Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nebraska State Fair 2017-and Giveaway

Happy 150th Birthday, Nebraska. What better place to throw a statewide party than the fairgrounds in Grand Island? And what a party it was! We had a blast!
We met The Sower from atop the Capitol building in Lincoln, though he was the silent type and didn't have much to say.

 There was even a display devoted to me!  It was also "Older Nebraskans Day" which meant I wasn't the oldest person in the room for a change.
 The fair had many educational exhibits...
 I'll say that's a small animal...looks like a single cell to me.
The winners from the horticulture division.
Creative use of junked auto parts in woodworking (I loved this).
But the real reason we went was to gawk at Danny's entries. These four were his including the best of division. In total, he had 57 ribbons-23 of which were blue. It would be an understatement to say he's over the moon. We are too, but we were already proud of him, ribbons or not.
This here is what's left of the poppy seeds tea ring. Best of division. It was a large tea ring when he entered it...I guess the judges really liked it. This was his second year winning the tea ring competition. Can he do a threepeat next year? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess he probably will.
 Decorated Nebraska 150 cookies...
 ...a cinnamon bun that looked better a week ago (sitting in the cases on display doesn't do baked goods any favours)
 ...and the beehive. I was disappointed the didn't cut into it as it contains a whopping two cups of honey and it was expensive to make-maybe they took a taste from the underside. It would be a shame to have skipped trying a cake that tasted as good as it looked.
There's Danny totaling up his wins in the various cases. He's estimating it should be around $300. USD in winnings which is convenient as he's looking to buy a new camera for birding. He's threatening to enter the photography contests next year.
 I took some pies to the fair, as you do.
 This was my plum pie-it came in fourth (I entered it in "Other" fruit pies, and it lost out to raspberry). The apple came second, the cherry second, and the rhubarb strawberry below was my first place pie. It was a surprise as it was the pie I thought would be least likely to ribbon. Go figure!

It turned out this year that the champion of previous years is no longer competing as she's now running a bakery. I don't know if the rules changed, but I think it was all for the good as it was discouraging to think I'd have to compete with a pro. I had a hard enough time against amateurs! We have some very skilled pie bakers in Nebraska.
The pies are judged live on stage, and believe me, it is nerve wracking! The woman sitting in front of me in this photo won best overall pie for her cherry entry-and it deserved it! I never saw such a beautiful pie. We were joking that it was a little like listening to someone being critical of your children, but in the end, there is good, useful criticism offered. It was great fun, and I'm happy to have the ribbons, but I don't think I'd do it again. I'll leave the baking to Danny.
There it is in the case. They only display a slice so you can take home the remainder of your pies. We're going to be eating a lot of pie over the next few days!
I LOVED this entry-it wasn't ours. That's an excellent use of cookies! I might be a bit biased, but the Open Class entries at the Nebraska State Fair are always spectacular. To be honest, the exhibits at the 4-H building are equally impressive-those 4-H kids know their stuff! Don't believe it? Maybe you should get yourself to Nebraska for the State Fair and see for yourself.
 But make certain you wear your very best hat. As in previous years, I have a Nebraska State Fair cookbook with last year's winning entries available for the drawing winner, and this year I've also included a Nebraska 150 tea towel. Drawing is open worldwide, so leave a comment by Midnight CST 15 September 2017 to be entered.

I took my barn box bag to the fair. It attracted a lot of attention, as did my hat. I'm glad I dressed for the fair as it brought out more than a few smiles. It also brought out a drunk 90-something gentleman exclaiming, "Aren't you cute as a button!" Yeah, well...if you say so gramps.
We had a second loaf of the swirl bread at home, so I packed sandwiches to take with for a lunch picnic. Here's Mr. ETB showing off his lunch made of the same bread as the winning entry. Next year, we should stand in the parking lot handing out slices of prize-winning bread. By the time we get a perfect loaf, there can be as many as six not-so-perfect loaves. Needless to say, we have a freezer full of bread at the moment.

Finally, three cheers for all the employees and volunteers that make the fair such a great success year after year. It is an incredible amount of work that goes into organising and running this fair. Visitors only see that everything runs smoothly so they can experience a great time-behind the scenes there's an army of people working to make the State Fair the fun that it is. If they gave ribbons for hard work it would be blue ribbons all around. Thank You!

Don't forget to enter for your chance at the cookbook and tea towel. I'm already excited for next year!


