Another early morning...if you followed the story from yesterday, you realize that I did not get home until late last night. But, we got up again early this morning to head back to the festival. We worked in our 4H booth in the morning and then we had a special event to participate in.
You see...About a month ago, I was asked to lead a group of our younger 4H members (Brianna, Henry, Sean) in a food contest at the Forest Festival. We were to make hushpuppies. Now, I have not said a lot about this contest because we have secretly been perfecting our recipe that we would use in this contest. We have not told anyone the recipe and it is quite unique. I would not even tell my husband (in Afghanistan) because I wanted it to be a surprise for the kiddos to share with everyone at the same time! (No...you have to wait until the end of the post to find out!!!) The only ones who knew our idea were our team and the older 4H team from our club.
We competed in the third round cook-off. We did really well getting the hushpuppies ready to fry. We even got the first batch made with little trouble. We set a few aside for the judges and began our second batch. Since we knew we did not like some from the first batch, we gave them out for samples. Big mistake!!! Our fryer quit working on our second batch. I did not think they were ever going to cook!!! We finally had to turn one of the hushpuppies into the judges half cooked. What a disappointment!!
So....imagine our surprise when we heard our names called out to come back in the final round of the top 8 hushpuppies!!!! Woo-hoo!!! We were so excited!!!
The second round was a lot of fun...all the worries were gone because we knew we had a good hushpuppy!!! We set up for the second round and laughed with the other teams as we waited for the round to begin...and waited...and waited! Having 8 teams with electric fryer was just a little too much...we had to wait for proper electrical supply to the fryer to begin the final round.
We finally got started and made an awesome batch of hushpuppies! Our fryer worked great during this second round. We turned in our samples to the judges and had plenty of time to make another 60 hushpuppies to give out to the crowd to sample.
The judges were impressed with our samples also! We won 4th place for our....drum roll please...Smores hushpuppy!!! Lots of chocolate-y, marshmallow-y, graham cracker goodness!!! Now I still won't tell you our secret recipe but at least you know the flavor.
I could not have been prouder of our team. We were the youngest team to compete in the final round and we all worked together as a team. Brianna mixed the batter just right, Henry scooped them up into perfect round balls, Sean placed the marshmallow just right, and I fried them to perfection! Brianna also gave me the idea to form the batter around the marshmallow just right. And I learned a trick about frying huspuppies that I MIGHT share with my closest friends...as long as I don't have to compete with them! <WINK>
Also, there is a spirit award given out each year to the team who dresses up in costume while making their hushpuppies. So, we dressed up like the nursery rhyme..."The Little Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe." We even made a LARGE boot to make it clear to all who we were. It was a lot of fun. I was the little old lady and my helpers were the good children who were allowed to come out of the shoe.
Our older team (Caleb, Justin, Katy, Treyton) dressed up like World War II heroes (Patton, Eisenhower, WWII Nurse, and MacCarthur). They did a great job with their costumes and even wheeled in a little tank they made. I was not a bit surprised when the judges called their names for the spirit award. I think I was just as excited as they were when they went on stage. Great job senior team!!!
We spent the rest of the night working our 4H booth and got home just after 10pm. That was the last night of the festival for us! We waved good-bye until next year!!!
PS...we had a lot of fun things happen with our observation hive today! I will try to tell you about this tomorrow.