Sweet Potato Contest Cake and Pie Winners

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Top winners in the pie and cake categories at the Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival included:

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Gayla Bennett

Gayla Bennett Cook

“My mother says I’ve always had  a ‘creative flair in the kitchen’,” said Gayla Tutor Bennett of Bruce. And at a young age, Darlene (Denton) gave her “total and complete freedom in the kitchen.”
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Susan Penick Leachman

Susan Penick Leachman

“The Penick ladies were known for their cooking,” Susan Penick Leachman of Bruce and formerly of Vardaman, said, especially of her grandmother, Grace Ferguson Penick, for whom the Sweet Potato Banquet cooking award for the best recipe, “Mama Grace,” is named.
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Angie Burns

Cook Angie Burns

“Food makes a memory and it makes a connection,” says Angie Burns, who said she started “really” cooking about 10 years ago.
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Geraldine Clark

Cook Geraldine Clark

Geraldine Clark of Bruce cooks every Sunday for “the whole bunch.”
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Wade Shoemake

Cook Wade Shoemake

Wade Shoemake’s  interest in cooking started when he was watching his dad, Gary, fry bacon in a black skillet.
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Brandy Baker

Brandy Baker Cook

BBQ is Brandy Baker’s favorite, and she learned to make it from her dad. His has a sweet taste that she likes, so that’s how she does it for all the family get-togethers.
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Bridgett Fulton

Cook Bridgett Fulton

Bridgett Brown Fulton loves to cook when she has the “hankering” and the time, and “when I cook, I cook.”
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Betty Hill

Cook Betty Hill

Betty and Charles Hill married when she was 17 and she had never cooked before then, except in Rose Chandler’s home ec class. She didn’t have a cookbook, so she learned on her own.
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Kimberly Ruth

Kimberly Ruth Cook

Sausage balls, corn dip and Tink Massey’s chocolate chip pound cake are three things Kimberly Watkins Ruth of Calhoun City takes most often for tailgating at Mississippi State.
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