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Every year my wife enters her food and textile creations with the County Fair (this year she took a blue ribbon on almost everything she entered, and my son got a red ribbon for his brownies). A few years ago I started submitting a few of my own desserts. I’ve won a ribbon here and there, but never a blue!
One year I entered my best pie – sour cream banana. They didn’t get it. No ribbon. That same year Joe Hiney entered his apple custard pie, also winning no ribbon. Being guys, we had to find an excuse. Our first was that we were discriminated against as men, a theory dashed upon the rocks of our poor sportsmanship as it turns out the judging is done blind. Maybe our masculinity shone through the food, but instead we switched to an even more condescending theory. The judges being from Ferndale (actually, we had no idea where they were from) just didn’t get our sophisticated blue state recipes. Basically, we were discriminated against as liberals. That’s what we concluded anyway. So this year I set out to prove the theory.
I entered oatmeal butterscotch cookies stealing the recipe Cindy McCain stole from Hershey’s (erroneously believed by many to have been stolen from Rachael Ray, but McCain stole a chicken recipe from her, not cookies). I wanted to test my red state theory, and what can be more red state than a Republican recipe stolen from a company in the red, um, well, almost red state of Pennsylvania?
So I called up the recipe and on my way home earlier in the week I stopped at the Co-op in Eureka to do my shopping. I guess there’s no hippie brand of butterscotch chips (wouldn’t have been authentically red state anyway as I thought about it) so I had to stop at Raye’s. Unfortunately, they had Nestle’s, not Hershey’s (perhaps that was my undoing). Later that night I whipped up the cookies. I altered the recipe slightly because there was about a quarter cup of chips left after measuring them out and I didn’t have anything else to do with them (perhaps that was my undoing).
The cookies were way too sweet for my (blue state) taste, perfect for my innate blue condescension. Even downing them with a latte didn’t work (actually, I just made that up. Blue as I am, I don’t really like lattes). So I cheerfully submitted them, confident that Cindy/Hershey’s would deliver for me. But alas, no ribbon. So went my cookies, and my theory about the judges.
There is hope for the salvaging of my condescending ways however. Maybe it was Cindy M. who failed me. What if Cindy McCain is a closet blue state cook? She did lift the chicken recipe from Rachael Ray, who’s apparel aesthetic is not just blue, but “terror chic.” Never mind that my cookies were too sweet. Maybe it was a blue state kind of too much sweet, like egg nog lattes, or, flan drenched in syrup or something. I’ll have to develop this theory and concoct some sort of test next year.
And no actually, it can’t be an issue of my execution! I took two semesters of home economics in Jr. high school and I watch Iron Chef regularly. I should know what I’m doing.
Cookie photo comes from photobucket.
Ed has some striking photos.