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2012 Kansas State Fair Part 1: Murphy’s Law

*This was drafted before I found out if I won anything.  Check back tomorrow to hear how I did!

Entering the fair contests was quite the experience this year, to say the least!  Murphy’s Law reigned supreme over my kitchen, for sure.

*I made a honey chocolate cake and didn’t put the right amount of butter OR honey in the cake so it was dry and not sweet.  EW.  Baked it again–wowza, that batter was good!  I couldn’t even tell it was honey-sweetened.  I’m very hopeful for this, but since Murphy’s Law is prevailing over everything fair-related right now, I likely will not place because of something like it was supposed to be a layer cake, not a bundt cake.

*I made a bread machine bread which did not rise well.  So I made a second loaf.  Same results.  I turned it in anyway, but feel sorry for the judges who will have to choke it down.  Hey, if I had to suffer to enter the bread, someone else is going to suffer with me. hehe.  BTW, I looked at all the other bread machine breads that were entered and I’m proud to say mine was the shortest one of them all.  I should win an award for worst bread.  Maybe they’ll invent that award this year, just for me.

My sad loaf is right in front–mine has a vertical pan and it’s barely as high as those baked in a horizontal bread machine pan!

*For some reason, I thought sugar cookies would be a good recipe to make to enter into the sugar-free cookies category.  Um, what was I thinking?  The cookies I made were actually pretty good since I used NuNaturals MoreFiber baking blend, which bakes well and doesn’t seem to have a funky aftertaste, but I couldn’t just turn in plain unglazed sugar cookies.  But how do you make a glaze without powdered sugar?  What I ended up doing was cooking milk and cornstarch and stevia together and ended up with sweet & milky snot sauce to put on top of my cookies.  And yes, I entered those too.  Snot sauce cookies!  :/

This is the only photo I have where you can halfway see the snot sauce cookies–upper right on the cart, on top of a cake.

*When I put my pies in the oven, the edge of the crust on one of the pies fell off.  Just bam–melted right off.  And burned to a crisp on the bottom of my oven.  What in the world?!  In what universe does this ever happen?  Apparently mine!  And then I forgot to tent the other one with foil (it had to bake a long time) and it got way over-browned and ugly.  :(  And yes, I still submitted them for judging–I’m cruisin’ for an ego bruisin’.  I present to you, my crispy pies.

On a happy side note, I did get to take advantage of the gift I got from Kerry.  The pie carrier was perfect for transporting my crispy pie!

*Baby decided she was going to bite down on the key in the ignition so it could not be removed or turned, rendering the flaky car totally unusable until we get the key out.  And I wasn’t going to throw all my baked goods in the back of the truck and hope they didn’t fly out during the 45+ minute drive to Hutchinson.  Thankfully, we were able to borrow my Dad’s Suburban to drive all my fair entries out there, which meant a lot more gas money, but on the bright side, everything fit with room to spare.  What a nice break!

*They made a special rule just for me this year: NO VEGETABLE BAGS WILL BE ALLOWED.  (Yes, they even put it in caps to get it through my thick skull.)  The last two years I  have put my breads on cardboard and then put them in produce bags I nabbed from the grocery store b/c I couldn’t figure out what other “food grade bags” (what the rules state we have to put our entries in) could be big enough to fit my entries.  I seriously never thought of turkey roaster bags, dude.  Obliviox, much?  So despite the rules saying it had to be in bags, I covered my entries with plastic wrap (you can see most in the photo below) and hoped for the best.  It was a no go.

*I had six of my entries covered with plastic wrap, and thought I’d have to return home with them, but they actually were selling turkey roaster bags for $1 each to raise money for the food department. Phew!  Except that meant we needed cash.  I sent Dennis off, God bless him, to get cash and an hour later, he arrived with cash in hand.  Since we were there so late, all the gates closed while we were inside and he had to go through hell to get out and back in.  Thankfully, it took all that time for me to get my entries in, plus more, so it worked out fine from my end, just very frustrating for the Haus.

Poor Haus ran into this at every turn.

*The contest that I was most excited to enter was the Heritage Recipes contest.  But I didn’t read the information and rules very closely.  All I gathered was that they wanted recipes that have been passed down in families from at least 1950 or before.  Well, Grandma Joy gave me an oatmeal candy recipe that’s been in the family since at least 1890!!  And it’s good!  I was super excited and had visions of presenting Grandma with a ribbon for the recipe.  Well, after making the candy and then reading the rules, I saw that they were wanting “recipes suitable for a family or community dinner.”  Ummm, is candy ever served at a dinner?  I nearly decided not to enter but as with the short bread, crispy pies, and snot cookies, I forged ahead and hoped for the best.

To be continued…

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