Vicky R said...

Well done to you and Danny! Your State Fair seems so much better than our Royal Show here in Perth.
I would never have the patience to enter any of the competitions.
Oh and love the hat and bag and you did look "as cute as a button" LOL

Beth Waltz said...

Delighted to see that Danny's hard work paid off in $USD. Awards are nice, but $300 is what my great-aunt would call "a useful sum", especially when a birder fancies a camera.

Strawberry-rhubarb is my favorite pie, period. What a charming crust you devised. A first in pies in that competition is indeed cause for pride: Brava!

The hat is charming and nothing could be more suitable to the occasion than a barn box bag. Yes, you were "cuter than a bug". :}

Bibi Maizoon said...

Bravissimo Danny! I marvel at the professional birders' camera gear I see here in Nepal. $1,000-$2,000 just for a lens!
Live pie judging, just wow. Can't get more Midwestern & all-American than that, eh?
Congratulation on your pie winnings too!
When I look at your hat for some reason I think, "Now my beauties. Something with poi-son in it I think. With poison in it. But attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell. Ha-ha-ha-ha. Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sle-ee-p. Now they'll sle-ee-p."
As a former 4-Her I can say, they really do know their stuff!

Miss Magpie said...

Woop Woop Go Danny! I'd have come over and kicked their arses if the beehive cake hadn't won!

Bobbi said...

Congratulations on all the ribbons! Danny is so talented.

ThriftyParka said...

Wowie wow!!! I don't know where to start with the congratulations. Prize winning pies! Breads! Cakes!

I think Mr ETB deserves a blue ribbon for giving me a chuckle. I laughed when I him holding his sandwich :). Very nonchalant.

Happy thrifting

Polyester Princess said...

Congratulations to Danny. I am so pleased that all his efforts paid off. I'm sure he'll do well in photography too. A new camera would be a great way to spend his prize money. I'm loving your State Fair outfit, and I think that gramps was righgt: you DO look cute as a button. I'm drooling over that barn box bag! xxx

Emily from Etsy said...

Congratulations to Danny!

When you said, "It would be an understatement to say he's over the moon. We are too, but we were already proud of him, ribbons or not," I got a little teary-eyed from reading that.

Your red and white outfit is awesome. Especially the barn-shaped purse.

Propagatrix said...

Congratulations to you and Danny! Fairs are a way of life; my own family has been a major force behind the Kenosha County Fair since about 1973, and Imy husband and I go to every northern California fair we can find.

Mim said...

Congratulations to you and Danny on the wins. He did brilliantly. And now you get to eat all the pies? Double win. I love seeing events like that - just like the agricultural shows in this country, there's something very grounded about them, very solid and heartwarming. People making/growing stuff and sharing their pleasure in doing it well.

Your barn box bag is cute - better watch out for those saucy senior citizens, though...

Veronica Cooke said...

Well done Danny! What a talented young man he is. I bet he'll do well if he enters the photography section next year. Well done to you, too. It's easy to see where he gets his talent for baking from...

I think a State Fair is a wonderful idea and one we could or should copy here in the UK.

In Ireland there used to be (and still is as far as I know) a big 'show' once a year in August in the little town where my mum came from. They had baking competitions,flower arranging, knitting,embroidery,crochet, vegetables, fruit, animals, poultry etc. I loved going to the show to look at the exhibits. I think this type of show still exists in some towns and villages in the UK but sadly not in mine!

Goody said...

Thank you for all your kind messages. Danny is absolutely beaming. I promise to get up the various recipes at some point before the month is out.

Sue said...

I am so behind on posts!! Huge congrats to you and Danny's prize winning entries. What a team huh!! Love the idea of his winnings going on a CAMERA!! Bird photos next year for sure. Your state fair looks amazing, we have nothing as fabulous here anymore, those days have gone.

Vix said...

Go Danny (and you!) What a brilliant result.
How cheeky that the judges demolished that tea ring, it must have been amazingly tasty when you think how many they had to sample!
You should have won a prize for your outfit, it totally rocked! xxx

Anonymous said...

What fantastic results and you both truly deserve them all. Danny will be the super baker to watch for in a few years- on t.v.n videos and in books.
You are both so tenacious, baking not one but several times to get things just right!
Well done. JanF

Radostin said...

Congratulations on all of those ribbons, a highly impressive feat! Everything does look wonderful, and now I'm hungry, I love your fair accessories too.