LUCY BURDETTE: Earlier this summer, I noticed a post on Facebook about a friend entering her cake in her local county fair—and winning. Doesn’t the sound of that bring back simpler, cozier days? I thought you would enjoy hearing about her experience. Welcome Jeannie!
JEANNIE DANIEL: The excitement starts building around July for farming communities in the south as they eagerly await the Fall fair season. It all begins with the arrival of the Exhibitors Catalog, containing all of the categories that you can enter. Each fair is a little different—they all have the usual categories such as canning, cakes, pies, candies, crafts, poultry, pigs, cattle, vegetables, flowers. But some have odd categories like Pinterest Interest and Lego building contests.
I enter two different fairs, one is a county fair and the other is a regional fair. The county fair is smaller than a regional or state fair, and the money that you receive is normally a little smaller too. I always enter the crafts categories and the baking.
|Meghan Atchley, Jeannie's daughter|
Each category has different drop off dates, so you have to map out your dates and times. You have tags that have a bar code and your name, but your name is hidden so that the judges do not know who made what until after the item is judged. The day of delivery (and usually judging too) is always interesting because everyone is checking out what every one else has brought in. If you win, your stuff and animals stay there and if you don't it goes back home with you.
There is nothing quite like the satisfaction that you have received a blue ribbon for something you have worked hard on. I was lucky enough this year to win 2 blue ribbons, a best of show, and a second. I won a blue ribbon for my pumpkin crumb cake, blue ribbon for a snowman painted mason jar in Pinterest Interest class and best of show with my decorated fair themed cookies. I received a second place for my chess pie.
Roberta/Lucy asked if I would share my recipe. I am sharing a quick version of my winning Pumpkin Crumb Cake recipe. All baked goods have to be homemade from scratch, no box mixes, no boxed kits or frozen doughs; so when I made this for the fair the yellow cake recipe was my grandmother's.
Jeannie Daniel’s Pumpkin Crumb Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1- 15 ounce can pumpkin (you can use fresh pumpkin you have prepared for pies)
butter 1/2 cup melted
Set aside one cup of the dry cake mix. Mix together remaining yellow cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg. Pat into the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
Mix together 1 can pumpkin (about 2 cups), 2/3 cups evaporated milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3 eggs. Mix well, pour over crust.
For the Topping: Mix the 1 cup of reserved cake mix, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. When slightly cool, drizzle caramel icing or caramel ice cream sauce over the cake. Can be served warm or cold. Really good warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
LUCY: I told you this would be fun! Reds, what would you enter in the county fair?