Smith scores ‘Mile High’ recipe win

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 14, 2008

It was all about the cake Thursday evening at The DAILY LEADER’sWooden Spoon Cookbook Contest awards ceremony.

Nearly 35 cooks and their guests came out to see just who wouldbe the winner of the 31st annual cooking contest. The ceremony washeld in Cannon Hall of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

Twyla Smith, of Brookhaven, submitted just one recipe in thecontest and walked away with the $300 grand prize. Her Mile HighWhite Chocolate Hummingbird Cake, a recipe she got from SouthernLiving Magazine, impressed the judges not only with its eightlayers but its moist and unique taste. She was also the categorywinner in Desserts and Sweets.

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She has been making the cake for the past eight months or so,and with a little urging from her family decided to enter it thecontest at the last minute.

“I’ve never entered a contest before and to win was awesome,”Smith said. “I told my mom I felt like I was up for a Grammy orsomething. I really enjoyed it.”

Smith was accompanied by her mother, Betty Davis, at the awardsceremony.

Smith is a registered nurse for Southern Surgery and Urology inHattiesburg and is married to Jeff Smith.

“(The cake) has always been a hit anytime I make it,” Smithsaid. “It’s very easy but time consuming.”

Smith said her one variation from the printed recipe is that sherefrigerates the cake for about an hour before cutting thelayers.

“I found that it was easier to do the layers once yourefrigerate them and then try to cut it,” she said.

The cake is so moist it is hard to cut when it’s still warm, sheadded.

Smith has made plans to add to her cookbook collection with themoney she won from the contest. Her 14-year-old son Austin plans tohelp her spend the rest.

Thirty-five finalists were chosen from the more than 175 recipesthat were submitted in this year’s contest. Each finalist wasawarded a certificate and a door prize with each category winnerreceiving $50.

A new category this year was Family Recipes in honor of thecity’s 150th birthday celebration.

Rita Rich, chairwoman of the 150th Steering Committee, was onhand to help recognize category winner Virginia Burt.

Burt was honored for the handed-down recipe, Irish Potato Cake,given to her by her mother-in-law Anna Watts. In addition to theprizes Burt received from the contest, she also received a framedcopy of the recipe she submitted.

Burt was given the recipe in 1963 written on back on a usedenvelope, which she brought and showed to the crowd. Burt is thewife of Benton Burt and is retired.

The annual Chucky Award is a recipe chosen by DAILY LEADERPublisher Emeritus Charles R. Jacobs. The winner of this awardreceives a certificate and a $50 award.

This year’s winner was Helen Douglas, of Sontag, for her PretzelSalad. Douglas was also the winner in the Soups, Salads and Fruitscategory.

Other category winners include Sandra Stewart, of Hazlehurst, inAppetizers for Spicy Tomato Cups; Sheila Day, of Brookhaven, inMain Dish for Chicken Spinach Lasagna Casserole; Leisha Beckham, ofWesson, for Cabbage Casserole; and Mandy Laiche, of Meadville, forButter Pecan Rolls.