Let the Good Times Roll

It came and went in the twinkling of an eye!

All of the hours of preparation were worth every lasting memory from this year’s Iowa State Fair!

For instance, Dear Readers, after hundreds of minutes devoted to serious baking efforts, Little Missy and Little Sir completed five entries worthy of state-fair competition. Hot and humid was on the meteorological menu for the day. Indeed, an air-conditioned vehicle was just what the doctor ordered for the 30-minute drive to the fairgrounds.

One will find a legion of volunteers in the Elwell Family Food Building whose hospitable “hellos” and “great to see you agains” serve as part of the red-carpet treatment to all who enter the double doors.

There is none finer than food superintendent, Karen McKilligan, to head up this “Welcome Wagon” committee!

Finally, the time for judging junior-level classes was at hand. Our family members sat in the audience gallery and vigilantly watched a panel of judges view recipes and taste beautifully crafted baked goods.

Wide Smiles

My Grands took this competitive aspect all in stride. However, when their exhibits were announced as ribbon winners, ever-so-wide smiles erupted from their lips. 

Interestingly, this facial phenomenon happens regularly with any generation of contestant!

The following day, Miss NiNi’s Original Cupcakes A-Cup were sold to hundreds of fairgoers by Yours Truly and Dearly Beloved. 

Two personal joys were associated with that event. The joy of meeting and greeting new and old friends shared the limelight of my heart with the joy of knowing that the Miss NiNi baking team provided delicious happiness to those who purchased our creative handcrafted dessert.

Then came Sunday when judges’ badges were pinned to the shirts of Dear Daughters, Little Missy, and Miss NiNi. Those badges noted judging-mode status during our sponsored angel food cake and baking legacy contests.

If you want to know how to create a melt-in-your-mouth angel food cake, Dear Readers, the winners of our family’s Homemade Angel Food Cake Contest can surely show you how to do it! Each year, the competition strives to outdo itself by showcasing their best measuring and mixing methods in order to produce a cake that has an ultra-fine texture, cotton-candy flavor, and unbelievable height.

Following Directions

You need to realize that creating an angel food cake takes specific preparation steps in order to accomplish this feat. If you are an angel-food cake baker, you definitely will agree!

Judging Miss NiNi’s Create a Family Baking Legacy was the finale to the 2018 edition of my Iowa State Fair memory book.

I must tell you, Dear Readers, as I observed the multiple family teams of adults and young children bonding together in this challenging endeavor my heart overflowed with thankfulness for having created the contest!

With the patience of Job, moms or grandmas teamed with a ten-year-or-younger family member in order to create a baked product. Realize, Dear Readers, that all of the measuring and mixing was done in front of an audience of family and fairgoers. Talk about distractions! Yet, the contestants worked like professional chefs in order to complete the preparation within an allotted period of time. 

While observing teams in action, I took my mind off judging for a few seconds to step back and glow over the memories that must have been made by these family baking teams!

Looking Ahead

Our state fair ends August 19. Even though Miss NiNi’s active part in the fair is completed for this year’s event, plans are already underway for next year’s state fair activities.

Little Missy and Little Sir are considering new foods to enter.

Miss NiNi is laying plans for more opportunities to sell my handcrafted desserts.

And, editions will be made to ensure a successful and efficient flow of judging with our sponsored contests. Before you know it, August 2019 will be here.  

Let the good times roll!