Monday, August 13, 2007

Fairs and Festivals

The Richland county fair closed a day early! Well, it closed on schedule, but since I've been coming to the fair for over 30 years I didn't look at the schedule. They have evidently decided this year that closing on Saturday night gives vendors and exhibitors more time to pack up and move out.

Well, that's all well and good. Except that I didn't read the fair book, and when I went yesterday late afternoon to pick up my exhibits, I thought I was in the twilight zone. Nobody was around, the office was closed, the midway was torn down. I stopped by the office today and found that sure enough, they did keep my non-perishable exhibits, so I picked them up. It turns out that the scheduled time for pickup was 8-12 a.m. Don't know if others were in the same boat as me or not! But it was really weird, going to a deserted fairground, and kind of sad.

One of the assistants in the Home Arts department confided in me after the judging was over on Wednesday last week, that someone's quart of peas exploded. The department superintendant and the assistants believe that this person takes commercially canned vegetables and re-cans them for the fair. Hard to believe! But there was the evidence, spoilage in the jar of meat canned by the same person. I am having a hard time trying to understand the motivation of the person who would do that. The assistant mentioned that this person is a home ec teacher. That makes it even harder for me to understand!

When I mentioned that I didn't mind taking third in the black raspberry pie behind the person who won best-in-show and best-in-class (over all baked goods at the fair), my boss mentioned that the Cracker Barrel restaurant sells excellent black raspberry pie filling in jars in their gift shop. He said I should put it in a Pillsbury pie crust and save myself a lot of work. Again, I don't understand the reasoning. Why would anyone "cheat" to win a $3.00 award, when you can't bake a pie for that price? The only reason to even enter is for bragging rights - and how could you live with yourself if you bragged about winning a contest you had to cheat to win?

I did notice that this year most of the winning pie crusts didn't look all that "flaky", they seemed to be finer textured than mine. Since I won several ribbons last year, using the same pie crust recipe, I have to believe it was a different judge.

The Lexington Blueberry Festival is this weekend. They are having a blueberry bake-off. Trying to decide whether to enter or not. It would mean staying home for the weekend, not going to the farm. DH was just there last weekend, so he may be amenable to staying home. There are three categories - pies, quick breads, and other desserts.

I fixed spaghetti-zucchini carbonara tonight, just for me. A zuchini, a yellow squash, an onion, half a green pepper, 1 garlic clove, 4 mushrooms, 4 strips of bacon, 2 tablespoons salad olives, 1 tsp capers, and 1/4 cup flaked parmesan cheese. mmmmmm. A glass of red wine and I am happy! And enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

1 comment:

Alta said...

I have never participated in anything like that. It's all too much hustle and bustle around my area. It didn't used to be that way, but I was too young then. Now that I am a little older and I see how our country is going more toward the hustle and bustle, I want to do those things. Hopefully once we get moved to Missouri and get settled in, I will be able to participate in the fairs and such.
Thank you for the link on your blog, I'm adding your link right now.

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