Yesterday morning I entered Mellor Hall at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds feeling nervous. I walked past Jennifer Tinsley’s amazing mural without looking up, nor did I notice the thousands of exhibition entries including wine, flowers, baked goods, weaving, quilting, honey, and crafts covering tables from end to end of the massive hall. I was entirely focused on the Domestic Science tables, where the night before I had placed 6 chocolate chip cookies, carefully selected from a freshly baked batch of 30, and one cake, made by my mister.
Not ready to learn my own fate, I went to see how the mister’s cake did in the “Cake, made by a man” category. There were three cakes entered; the mister’s cake came second. It’s the first cake he’s ever made (possibly the first recipe he’s ever followed (ish)), and he didn’t come last. I knew he would be thrilled by the result.
Before I could help myself I looked over at my cookies. My heart skipped a beat. Blue ribbon. First place. I couldn’t believe it. There were 9 entries in the category and Auntie Joanie’s cookies came out tops. I walked over to my plate and stared at the 5 and a half cookies remaining. Cool.
With the results confirmed, I was able to relax and view the rest of the Domestic Science entries. I was feeling good about my win until I noticed the winner in the “Anything pumpkin but pie” category not only received a first-place blue ribbon, but a large white Judge’s Choice ribbon. You mean there’s a greater prize than first? That’s next year’s challenge.
My neighbours Leanne and Heather took home third and first places respectively for their categories. Heather doesn’t feel she can call herself an award-winning Domestic Scientist just yet; hers was the only entry in the Fruit & Nut Loaf category.
I would like to thank the CowEx organizers for putting on another amazing fair. And to Shevaun for sharing her Auntie Joanie’s recipe (she’ll get a 10% cut of the $5 prize money). And to all those who have eaten my cookies and couldn’t stop at one. And a very special thank you to my mom for teaching me everything I know about baking.
The mister just put his head into our empty cookie jar and yelled, “Anyone in there?” A first-place blue-ribbon chocolate-chip cookie baker’s work is never done.