Sacrifices at the altar of the County Fair Judges

annie1992

This year I couldn't get anyone to play with me. Makayla has been working to earn money for a car, Bud did make a Lego truck, but didn't want to cook. Madi and Maci have been camping and no one had time for County Fair baking. (sigh)


I did round up some canned goods, things like Readinglady's Old Fashioned Pear Preserves with Vanilla Beans, some pickled asparagus, Chase's "Elaine's Chile Sauce". Bok choi and garlic from the gardens, but it just seemed.....wrong....to not bake something.


I finally settled on a Caramel Honey Nut tart, something I don't bake for family functions because Amanda can't have nuts and it doesn't have any chocolate and the kids want cake and, well....you know. So I chopped nuts and dragged out heavy cream and made caramel and a butter pastry and got this:




I'll go in tomorrow to check and see if any of my entries placed. I did make Elery a small crostada with the rest of the crust and cherries from the farm, which he shared with the Grandkids so we weren't tempted to eat too much of it.


He's still sad about that tart, though, LOL.


Annie


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plllog

Annie, that's beautiful! I hope it brings home a prize!

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colleenoz

That looks really yummy!

I gave up on local show entries because the judges were looking for different things from year to year- for instance, one year the judge wanted bite sized cookies, the next year any size was fine- and some even reinterpreted the show schedule to disqualify entries that actually complied with the schedule.

It also disturbed me that often when I was collecting my entries, I would be approached by random tourists who wanted to buy this entry or that. Generally speaking I wouldn't mind as that would mean we didn't have to consume all that cake and cookies, but they never wanted to pay what the item was worth. One year I had to make a massive (10lb+) fruit cake - the recipe was given in the schedule- and the woman who wanted to purchase it was only willing to pay about 2/3 of the cost of the ingredients. Needless to say, it went home with me.

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bragu_DSM 5

next week is my county fair, you can come down and help me!

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party_music50

I was afraid to open the thread with that title. lol! I'm shocked that none of your gkids wanted to play, but good luck with your entries!

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chloebud

Buttery pastry...caramel...nuts...sounds like first place to me!

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Solsthumper

AnnieB., if you don't win, we riot.


Sol

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annie1992

Sol, I've missed your sunshine here, welcome back!!!

OK, this is the picture Makayla sent to me last night...


I also won a Grand Champion ribbon for bok choi, and a blue ribbon for my garlic, so I can grow it AND cook with it, LOL. Cinnamon pears won a blue ribbon, the pear jam, hot pepper relish and dehydrated Sugar Rush peppers took red ribbons and sweet and sour chicken took a third place.

Bud's Lego truck also took a first place blue ribbon in that category.

Colleen, here we make whatever we want, and no one tries to buy it because it has to stay on display the entire 5 days of the Fair, unrefrigerated. It just gets thrown away after that because everything is opened, tasted and judged. So, I can enter a pie in that division, but it can be any kind of pie I want to make. The only real requirement is that it cannot be from a mix, or contain a mix or convenience items, it all has to be from scratch.

Bragu, I'd be happy to help, maybe Lars can come along and we could do some cinnamon rolls. (grin)



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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Congratulations! Such a legacy for your family! And, of course, I'm not surprised,!

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wintercat_gw

I knew that cake was a winner.

We don't have this kind of fairs here, and I've been wondering who gets to eat all those winners?

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Feathers11

Congratulations! I'm not a big chocolate fan, and that tart would be right up my alley.

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chloebud

Congrats on all the ribbons, Annie! Been thinking about that tart...a lot!

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colleenoz

Well done, Annie, that pie did look good!

In most of the categories here entrants can choose what to make as long as it complies with the schedule, but every year they have a "York Show Cake" where the recipe is posted in the schedule- it's a different recipe every year. Personally I think whoever chooses the recipe isn't actually a cook because it's usually a weird recipe, like the massive fruit cake, or one year it was a "chocolate" cake that contained something like one tablespoon of cocoa as its chocolate component. Our show only goes for one day so they don't sit for long.

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bragu_DSM 5

those ribbons are so pretty. ours are basic bright blue, red and white. The best of show is a nice purple ...

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TXSkeeter

Just a short note to say that while I admire those that can cook well, especially numerous TYPES of foodstuffs, I really admire those that cook well enough to win ribbons and medals at county and state fairs!

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party_music50

Congratulations, Annie! I'm so sad that your beautiful pie will be disposed of like that -- I would have loved to try a piece. Sometimes it's just better to not know what happens behind the scenes. :)

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artemis_ma

looks good, but I would never be able to eat even a slice of it. Nuts in my digestive tract... nope. Congrats for your sake, however.


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KatieC

Nice! I thought you were going to say they dropped your entry, lol. Our fair isn't until the third week of August. They'd moved it to early August for a couple of years, but no one's gardens and crops were ready so there was a revolt. I'm the only judge for preserved foods now because the entries were so low. ...worried / hoping I'll get swamped.

