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