Once again, I entered the Tippecanoe County Home and Family Arts Open Show, which is held every year during the Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair. Originally, I had entered six items on my form, but was only able to procrastinate enough to finish three of them. And I did very well--three blue ribbons and a reserve sweepstakes on my basket, which was entered in the Hobbies and Crafts Division.
One of the exhibits I brought to the fair was a Pumpkin Pound Cake, which was entered in the Scratch Cakes class. The other cakes exhibited were frosted layer cakes, so even though my cake had earned a blue star (considered for champion) rating, those beautiful cakes cleaned my clock, so to speak--and rightfully so.
I was very happy with my blue ribbon and with the way my product turned out, both appearance and taste-wise. But the real reason I entered it warmed my heart most of all. I wanted to enter a baked item as a way to honor my friend and fellow Open Show competitor Dave, who passed away this past spring at 62 years of age. Dave, a florist by profession, was a tireless promoter and supporter of the 4-H program, both at the county and state levels, and was a very competitive entrant in the Foods Division of the Open show, always bringing in the area of ten items each fair. It was so obvious to everyone around him that baking for the Open Show was one of the great joys of his life.
Not only did he bring a lot of baked goods to the fair for exhibit, he also spent a lot of money each year at the baked goods auction after the judging was completed. He won the Spirit of the Fair award, which is given to a person/business/organization that demonstrates support of and enthusiasm for the Open Show.
We honored Dave in a small and subtle but classy way at this year's Open Show. I created "Baking For Dave" labels that were affixed to the entry tags of every Foods exhibitor if they wanted to have them. I am very happy to say that the endeavor was successful as almost all of the exhibits have a "Dave" label on them.
His family also wishes to honor Dave on a yearly basis with some kind of special recognition for an exhibitor, and we are currently working with them to make this idea reality.
As an aside, I was presented and honored to accept the Spirit of the Fair Award at this year's fair. It was a reward for lots of stress and success, and I am happy that I was considered worthy.
Onward to 2016--planning my projects as we speak!