TAVARES — The Annual Lake County Pickle Festival, which held its inaugural event on Oct. 26, 2007, was recently detailed in a new hardback cookbook, titled Pickles to Relish, by Beverly Ellen Schoonmaker Alfeld.
No word yet if “Dilly Parton” is expected to enter this year’s 4-foot pickle decorating contest during the Lake County Pickle Festival on Friday, Oct. 24.
“It’s quite an honor for the Lake County Pickle Festival to gain this type of publicity,” said Dr. Diane Kamp, Director of Lake County museums. “Beverly’s first cookbook, The Jamlady Cookbook, received great reviews and I expect this new endeavor will be relished as well.”
The odd festival was the brainchild of Dr. Kamp as a way to introduce locals to Lake County’s forgotten cucumber heritage. According to Kamp, in the 1920s Lake County was a leading shipper and producer of cucumbers in the nation.
The Second Annual Lake County Pickle Festival is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lake County Historical Museum, located on the first floor of the Lake County Historic Courthouse at 317 W. Main St. in Tavares.
The festival is a chutney of fun and interactive contests, including decorating a 4-foot pickle, tossing pickle chips, penning pickle poetry, reciting pickle tongue twisters and guessing how many pickles are in the jar. At last year’s event, more than 100 festivalgoers noshed on a spread of various pickles and quizzed themselves on Lake County’s cucumber history, but Kamp expects attendance for this year’s festival to reach 500.
“The festival is fun for the entire family, and it teaches everyone another chapter in Lake County’s storied agricultural history,” Kamp said.
Pickles to Relish is published by Pelican Publishing Company. According to the company’s Web site (www.pelicanpub.com), the new book is “more than just a cookbook, this encyclopedic guide seeks to teach methods of applying the many concepts of cooking to our everyday lives. From pickles and relishes to chutneys and sauces, the process of food preservation is thoroughly demonstrated.”
There is always something new to see and do at the Lake County Historical Museum. The museum, which features free admission, is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. For more information, call (352) 343-9600.