Hannah Merkh holds the lemon curd angel food cake that she entered in this year’s PA Farm Show.
Story and photo by Rick Hiduk
(Exclusive to EndlessMtnLifestyles.com readers)
Though former Tunkhannock resident Hannah Merkh didn’t place in the top five with her angel food cake at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the experience was another chapter in what has become a family tradition of submitting and exhibitting the hobbies of she and her children.
Merkh now resides in Newton Ransom and routinely enters cakes in the Wyoming County Fair. Her angel food cake took a first-place ribbon in 2021, which granted her the eligibility to create the same cake for the Farm Show baking contest. She was glad to be back among her peers.
“We spent so much time apart (due to the pandemic), there’s something meaningful about getting together again with people who have things in common,” Merkh remarked. She noted that she is one of the younger baking contestants and enjoys the company of the older bakers. “It’s kind of fun listening in on their conversations. They’re using old recipes, and they have all kinds of tricks to learn.”
Merkh’s rendering, adorned with a lemon sauce and large, fresh raspberries was certainly eye-catching even though it wasn’t a big winner. A lemon curd inside gave it its unique sweet and tart taste. It was a close as possible to the cake she entered in the Fair. “What you win with, you bring here,” she explained. “They don’t want you to deviate.”
Merkh was homeschooled when she lived in Tunkhannock and served as Wyoming County Fair Queen in 2009. She has been entering fair contests for years, including submitting a wide variety of baked goods, photos, drawings, paintings, house plants and flowers.
Her children, 7-year-old Ellena and 5-year-old Jack, have caught the competition bug, entering an expanding number of things in the Fair that they grow around the house. They joined her at the Farm Show.