Saturday, August 8, 2015

DUMC Peach Festival Successful

Carol Bergmann, left, of Edgewater, looks for the right jars of peach jam Saturday as Davidsonville United Methodist Church member Diane Sprecher, right, loads more on the table. Money raised from the sales at the church's annual peach festival goes toward funding mission work. (By Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)
      Seafood lovers beware.    Another food is vying for the top spot in the region.
      Crabs covered in Old Bay might sound nice, but what do you reach for when it's time for dessert?
      Eastport knows, Davidsonville knows and even Sudlersville knows.
      Haven't you heard?
      The peach is back for its seasonal appearance, here to steal hearts and entice taste buds.  With peach festivals in Eastport last weekend and in Sudlersville and Davidsonville yesterday, the plump fruit, ripe for picking, is in high demand.    Just ask the folks at Davidsonville United Methodist Church.
      "We had 437 of these," Diane Sprecher said, pointing to jars of peach jam Saturday. "Now we have 80."
      It was just after 1 p.m., and hoards of visitors had already poured onto the church grounds for the annual Peach Festival, in search of a peachy keen treat — and there were plenty of options.      Peach pies, peach cheesecake, peach smoothies, peach cobbler and peach jam were some of the offerings at the church's annual peach fest on Saturday.                There were also whole peaches, of course.    Hot dogs, burgers and barbecue were also available, but the tasty pale-orange fruit dominated the spotlight at the festival in its honor.
      "People just go crazy about those peach pies," said the Rev. Lisa Bandel, the pastor.
      "It's pretty amazing to me. They'll get here an hour early to make sure they get their pie. They get in line and you can get rid of 200 pies in less than an hour."
      For Saturday's festivities, church members ordered 95 bushels of peaches from Baugher's Orchards and Farms in Westminster to prepare 277 pies, 437 jars of jam and other sweet treats.
      It wasn't easy.
      "It takes a village to do this," said Pat Weems, one of the founders of the church peach fest.
      "What it does is, it unites the church. You get to know someone pretty well when you're sitting there for hours peeling peaches."
      Weems said peach festivals began at the church about 28 years ago to raise money for missions.
      That effort continues to day, and men, women and children all contribute to the festival's success.    Church members gathered in the kitchen as early as the prior week to begin peeling peaches.    On Friday, prep work began for the cobbler, pies and jams.
      "I stirred the pot for nine hours making jam," Sprecher said. "It's well worth it." 

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