Wed, Jan. 29

Pecan & Wine Festical

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

RICHARD TINLIN, owner of A Summer Place Pecan Farm, will share information on growing and harvesting pecans.

If you want something out of the extraordinary, this is it.

Many of the weekend's activities showcase nuts grown in the Camp Verde area. The festival proudly highlights it all, from scrumptious pecan foods to fun pecan-related activities. Did you know that local Camp Verde farmers/ranchers boast close to 200 acres in pecans producing around 200,000 pounds annually?

And that Pecan Lane was placed on the National Historic Register?

You'll find a pecan bakeoff, pecan-growing classes, a hayride to a nearby pecan farm — Summer Place Farm — and new this year, a pecan-cracking contest Sunday afternoon. And of course, those pies — Camp Verde's Sinful Delights Pastry Shop, Young's Farm from Prescott Valley and bakers from Comfort Inn will provide a minimum of 300 homemade pies. Buy it by the slice or whole. There's pecans in the shell, roasted, salted, spiced and chocolate-covered.

Then there's the regional flavor of Arizona wineries for the discerning and not-so-discerning tasters. Here's a great chance for you to sample some of our state's vast and wonderful wines.

"We are expecting Fort Bowie from Bowie, Ariz.; Kokopelli Winery from Tempe; Elgin and Charron from the Phoenix area; and San Dominique from Camp Verde (Cherry Road). Fort Bowie will be bringing its Pecan Delight wine and Kokopelli is bringing several new wines. I think the Pecan Delight is the most unique," Events Coordinator Lynda Moore explained.

You'll find oodles of antiques and collectibles overflowing everywhere you look inside the community center gym as the smell of barbecue drifts by to tempt your taste buds. You'll hear the delightful sounds of bluegrass music performed again by the multi-talented Burnett Family of Flagstaff as well as performances by locals, Jess and Jessica, and Ray Sealing. Learn about pecan and grape growing from Michael Kilby, University of Arizona's fruit-and-nut specialist, and Jeff Schalau of the Yavapai County Cooperative Extension, back by popular demand. They'll provide informative seminars on pruning and care of pecan trees and grapevines. There's also ongoing wool spinning and blacksmithing demonstrations throughout the weekend as well as tours at the next-door historic Fort Verde State Park.

Mark your calendars now to attend this weekend's Camp Verde Pecan, Wine and Antique Festival — Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and repeated Sunday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $2 without wine tasting or $5 for admission that includes a souvenir wineglass and six tasting tickets.

For more information call Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Department at 567-0535 ext. 136; or visit the town's website at (go to Parks and Recreation and Special Events).

If You Go …

What: Pecan/Wine & Antique Festival

Where: Camp Verde's Community Center, 395 S. Main St., Camp Verde

When: Feb. 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much: $2 for everyone; $5 for wine tasting

Recipe of the Week (from town's Web site)

Butter Pecan Banana Cake

1/2 c. mashed bananas

3 eggs

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1 c. water

1 pkg. (4 serving) butter pecan flavor instant pudding mix

1/4 c. oil

1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend; then beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from the sides of pan. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling.

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