Sunday, October 6, 2019

Fair News

After baking for days, this morning I had everything almost ready to bring up to the fair. I'd made bread, again, and an apple pie, and apricot ginger muffins, and my favorite pie, chocolate sweet potato with maple candied bacon and bourbon whipped cream. I finished the whipped cream, crumbled the bacon onto the pie and then coated it with whipped cream and a last little sprinkle of bacon. Then we were off to Topsfield.

After dropping off the baked goods we checked out the canning winners. I'm pleased to report that, out of 15 entries, I placed in all 15! Best in show went to my friend for a mango conserve that sounds really tasty. Here's my list:

  1. First Place for sauerkraut, salsa verde, sweet relish (the pepper one), stone fruit jam, mulberry ginger jelly, and peach jam. I was really hoping that peach jam would win, it was, in my opinion, terrific.
  2. Second Place for canned whole tomatoes, dill pickles, pickled beets and sliced peaches in syrup.
  3. Third Place for the peach salsa, sweet pickles and blackberry jam.
  4. Honorable Mention for the spicy cranberry rhubarb conserve and the zucchini bread and butter pickles.

Next we went to the beekeeping exhibits and checked out the baking with honey competition. Of all my entries (five in total) the scones, brownies, bread and peach salsa all won Second Place and the banana bread won Third.

Then it was time for the judging of the entries in the food department. I was hopeful because for the last two years I'd entered one category each year and placed first. This time I entered four categories and crossed my fingers. In the muffin category I received an Honorable Mention (there were only four entries, so at first I thought it was just because I came in fourth but later I discovered that not all classes had an Honorable Mention awarded so the judges did feel it was worthy enough for that). In the two-crust pie competition I placed third out of five entries. In the bread category I placed third out of eight. Sadly, my favorite pie, the sweet potato one, didn't win anything at all. I must admit I was disappointed, particularly because that is the one I worked the most on. The one thing I wish they'd change is to give an opportunity for feedback. I'm not sure how we can improve if we don't know what the judges liked or didn't like about an entry.

Anyway, that's about all we did other than watch a duck race and see the bunnies. Then it was time to head home so the youngerchild could do homework. 


  1. I have entered lots of items in the fair the last few years. This year I chose not to enter anything. My kids are still in 4-H and they had lots of entries. When I was thinking about entering this year or not I had a thought cross through my head that I hadn't thought of before. "Why do I care what others think of my canning, knitting, sewing? If I think my stuff is amazing, why does it matter what others think?" So I ask you, Why do you enter in the fair?

    1. A good question. Some part of it is my innate competitiveness, I think. The main reason I stopped competing in horse shows as an adult was that I was letting that competitiveness get the better of me. Perhaps this is one of those times. I think, though, every one of us wants to feel validated, that our belief in our own awesomeness is confirmed by others. From the canning entries perspective, I have seen a decline in the number of people competing just in the 7 years I've been at this. Maybe other people are feeling the same way?


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