid, a member of the Ebens
burg Rotary, along with several
other Rotary members prepare
some of the candy during the week
previous to the festival and donate
it back to the club for sale during
the Potato Fest. She remarked that
her “newer” version of potato can
dy has been quite a “hit” during
the Potato Fest and generally sells
out before noon.
Potato soup is another featured
item at the festival and Gbensburg
area resident, June Griffith, was
gracious enough to share her
“tried and true” recipe. She has
prepared this particular soup for
other activities held in the Ebens
burg area and it has received
“rave” reviews. According to Tim
Houser of the EBDA, “it is abso
lutely delicious!”
June also shares her version of a
recipe for potato bread which is
made in a breadmaker. She re
marked that this recipe has quite
and interesting flavor due to the
chopped green onions and tops
which are added. It uses potatoes
in another form dried potato
June and her husband Richard
N. live at “Bryn Teg Farm”
(Welsh, meaning “Pleasant Hill”)
a few miles outside of Ebensburg.
For years they owned and operat
ed a retail farm dairy until the ear
ly ’7os, and then went in to the po
tato growing business for a num
ber of years.
June is a “Jack of Trades” hav
ing been a home aconomist for the
loca extension office before her
children were bom, a home eco
nomics teacher, substitute teacher,
and now a realtor. June is also
called upon to judge entries and
exhibits at fairs in neighboring
As a home economist, June re
marks that potato soup is a very
economical and hearty meal.
When asked what the secret is to
making delicious potato soup, this
wife of a former potato farmer an
swered “begin with good Cambria
County potatoes!”
The crew at Rick Weakland farm In RD Portage Is busy
sorting potatoes before shipping.
V* cup mashed potatoes (home
made or from instant mashed po
tato puffs)
4 cups flaked coconut
4% cups sidted confectioners’
2 cups smooth peanut butter
Mix 2 tablespoons soft butter, 2
tablespoons com syrup, and 3 ta
blespoons water in the top of a
double boiler. Stir in one pkg.
(15.4 oz.) chocolate fudge flavor
frosting mix until smooth. Heat
over rapidly boiling water S min
utes, stirring occasionally.
Combine ingredients except
coaling; drop by leaspoonfuls on
waxed paper. Roll in balls, refrig
erate 'A to 1 hour. If mix is too
soft to form balls, refrigerate first,
then shape balls. Dip balls in coat
ing, turning to coat on all sides.
Keep chocolate over hot water
while dipping candy. With tongs
or forks, lift balls out of chocolate
on waxed paper or cake rack.
Place candies in refrigerator to
harden. (6 doz. candies) **"Mid’s
Homemade Candy” uses Neslle’s
Pure Milk Chocolate m place of
chocolate coating.
Museum Begins Activity Program
HERSHEY (Dauphin
Co.) —Registrations are currently
being taken for two adult classes
scheduled this fall at the Hershey
Museum. “Watcrcolor Tech
niques” instructed by Robert'
Nisley will be held on Wednes
days, October 18 through Decem
ber 6. This eight-week course is
designed to accommodate a varie
ty of experience levels. Many
watercolor techniques are
explored in this class and particip
ants are encouraged to progress at
their own pace. The instructor.
Bob Nisley, is a signature member
of the Pennsylvania Watercolor
Society, winner of an honor award
in the WITF exhibit. He exhibits
his paintings at many regional arts
and crafts festivals. A list of
materials will be supplied upon
registrations. Class fee is $35 for
6-8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped or shredded
2 ribs celery
1 tablespoon parsley
7 cups water
'A cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
Cook all of the above ingredi
ents together and mash with a po
tato masher.
Add ‘/i of a 13-ounce can of
evaporated milk.
Heat and enjoy!
I egg plus enough water to
make 1 cup + 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons oil
I teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
'A cup sugar
‘A cup Potato Buds
2 tablespoons green onions
3 cups + 3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
Bake according to manufactur
er’s directions for Basic Biead
Dark. This recipe is designed for a
l'/j -pound loaf breadmaker.
nonmemhers and $3O if you are a
museum member. Please register
by October 9 by calling (717)
“Introduction to Honeysuckle
Basketry Workshop” taught by
fiber artist and basketmaker,
Susan Kelleher will be held on
Ttiesday, October 24, from 10
a.m.-3 p.m. Honeysuckle vine
grows wild throughout the mid-
Atlantic region and has long been
gathered and prepared to be
woven into baskets. Students will
make a small basket using wicker
basketry techniques. Instructions
on how to gather and prepare hon
eysuckle vine and natural dy?
materials will be given. Class fee
is $29 nonmembers and $25
museum members. Please register
by October 13 by calling (717)