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#123665 Sep 4th, 2007 at 12:11 PM
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Okay, I've known this day was coming for over a month now and I'm wholly unprepared. I've been asking my husband, every day, to look at the best pickles I had picked out and tell me which he thought looked the absolute best. After a month of gently asking, I picked out my 2 favorites and showed them too him while he was brushing his teeth for work, this morning. lol We agreed on jar A and that was that. But when I got to really closely looking at Jar A, I noticed that the liquid is cloudy (not abnormal for fermented pickles), the pickles are just a little above the liquid, and the headspace is just over the demanded half inch. I also noticed that Jar C does not have cloudy liquid. So I thought, I'd just take Jar B. But noooo, it can't be that easy! Jar C has a low headspace too, just over half an inch and some of the pickles are a little "wrinkled" but that is normal for fermented pickles too. But still, I mean, I noticed, you wanna bet a judge would? And then, come to find out, my darling husband that I love had taken the best looking jars he could find and given them out to a few people at work back in August! madd

So now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I went and "repackaged" a jar. I dumped out the syrup from a new jar of my pickles and reboiled, then opened another jar from the same batch (non-cloudy) and added the extra syrup into the mixture on the stove. I brought everything to a great boil, boiled a few minutes (just to be sure everything was dead) and then put back into a sterilized jar with pickles and the cinnamon stick and reprocessed.

And now, after re-reading the rules, I see that there is NO RUST allowed on the rings anywhere and rings may be removed for rust inspection. Hello! You boil metal in water and let drip dry! They're gonna rust. So now I get to go out and buy rings too. Plus I don't know if I can attach my label with information on it with some packing tape or if they want it glued or what. And where do they want it at?

This is my first fair and I know I'm not winning anything on these pickles. They are far from perfect and I'm sure others will look significantly better. But I am not going to be disqualified for something stupid like rings or a label in the wrong spot. If nothing else, I can try again next year. (I was sure to mention that these are not quick-pack pickles on the label, so hopefully I get cut a little slack.)

I just had to share! What are your worst/best fair experiences/stories??


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #123747 Sep 4th, 2007 at 04:37 PM
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wow sarah dont worry i bet everyone who enters somthing in the fair gose through that,
i dont have a fair story, i never enterd em, i did make my sisters wedding cake, it had 3 tiers cake on the sides with steps going to the middle,, n the middle had a foutain in the middle of pillards holding the little cake on top with the bride n groom, ,
ya would think after making all that icing i woulda rememberd the border on one of the bottom side cakes! o-well they ate it anyho! lol lucky i wasnt being judged on it!


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sibyl #123819 Sep 5th, 2007 at 03:13 AM
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Sarah, take a second~now breathe....... lol

It's hard to get anything close to perfect in a judge's eyes. My pickles cloud up as well because I use extra tumeric.

I'd just go to the fair to see exactly what your up against and what is the 'rule of thumb' and wait til next year to bring home the ribbons. Don't stress yourself out kissie


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Sunflowers #123855 Sep 5th, 2007 at 05:02 AM
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I've never entered anything into a fair either.


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Wrennie #123919 Sep 5th, 2007 at 07:40 AM
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Thanks, Tamara, I needed that. lol I'm not a drama queen (at least not yet) but I am a worry wort.

Well, I did get one jar that is acceptable. Not cloudy, proper headspace, no pickles above the water. So at least not an immediate disqualification. I have my label ready and found a narrow mouth ring that will work, nice and rust free. So I do have something to take tonight, which is the last night for dropping off competition items.

The fair starts tomorrow! Wooo! Adam really loves the fair and we've got some gorgeous weather. In the mid-80's, with a nice breeze (15-20mph), and partly cloudy skies. Lows in the 50's!! Last year it was in the 100's all week and the year before it rained torrentially the entire week, so this is going to be a very nice change. Now, I need to start thinking of what I would like to eat..funnel cake, for sure, and they've got the best fried okra... Got to remember the camera.