Colleen, at least the tourists ask to buy. We have a problem with theft...especially huckleberry jam.

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annie1992

Thank you, everyone!

Katie, Elery and I keep saying that there would be a LOT more entries if they'd just wait a month but nope, it's always the week after the 4th. So my competition for the Grand Champion prize included various lettuce heads, a couple of plates of cucumbers, green onions, three other bunches of garlic, two batches of radishes, one bunch of kale and one single zucchini. (sigh)

We are having fewer and fewer canned goods, but more baked goods, so I guess that's good. Or bad. I wish we had more of both. I keep daring my friends to enter things, telling them that they are just afraid, because they know I'll beat them. LOL One neighbor SWEARS that her pineapple/banana bread would beat anything I can bake any day, and I tell her to enter it and we'll just see about that. Maybe next year...

No one here steals any of the entries, I don't think.


Annie


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plllog

The hipsters are big into fermenting and some of them have gotten into canning. The problem is getting them interested in the fair..

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CA Kate z9

Congratulations, Annie! Your recipes always win Blue Ribbons here too.

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annie1992

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kate. The opinion here means more than the County Fair, at least to me. I think the members here are more "experts" than any of the local judges!

Annie

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2ManyDiversions

I'm sorry I'm so late Annie... I agree with Kate, though clearly the judges had some good taste buds this year : ) Congratulations on all your wins - and Bud's too! I know I sure wouldn't want to go up against you, ha ha!

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Solsthumper

Well Annie, you're no tenderfoot, that is why you took all the ribbons. And no worries, the troops have been deactivated.☺


Congratulations to you and Bud!♥


Sol

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annie1992

Oh darn, Sol, I was ready for the troops. Although Dad used to remind me that it's safest "to keep your head down and ride in the middle of the posse", LOL.

Heck, until now I never even HAD a posse, so thanks for having my back, even if it is just the Mecosta County Fair. Some of those "old" ladies that still can get pretty mean, you know!

Thanks, 2many, but I can't take all the credit. I did grow the bok choi, but Splendid Table provided me with that recipe and for a change I didn't screw up the caramel.

Annie

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artemis_ma

Annie, our yearly fair is a 3 day thing.

here we make whatever we want, and no one tries to buy it because it has to stay on display the entire 5 days of the Fair, unrefrigerated. It just gets thrown away after that because everything is opened,

Last year I learned that some of the pies and such ARE auctioned off at the end of our fair. Probably ingredient-dependent, and it is just a 3 day thing.



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annie1992

artemis, the stuff is actually 7 days old, because I have to take it in on Sunday in the morning, judging is in the afternoon. Fair opens on Monday and runs through Saturday, the following Sunday everyone can pick up their ribbons and entries. Of course, everything is tasted that first day, so the jars of pickled asparagus and cinnamon pears and chicken are all dumped when I get home, so I can reuse the jars.

The 4H kids have special judging, they have to present their item to the judges and answer questions about how they were prepared. The kids then decide whether to have their entries auctioned off or left on display. The food is generally auctioned, but kids also enter things like Bud's Lego truck, pillows, aprons, tractors made from soda cans and people constructed from flower pots, paintings, quilts, etc. Those items are auctioned sometimes, but sometimes the kids want to keep them, or their parents do. Those stay on display for the week and are retrieved at the end of the Fair.

Annie

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bragu_DSM 5

I didn’t have as much time to prep stuff this year, but grabbed four things They said ‘ewww’ to the pickled mustard seeds, and asked 'what IS freezer jam, there is no category'. My AV got a blue and my terrarium got a nice best of show. Not as pretty as yours Annie, but it’s fun

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annie1992

Ooh, pretty. That's a talent I definitely do not have, I can grow anything outside but other than my aloe plant, I've killed every house plant I touch. I'd definitely have a brown and crunchy terrarium!

I like the orange ribbon too, I've never seen an orange one here. Here is Bud's project:

These were my ribbons this year:

This was actually bigger than the prize winning bok choi, which I did not get a picture of. This one didn't make it to the fair because my doofus cat decided to snack on the leaves making it unfit for competition, LOL:

It's all fun, though. And I considered entering the pickled mustard seeds too, and decided against it because our judges tend to gravitate toward what they know, they aren't very adventurous. Of course, I suppose they know what mustard is, and what pickles are, but pickled mustard seed? Yeah....

Annie


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2ManyDiversions

Bragu, congratulations on your wins! Apparently I’m dumb… what’s AV? I do love your terrarium… you must have serious patience! I’ve a steady hand, but I’m horrible at arranging flowers, even in our gardens, lol! They actually asked “what’s freezer jam?”. Oh my.

