This week marks the beginning of madness, farm-style: it's a fair week.
We can't claim to have a fair on the scale of the Ohio State Fair, which my family used to participate in when I was a kid living in Columbus. My mom sewed, cooked, and baked like a mad woman, while my dad gardened and canned. My brother and I were pros at modeling our outfits on the fair catwalk. Here he is in his prize-winning train conductor outfit. (He is going to kill me for this, but it's his fault for scanning in the picture and giving it to me on a CD.)
And to be fair, for your viewing pleasure: a picture of me in the first-place outfit sewn by my mom, circa 1974 or so. Check out those shoes! And who the heck trimmed my bangs so darn crooked?
My kids have apparently inherited this gene. Around 4:30 pm today, they (plus an extra, who is spending a few days here) decided to get their exhibits ready for our local fair, including baked goods. My kitchen looks like a bag of flour exploded in it.
They managed a pretty good haul, considering they did it in 2 hours:
OK, so the skein is mine. But the rest is all them. The tomatoes are for a "biggest green tomato" contest. Primo and Secondo are neck and neck with 8+ ounce tomatoes.
Terzo put together an entry for the "cut flower" division:
Secondo made his famous coffee cake, from his great-grandmother's recipe (yes, it stuck a little coming out of the pan -- hopefully the judge won't notice):
He also entered a zucchini in the "seeds to supper" program. Every year, the fair organizers give out seeds to the school kids, and award a prize to the kid who grows the biggest zucchini by fair time. He was a little late getting his seeds planted this year, so the biggest one he produced was a measly 2 lb 12 oz.
Last year, his weighed over 8 lb. He was beaten by a 15 lb zucchini, so he is pessimistic about his chances this year.
Primo put together a basket of vegetables from our garden.
The judge last year claimed our veggies were too perfect to come from any place but Shoprite, so we didn't place. Primo tucked a note in the basket this year, noting that all of them were grown in our local garden. Check out the carrot, which looks like it is in dire need of the facilities.