Veteran baker cranks out sugary delights

Floyd Workheiser of Clovis passes a loaf of banana bread to Missi Glover of Grady for entry into the baking contest at the Curry County Fair Monday evening. Workheiser have been entering the baking contest for the past 10 years.

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

Floyd Workheiser is no stranger to the sweet taste of success.

The Clovis resident has been entering baked goods in the Curry County Fair for years, and has won numerous ribbons for his sugary concoctions. This year the baking enthusiast has five entries: a miniloaf of banana nut bread, snickerdoodles, Rice Krispies squares, butterscotch pecan cookies and oatmeal cinnamon cookies.

The cooking competitor is one of many residents who arrived at the Curry County Fairgrounds Monday to drop off fair entries.

In the Home Arts Building, adults and children submitted items ranging from sewing projects to homemade bread. Workheiser’s division, Baked Products, required him to place three cookies per recipe on a small paper plate enclosed in a plastic bag. The baked goods will be judged on appearance and flavor with first, second and third place prizes awarded in each category.

“I don’t have to taste-test,” said Workheiser, who delivers furniture for a local store. “My family does it for me.”

The proud grandfather said his banana nut bread received a favorable response from his 17-month-old granddaughter, Shelby. “She (Shelby) had a small chunk of it this morning after her breakfast,” he said. “She liked it.”

Curry County Extension Home Economist Glenda Belcher said the number of fair entries has declined in recent years.

“It keeps getting smaller every year,” Belcher said. “I think people just don’t take the time (to enter).”

However, Workheiser said he enjoys finding time to season his baking skills.

“I’ve been baking for about 15 years,” he said. “I like the calmness of baking.”

Most of the baker’s practice is done during the holidays when he creates between 30 and 40 dozen cookies for family consumption and personalized gifts. The avid baker even purchased a special table to hold the conglomeration of cookies.

Workheiser said each batch of cookies takes an hour from start to finish. But, there is never “a pinch of this or a dab of that” in his cooking routine. “I measure it (ingredients) all out,” he said. To expedite the process, Workheiser uses a tool similar to an ice-cream scoop to separate the dough for baking.

Workheiser uses tried-and-true recipes he has collected over the years from magazines and individuals, he said. Although he is not stingy with his recipes and claims no “secret ingredients,” Workheiser said many people have not found similar success when using his recipes.

“People have tried but they always say mine (baked goods) are better,” he said. “I guess it just depends on the person and their mood.”