Thursday, July 26, 2012

Who needs a blue ribbon?

I don't need a blue ribbon . . . I have a purple "Best of Show"!

My very first entry in a fair paid off big time! I am so proud!

Today in the Sweet Grass County Fair, I entered a yellow cake with marshmallow creme frosting (I can't say enough good things about that frosting!) in the Decorated Cakes division. When you get up close, it looks like a summer poolside scene.

Now I get a kick out of having the ribbon, and I am proud to say someone bid $50 for the cake at the fair auction. But when I brought my entry in, I could see it was already a winner. Anything that makes people happy is an instant winner.

Every entry was obviously a winner. Who could lose after making something special to share with fair-goers?

Now just so you know, a best of show ribbon means my cake was the best of all the cakes that were entered this year. And there were some nice-looking ones, including a darling set of cupcakes that were coated with white chocolate to look like eggs and presented in an egg carton. (Sorry, no pic. I was too awestruck by my own fortune.)

My cake was rated on taste as well as appearance, and that is why I am especially proud. The judges' notes read: "Very creative, lots of detail, good flavor, frosting creamy but not too sweet."

After judging, all entries throughout the fair are auctioned off (with the owner's permission) to pay for judges and ribbons. I was awfully proud that someone thought my cake was worth $50!

Here is my fabulous icing recipe, which I got out of a 1999 Woman's Day magazine. You can be a winner, too!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter in a medium bowl with mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in marshmallow creme. When well blended, beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy.

Makes 3 cups.

I dare you not to keep nibbling at this as you put it on the cake!

I've been warned that winning ribbons at the fair is addictive. Yep, I'm already planning for next year. Read all about The Rowdy Baker's blue ribbon experience!

See you next year at the fair!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reed Point has a new market

It's always exciting to visit a new farmers market. Today I got to see Reed Point vendors enjoying their market as much as the customers.

Smiles were everywhere, along with peach tea (above; yum), chokecherry lemonade (yum), pies (yum), and cinnamon rolls (yum). I tried everything and liked it. What else can I say? Except: yum!

There were also some crafts, like these very attractive boxes and signs. The chalkboard addition is clever and useful.

Market manager Audrey told me that the market averages 5 vendors each week, selling crafts and very popular baked goods. Reed Point residents flock to the market to get their weekly supply of fresh rolls, pies, and other goodies.

Fresh produce should be appearing soon, and the market will continue until mid-September, or "until the veggies are running out."

Reed Point is a small stop along I-90. There's a quaint gas station right by the on-off ramps. While you're enjoying looking around in the store, be sure to buy a bar of Jackie's sweet-smelling homemade soap, made on a ranch in the hills overlooking town.

There isn't much for visitors to do in town most of the year. There's an antique store that might or might not be open, and the Waterhole Saloon (located at the opposite end of town from the gas station, across from the farmers market) serves up cold beverages and pizza.

But the buildings are fun to look at as you stroll along the boardwalks.

The big event is the annual sheep drive in September. With food, street fair booths, and plenty of sheep, you'll find yourself spending the whole day here.

But meanwhile, get yourself over to the farmers market. There's a tall icy glass of chokecherry lemonade waiting for you. And some pie, too.

Reed Point Farmers Market
across from the Waterhole Saloon, north end of town
June 1 - mid-September (or until the veggies run out)
Friday, 4 pm - 7 pm