|Clara's crabapple jelly on the kitchen table - before we left for the fair proper|
Then, while Clara took my littles to see the pigs, Rebecca, Aden and I settled down to a serious perusal of the canning, baking, and produce displays. As homemakers and gardeners, we were curious to see what got blue ribbons. With the produce, it was fairly obvious: biggest, or straightest, or most colorful.
With the baked goods, there was a little snitch out of each one, but nowhere could we tell what exactly the judges were looking for (and furthermore, it was such a tiny little bite, was there only one judge? And how on earth could that one judge remember a chocolate cake from 10 bites back and make a fair decision?). And for the bread, I wanted to know what blue-ribbon bread qualities they were looking for: a fine crumb, not too yeasty, nicely raised? But what is nicely raised when bread recipes vary so much?
I wanted to be educated by observing the prize-winners. Maybe I need to get installed as a fair judge so I can get insider knowledge on the judging guidelines and some free cake.
We didn't even buy any fair food because we're on austerity measures and it was getting close to suppertime anyway. But I regret it now. What's a fair without something hot and fried in your hand?
It's a walk in an open-air museum on a gorgeous day with people I love.