Sunday, July 16, 2017

My marmalade is in a jam

It's that time of year again! The California State Fair 2017 began to a blistering heat wave this weekend. Our trip there tomorrow is supposed to be "only" in the high 90's, which will feel positively cool compared to what's going on outside at this moment.

Most loyal fair attenders have their favorite venues that must be checked out. The past three years I've entered jelly and marmalade into the canning competition, and now I almost race from the front gates to the "jam building" to see how my entries did. The hard working folks in the Jam and Jelly Competition promise to get the rankings online 48 hours after the results are known. It doesn't happen, I need human eyes to check in person to see how my entries did.

The only thing you can really win in this competition is to get the Best in Division, or Best in Category. All the other jams that didn't get disqualified (my worst nightmare!) are put in classes called 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place. Multiple people can share one ranking.

Two years ago my only entry got a red 2nd Place ribbon and I was THA-RILLLLLED! Last year I put in four entries and got blue 1st Place ribbons for all of them. More dances of joy at the fair. So this year I had nowhere to go but up! Or down.

A friend sent me a photo of my sad little Orange Marmalade with its white 3rd Place ribbon. A fruit crushing blow, as I felt it was the best marmalade I'd made to date. No word on the plum jelly, Meghan might not have known to look for my other entry. 

So, the race from the front gates to the Jam Building will be a bit slower this year, because seeing only my Orange Marmalade with it's white 3rd Place ribbon will mean that my plum jelly got the dreaded disqualified. And that would be the pits.

We live at 30' elevation.
The fair people want to know.
This information makes me feel extra short.

The mess only marmalade can make.

Hmm, bubbles are not a good sign.

I gave them their required 10 minute water bath.

If they get disqualified, I'm blaming El Nino.