The Washington State Fair announces the Home Arts contests in the Spring. Perhaps due to the re-branding, I was hoping for some more interesting contests this year. The Brown & Haley Almond Roca contest I entered last year for the 100th anniversary, with “Brown and Haley Mile High Whoopie Pies“. I wonder: Why are they recycling that contest? ** Note: I did not place in that contest. I had a perfect score in all categories EXCEPT ‘ease of preparation’ where I was marked down significantly to 5/15. I’m not so much on the ‘ease of preparation’ in contests, evidently. **
I will be entering the cake contest, as the “Special Best Cake” award remains elusive. I took a a 2nd place ribbon last year in the Special Best Cake award, with my Old Fashioned Spiced Peach Layer Cake. With that particular cake, I also was awarded a category blue ribbon first place, and then the ‘best in all categories’ gold ribbon – determined by comparing technical scores for all cake blue ribbons. After interviewing several “Fair Ladies” — you know, the ladies who fuss around with exhibits and work at the fair — I came to an understanding about the ribbons. “Special Best Cake” is a complete Judge’s Choice award. I would like to have that Special Best Cake Award blue ribbon before I die.
It will be hard to top last year, the peach cake was delightful and well-received. But I am giving it a try this year with a new inspiration on a popular old cake. I will be starting as a base with the recipe in a cookbook my Grandfather gifted my Grandmother when he was 24 and she 22.
I may also enter a pie. The pie contests are a problematic because the sponsor for the pie contest is Pillsbury and a requirement is one must use Pillsbury ready-made pastry. There is a berry pie contest that does not require ready made, and I will probably enter it and perhaps bring blueberries home from Maine.