My mom, the individual responsible for my love of food, is a determined and often victorious competitor. She regularly enters not only food she has made but also her crafts into the county fair and wins. In the event she does not win – she has been known to find the judges and ask how she needs to improve for the next year so she can win. She has won ribbons with her buckeyes and her apple dumplings. And, without revealing the state, she is not entering into tiny county fairs in sparsely populated counties. She is entering her good into one of the larger fairs in our state.
As for crafts, she has won blue ribbons for her rugs that she has braided. Rug braiding is something the first American settlers did, using old fabric and braiding it together with little metal tools to make a rug.
This year she entered two items: a braided rug and peach-pineapple jam. The rug not only one blue ribbon but also best of show – impressive.
As for the jam, did not even place. When I asked her if she was upset she explained she was not because the jam was not ribbon worthy. She told me she knew this from the get go – because the peaches were not very flavorful and were mealy. Plus, she was forced to use the fair mandated pectin (to prove she used it she had to submit the packaging with her jam). These two factors, according to her resulted in jam, although having a great color, was a bit runny and it did not have very good flavor.
The thing about a talented and determined competitor – even when they don’t win, as long as it was fair and they know why, they are OK with it. So my mom was OK with no ribbon and as all great competitors do, she is developing her strategy to bring home victory next year.