30 July 2014

No. 41:Enter Something into the Fair

No. 41: Enter something into the fair- either the Ft. Bend County Fair or maybe even the Chaffee County Fair

I know, I know.

Everyone assumes I have totally forgotten about my 60 challenges since I have worked on exactly zero of them this summer.

But that is not true.

Just last week while I was in Colorado I knocked out No. 41: Enter something into the fair.

The official fair handbook with
entry requirements. 

Now, I confess.   I entered.   I don't know yet if by some miracle I won anything but that wasn't really part of the challenge.  Just entering was.

The Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo is always the first week in August and is held at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds in Salida.

Fair grounds entrance.

For the fair there are Open Class Divisions for textiles, hobbies, crafts, fine arts, photography, horticulture and floriculture.
The rodeo includes bareback riding, barrel racing, team roping, steer riding, mutton bustin', carriage driving, calf branding, hay stacking and trailer loading contests. You know, rodeo stuff.
There's also a "Best Decorated Rock Contest" for the 12 and under set. The rock must be picked from the fair grounds.

I entered the SENIOR Class 13- Cookies (rolled) Baking Division.  (Senior?! WTF?)
And my recipe of choice?
Dark Mocha Rum Balls.  (Hmmm.  Just realized they weren't really baked. Bet that counted against me!)
Six cookies, in a plastic bag on a paper plate.
I followed all the entry rules.

And why did I decide on rum balls of all things?
Because entries could be turned in on Saturday or Sunday for judging on Monday.  But Sunday was spent in Gunnison having lunch with my friend Liddy.   So that meant I needed to turn those cookies in on Saturday.
Which got me to thinking. What gets better with age after making? Regular cookies can dry out. Pies get soggy.
But rum balls? Rum balls just keep getting better and better.
Besides,  if you were judging, wouldn't you appreciate a little shot of rum in your otherwise humdrum Monday morning?

Besides, I didn't have a whole bunch of time to experiment. This was a bit of a last minute decision.

So rum balls were entered.

Me, leaving the Fair Grounds drop off building.

Judging was Monday morning, the same day we left town and headed to Denver for the night.
I have no idea if I won a ribbon or not. Guess I will have to wait until after this weekend when the entire fair results are listed in the paper.

And if I won, what would I get?
Are you sitting down?
Besides a ribbon, "premiums" are also awarded.
Grand Champion gets $3.00!!!
A Blue ribbon gets $1.50.
And the lowly White ribbon gets a measly 50¢.

Kind of breaks my heart knowing I won't be there to collect my winnings.
(That's also assuming I was the only entry in that class/divison- most probably the ONLY way I could actually win.)

No. 41 was entered.

And if you, too, want to make my (possibly) Prize Winning Dark Mocha Rum Balls, here's the recipe.

The cast of characters.
(Don't you love my ancient $8.00 food processor? Got it at Free the Monkey, the resale store.)


 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2-1/2 cups crumbs)

cup  powdered sugar plus an extra ½ cup (divided evenly)  for coating

cup  finely chopped pecans plus an extra ¼ cup for coating

cup  (1 stick) butter, melted

Tbsp.  light corn syrup

Tbsp.  unsweetened dark cocoa powder

cup  coffee rum  (I used Brinley's Gold Coffee Rum from St. Kitts. A substitute would be 1 tsp. instant coffee mixed into ¼ cup rum and allowed to sit for 15 minutes or so.)

Mix all ingredients (except extra powdered sugar and extra crushed pecans) together.
Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Mix ¼ cup reserved crushed pecans and ¼ cup reserved powdered sugar together. Roll balls in the sugar/pecan mix.
Store overnight in tightly sealed container, separating layers with wax paper if necessary.
The next morning, roll balls one more time in the last extra ¼ cup powdered sugar.

Keep stored at room temperature. These improve with age!! Don't eat them all at once.

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