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LandOfOz #123962 Sep 5th, 2007 at 08:21 AM
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Is it a very large fair?


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Sunflowers #123986 Sep 5th, 2007 at 08:35 AM
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I don't know what is large but it is the state fair. The size of the fairgrounds is probably...a half mile square, maybe three-quarters square. It's not one of those here today gone tomorrow deals. It lasts 10 days or so. The grounds have animals stables for the pig, poultry, horse, rabbit, buffalo, cow, goat, and every other animal on farm competitions. There are ... probably 8 huge buildings just for exhibitions (like sales booths), and a huge food court they put in a few years ago that is air conditioned! Plus they put in a few different fountains around the grounds for kids to play in. A ton of rides, food venues, RV and tracter Sales, and of course Hot Tub/swimming pool sales. All the radio stations broadcast live from there and do competitions or games with jaw-dropping awesome prizes like Curly's BBQ Sauce lol (it is the best BBQ sauce I've ever had, though). Food competions have everything you could think of breads, specialty cakes, 4 H, scouts, canning, etc, etc etc. Concerts, car races, really good cinnamon nuts, homemade fudge that is almost as good as mine (and no dishes! or exhausting stirring!). It's a pretty big shin-dig, especially for little ol' Hutchinson (my city).

Kansas State Fair


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LandOfOz #124041 Sep 5th, 2007 at 09:01 AM
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Cool. Wish we had such a thing.


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Sunflowers #124562 Sep 5th, 2007 at 07:51 PM
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sarah, your funny! have fun and eat a funnel cake for me!!!!!!!!!!


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sarah let us know how your pickles do!!!

my son n hubs are in the dirt bike race at the fair tomarrow!
we have two fairs, one is the washinton fair its huge, n the small westalexander fair its small, i like the small one:} less people:}


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sibyl #124835 Sep 6th, 2007 at 09:16 AM
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I'm not a big people fan either. We always go early in the morning so that way we avoid the heat and a good deal of the crowds. Besides, it's easier to watch my 2 little kids with a lot less people around.

My pickles are too be judged tomorrow morning at 9am. clap nervous The lady who put them up at the fair said they looked so good she was going to steal them and eat them. And everyone was oogling the girls. I asked if it would give me extra points if I put the girls right next to my jar (they are both adorable and well behaved we get compliments every time we take them out, hopefully I don't sound self-absorbed). lol


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LandOfOz #124839 Sep 6th, 2007 at 09:18 AM
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Good luck tomorrow morning![Linked Image]


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LandOfOz #124847 Sep 6th, 2007 at 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by LandOfOz
And everyone was oogling the girls. I asked if it would give me extra points if I put the girls right next to my jar (they are both adorable and well behaved we get compliments every time we take them out, hopefully I don't sound self-absorbed). lol

Nah, enjoy it while it lasts lol

Good luck, can't wait to hear about your day and hopefully see some pics as well.


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Sunflowers #125304 Sep 7th, 2007 at 04:06 AM
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I'm on the edge of my seat here! I wanna hear all about it!


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Merme #125446 Sep 7th, 2007 at 08:25 AM
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Thanks for the well-wishes. I hold no expectations of winning anything, though. Well, they should be judged by now. So it's all said and done. I think we may go tomorrow morning and check out the fair. I'll let you all know how it did and I'll get a pic of it, too.


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LandOfOz #126148 Sep 8th, 2007 at 12:07 PM
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are you back yet?


