My turn: Be prepared for bitter brittle battle

Betty Williamson

Betty Williamson

I fear there may be unrest in Portales today at the First United Methodist Church’s 60th annual Turkey Dinner & Bazaar.

Here’s why. Organizers are hoping to serve their traditional Thanksgiving meal to more than 2,000 people at lunch and supper, but I have it on good authority that there are only 66 bags of Vern Witten’s peanut brittle for sale at the bazaar.

Brace yourselves for a riot.

If you’ve never eaten Vern’s peanut brittle, you may think I am exaggerating. But if you have, well, you know things could get ugly down there.

Vern has made peanut brittle much of his life (no small accomplishment since he’ll turn 90 next June). He says he stumbled onto a batch of the best peanut brittle he had ever eaten while he was in Jal in 1969 teaching a night class for educators. He tracked down the creator — “it was Mrs. John Uxer, the superintendent’s wife” — and begged for her recipe.

With a little tweaking and years of practice, he perfected it to yield a crisp light product — the best peanut brittle I have ever eaten, bar none.

For the past 10 years, Vern’s legendary peanut brittle has been the first product to fly off the tables at the bazaar.

If you want a bag today, you’ll have to beat me to it.

Betty Williamson plans to be polite, but is prepared to be aggressive. You may reach her at

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