Annie, I can see why Bud got that ribbon… that is soooo cool! Smiled thinking of the cat chewing on your bok choy : ) But admit I'm envious. We haven't had a chance to put our garden back in and don't see it happening anytime soon. Huh… I don’t think you have near enough ribbons ; - ) What do you do with all of them as they accumulate? Do you display them? Wait, you’d need a stadium for that! I’ve only ever won one, for photography. First place, and all the other photographers were rude to me afterward. Eh.

No on the pickled mustard seed? Shame judges have such limited taste buds.


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bcskye

Geez, I'm really late on this! Annie, you are always a super winner for good reason. You always present super tasty and attractive product. Congrats to you!

Our county fair is ending today. The pie contest is usually one evening and you take them in an hour or so before the judging. After the judging and awards presentation the pies are sold by the piece or entire pie. Anything with eggs or dairy are prohibited. I had several that took prizes and sold out either by the entire pie or piece. Stopped entering several years ago and just haven't had the energy to do it again.

Madonna

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bragu_DSM 5

AV => African violet

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annie1992

2many, I have the ribbons all stuffed into a plastic "tote" with a lid. When the kids do something exceptionally nice, I give them a ribbon, LOL. They know where they came from and still think it's a big deal. Well, the little kids do, anyway.

They've also been re-purposed into various craft items. Amanda won a Grand Champion ribbon one year for my Grandmother's rhubarb pie. That got a frame with a picture of Amanda and the pie, and Grandma's handwritten recipe, and the ribbon and it's hanging in her kitchen, but it's really only the ones that have a special meaning that get saved.

I keep telling Makayla that we need to set up a little roadside stand, sell produce and jam and baked goods and we could put all those ribbons on a pegboard and advertise our "prize winning" whatever. She just rolls her eyes, so that makes it all worth while. (grin)

Annie

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2ManyDiversions

bragu, I'm utterly impressed. Sadly, I killed my Mom's African Violets (no sunny windows, really) despite best efforts. Well, some sunny windows, because she kept them alive while she stayed with me. Again, impressive!

"When the kids do something exceptionally nice, I give them a ribbon, LOL." Aw, Annie, that's far better than displaying them! Those kids are so blessed to have you in their lives. And I love the thought of the ribbon with Amanda's Grandmother's handwritten recipe. That just makes me smile! And gives me a wonderful idea... I want to go through Mom's recipes and find one of her favorites in her handwriting to frame for the new kitchen. She inspired me to cook and was always an adventurous person in the kitchen and at the table.

Ha! I can see the eye-roll! But honestly, I'd be all for it, even at that age : )

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annie1992

2many, I have a "collage" somewhere that I made for my White Cloud kitchen that had hand written recipes from Grandma, from my Great Aunt Esther, my Dad, Aunt LulaBelle, Mother, and some family pictures of various relatives in their kitchens, all mounted together and framed. It's in a box somewhere, I packed it when I moved and haven't thought about it again until now.

Time to finish unpacking, maybe I deserve a ribbon for that, LOL.

Annie

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2ManyDiversions

For finishing unpacking, yes, you do deserve a ribbon for that, but then I admire anyone who can get something done after over a year or so of procrastination or lack of time... I must be the worst; 19 years in this house and I still hadn't hung up all framed pictures and still had boxes of unpacked 'things'!

I wish I had photos of my relatives in any kitchen! Or written recipes from my Grams, whom I never met. She raised Mom on a farm, but I imagine all her recipes were in her head. My Dad's Mom, not to be unkind... just couldn't cook at all.

I think you collage would look wonderful in your kitchen, especially since your Grandkids have taken to cooking - I'm sure it'd be something they'd look at often, and remember all their lives : )

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artemis_ma

If I have a dozen good looking eggs, I'll enter them this year.

I won't have sufficient veggies this year to lay out and waste. Maybe next year.

ALL the recipes at ours have to be desserts. Bummer.


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annie1992

Artemis, that IS a bummer. Here we are allowed breads, rolls, cakes, cookies, candy, biscuits, even some casseroles. Just desserts? I wonder why they did that?

Annie

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agmss15

Very late to this conversation.

Annie, the pie looks amazing. Although I usually can only eat little pieces of caramel type desserts. So rich. Congratulations on your ribbons!

The Skowhegan State Fair which has been going since 1818 is coming right up. There are also other fairs further away from me. I will have to try and enter something next year.

Plllog - Here in Maine the hipsters have indeed discovered canning fermenting brewing and baking. In addition to the typical agricultural fairs there is the Common Ground Fair a production of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners - http://www.mofga.org/ It is enormous and chock full of a variety of the upstanding and the cool. Hand crafted hand milled sustainable fried dough.

There is also the kneading conference where people come from all over to learn about baking and a variety other grain related things. That is followed by the bread fair where my sister and I set up a booth yearly. I met a lovely young fellow who made and took his miso very seriously.

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annie1992

Thanks, agmss!

Your Farmer's and Gardeners Fair sounds really interesting, and a kneading conference? A bread fair? Yum, that's way better than pie!

Annie

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