Cream rises to top at Ag Expo

August 03, 1997


Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - The judges huddled, compared notes and evaluated the contestants some more.

Then they declared a winner - actually, two winners - in the third annual Washington County Ag Expo ice cream churning contest.

The Washington County Rifle Club won the 4-H Club division and Southern States of Hagerstown took the non-4-H category. The winners won gift certificates from Nutter's Ice Cream in Sharpsburg and J&K Concessions, respectively.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said the judges had a difficult time selecting the winners on taste, texture and number of natural ingredients until they learned there were two divisions.


"We thought we could only pick one," he said. "That made it a lot easier."

Not that he was complaining. The chance to sample six kinds of free ice cream compensated for whatever difficulties judging presented.

For Bruchey, it was first time as an ice cream judge. The qualifications for such a post?

"You got to have very good taste buds," he said. "I'd like to judge a steak eating contest. Maybe it could go along with a baked potato contest and a salad contest."

South Central Dairy Princess Amy Iager, who was also judging for the first time, said the entrants were definitely different from store-bought ice cream.

"You could tell it was just made. It was creamier," said Iager, who is from Howard County.

The contestants could tell too.

"Homemade's always better than store," said Ivan Eby, a member of the Southern States team.

The teams concocted recipes and brought them to the contest, which was held as part of Ag Expo events at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. Jeff Poffenberger, who helped coordinate the contest, said it was held in conjunction with a milking demonstration because of the natural link between milk and ice cream.

Contestants poured milk, their special recipe, cream and sugar into a barrel and then began churning.

And the secret to winning? In Southern States' case, it was the raspberry formula.

"It's just the recipe I've used all my life," said Beverly Mown, a Southern States team member.

Others did not find it quite so easy. The Washington County Rifle Club lost last year's competition, said team member Jim Leapherman. So the Boonsboro resident and his mates went back to the drawing board, tinkering with different recipes on Wednesdays after shooting at the North American Rod & Gun Club.

They finally came up with the winning ticket in butter almond crunch. Are guns and ice cream a natural combination?

"Not really. But we have fun doing both," Leapherman said.

Poffenberger said he would like to see more participants in coming years.

"You don't have to be a farmer to make homemade ice cream," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles