Governor's Cookie Jar: Gonna Do It!

In our town September means the state fair. Traffic picks up, an air of excitement invades our sleepy town and we almost always have rain (none this year yet, however). A visit to the fair is almost mandatory. For some its the carnival games and rides that compels attendance. Others are drawn to the buildings with rows upon rows of booths with vendors handing out freebies. Some love to visit the barns with fine farm animals of every kind. Many people come from around the state to attend the shows at the grandstand. My favorites are the the Domestic Arts Building with its displays of fabric and food entries and the Pride of Kansas building with garden, agriculture and floriculture displays.

In the Domestic Arts Building there are shelves full of baked goods; cookies, breads and cakes.
In the center display is the top prize.  I always stop to see the Governor's Cookie Jar.  I could do that I think. Sometimes I say it out loud to my whoever is with me. "Sure," they say, "you could. Why don't you?" I will I think. Maybe next year. But then I don't.  Instead I have the same conversation--year after year after year. But this year is different. This year I entered the fair competition with the Governor's Cookie Jar. 

I could have (and probably should have) started with something simple. There is a long list of food competitions. But I have always thought that the The Governor's Cookie Jar is is the best and since its been a long time coming and not very likely to happen again, why not go for the top? Its not a simple project.  There are strict requirements (for the requirements, click here and scroll down). Basically a gallon jar is decorated and filled with at least nine different kinds of cookies. A separate box is filled with samples of each cookie for the judges. The winner is awarded a cash prize and presents their cookie jar to the governor.

The first thing I needed to do was locate a gallon jar. I had one on my basement storage shelves, but it had no lid. A call to my dad came up with jar, but it had a rusty lid. My sister had a lid, but it didn't fit my jar. The next Saturday, Mike headed off for garage sales. "I'm going to find you a jar," he said and he did. He found three. I headed to the basement to my workroom. I had an idea. I wanted to make my jar into a cake.

Due to some recent flooding the workroom was a bit of a disaster. Our only damage had been to some old carpet, but cabinets had been emptied and moved and now things were a bit chaotic. I cleared off a spot and got to work. A few days before I had picked up a bag with six rolls of ribbon for $2 at the grocery store. I waited a bit impatiently at the checkout stand while the cashier tried to remove an extra two cents accidentally added with the sale. "Keep the two cents," I fruitlessly encouraged as she feverishly punched keys. After two visits from management the two cents was finally removed. "I guess I'll have to do something significant with the ribbon," I remarked because now I had a little bit more invested in it. The cookie jar was obviously the something significant. 

It really didn't take that long. Some floral foam carved into a cylinder and wrapped with green ribbon formed the top tier of the cake. More ribbon wrapped around the rim of the lid formed the bottom tier. Out in the garden I picked some Sea Lavender, already quite dry. I tucked that into the top and between layers of the cake. Over the next few days I added more ribbon, some candles and some lettering to complete the project. 

Now it was time to figure out the cookies.

Next: Bake and Take
And after that: Fair Contest and The Recipes

1 comment:

  1. Bev, I'm glad I read your blog before we go to the fair this evening! I'll be looking for your entry! Hope you win! :)


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