I brought the jams in last week. I brought the pies in on Sunday. I've heard that the judging is done on the former and likely finished on the latter. So where are the results? Why aren't they online yet? I must know!
Even when one is out of one's league, there's still an inclination to hope anyway. I am competing against hard-core State Fair bakers and canners -- little old ladies whose eyes glitter and whose grandmotherly smiles disguise dog-show competitiveness. But still, what if my entries...what if...
I'm worried about my apple pie. I was a bad baker and forgot to check my ingredients before I started, so at 9 p.m. the night before the pies were due, I found I was out of shortening for the crust. No problem, I figured; I'll use butter instead. I was a quarter-cup short of butter as well. So I threw in some half'n'half and hoped for the best.
It turned out well, I think -- a little heavy and biscuity, but still tender and flaky. (How's that for a commercial?) I peeled the apples, which I rarely do, and added cinammon to the crust. The lattice was handsome and capable -- seven strips on each side. It smelled fantastic.
As I was checking in, just before I relinquished custody of the pie, Maia reached and pulled off a handful of lattice. All of the check-in volunteers gasped. Other contestants looked sympathetic and triumphant at the same time. Maia looked at the handful of lattice, looked at me, and said in her Shirley Temple voice, "Uh-oh!"
It reattached fairly well. I know it won't win, but it's fun to think about.