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I'm back but we're headed back. Got to ride the rides now. I didn't place at all, but that was expected. No pics because we didn't want to lose the camera, with 2 kids, we've got our hands kinda full. lol


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LandOfOz #126961 Sep 10th, 2007 at 07:25 AM
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The fair was alright and the weather for it was just about perfect. We went around 10am and went right into the domestic arts building (for homemade things, food, afgans, quilts,etc). There were some gorgeous quilts in there. Just stunning. I was biting my tongue not to mention something to Adam about not bringing the camera. Then we went and looked a bunch of bologna booths, which all fairs have knives, avon, hot tubs, pots and pans, etc. Adam kept running into tons of women that he works with and that is always fun. rolz And then we went into the KS building and bought some fresh, un-pasteurized, un-filtered honey. And that lead to an argument because Adam thought I needed 5 lbs but I didn't want to lug 5 lbs of honey around the fair all day. So he started yelling and I bought the damn 5 lbs and left as quickly as humanly possible. And then I lugged it around for about 5 more hours. The worst part was most of those 5 hours was looking at the loud rides full of screaming patrons. Honestly, I'd rather someone just hit me with a baseball bat than be around extremely loud stuff. My youngest, Lindsay, was so excited to see all the bunnies that were there for the contests. Every bunny she saw was her "faaaavorite and soooooooo cuuuute." And we probably saw close to 500 rabbits. lol We looked at the cows and she smacks her lips and says, "Licious Cows, Mommy!" (she doesn't say delicious, just licious) We came home and put the kids down for a nap, had dinner, and went back for rides. I'm not a ride person. And because he is so weird we were there from 7-11:30pm. I did get a funnel cake though. The kids just would not go to sleep when we got home and then got up very early for some reason.

Tonight is free night and I'm kinda hoping to be able to go back, ALONE, and get some pics of those quilts and stuff. We'll see...

And I forgot to mention, all the canned veggies were perfect. I mean, each and every pickle was the exact same size and they were arranged in perfect little circles in each jar and the liquid was crystal clear. A lot of them were so pretty that I couldn't have imagined opening them and eating them. I mean, jeez, I just toss the pickles into the jar until it's full. On the plus side, my jams could've kick some of the other jams's butts. If only they were in regulation jars, I would've entered them!

Last edited by LandOfOz; Sep 10th, 2007 at 07:28 AM. Reason: forgot to mention the pickles.

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LandOfOz #127653 Sep 11th, 2007 at 03:16 AM
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lol sarah least you know now that your jams could kick their jams butt! thumbup enter your jams next year!


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sibyl #127664 Sep 11th, 2007 at 03:40 AM
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Glad you had a fun day.

I don't like unpasteurized honey, tastes like clover to me.

Next year you'll have to remember the tips you've seen and put them into your preserves to win some ribbons. Do they open up the pickles to taste them as well? Sometimes pretty isn't always good. lol


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Sunflowers #127679 Sep 11th, 2007 at 05:04 AM
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No, they do not grade on taste. The only time they open the jar is if the contest is so close they have to take flavor into consideration or if they think that the pickles are spoiled.

I was reading that honey has different flavors based on what flowers the bees are pollinating. It was very interesting. I put just a teaspoon or so into smoothies yesterday and I could barely eat the smoothie, it was so sweet! Honey is supposed to help the body absorb calcium, which is why I put it in my smoothie but I really don't think I can eat it like that again. lol lol

I will be buying a LOT of pint jars over the winter. I only had around 1 1/2 dozen, so a lot of things got put in jars that the fair won't except. But, next year, I will be prepared!!


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LandOfOz #127689 Sep 11th, 2007 at 06:31 AM
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We have a local bee keeper that sells his honey but I'd rather the store bought bear kind. I think it really is an acquired taste for the 'real' stuff.


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Sunflowers #127793 Sep 11th, 2007 at 10:15 AM
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We've never had honey much. Even as a kid it was too expensive. I freecycled a lot of flowers and one of the individuals was a guy who lives about a block from my parents house and he has his own hives. He offered to give me a quart of honey when he got around to cleaning the hives. Where was he when I was growing up a block from there?!! lol Unprocessed honey is supposed to help with allergies. It works like a live-immunization (where they inject you with a tiny-tiny bit of the virus for your anti-bodies to attack).


Sarah - Zone 5b/6
LandOfOz #127900 Sep 11th, 2007 at 04:05 PM
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scott's grandfather was a bee keeper, we had fresh honey until he died. good stuff, but you are right, it is an acquired taste.


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