I was really proud that I had posted on the blog for the last few days, until Jeff burst my bubble by asking when I was going to post about our family. Sometimes, I get carried away with the design side of my life, but in my defense, I did let him know that I was the one taking the effort to make a blog, and that I could write what I wanted because I was the one doing all the work. Posts don't just appear on the page. :) I also invited him to share his thoughts on the blog about the family, but I was greeted by silence, so I guess that means I can write about what I want!! Well, to be a good sport, I am writing the next two posts about our family. I'll just have to even it out, so he doesn't deflate my confidence again.
Ashlyn recently competed in a 4-H Food competition, and competed against other 5th graders in our County from other clubs. She decided to compete in making a salad on a functional table setting. Functional Table setting, meaning she had to have the placemat, flatware, dishes and such. She also competed in a Cake Decorating competion. She did wonderful in both competitions and even had to be interviewed about her techniques and opinions on her entries. I am not sure why she is making that funny face at me in the photo up above. In that picture she is waiting in line for her turn to be interviewed. Perhaps her expression reflects her nervousness about the upcoming questions?
We did have a glitch the night before the competition. We had purchased all of her supplies, and had plans to sit down early in the evening together. As parents, we were only allowed to supervise, so I wanted to give Ashlyn plenty of time to prepare. When we arrived home however, our front porch light was out. We typically try to leave it on, because it is really dark out in the country, and with no street lights trying to open our front door with our key is hard. We soon discovered that we had been robbed. Yet again. It is the 3rd time in 2 years. You will be able to see photos of our living room in another blog entry, but to be honest, it is down to bare bones. Well this time they took our kids' new Wii, that Santa had brought them for Christmas, and a computer of mine. Poor Ashlyn, while we were working on her projects, she got to watch the Sheriff's department taking fingerprints. Needless to say we didn't get to bed until 2am, and then had to be at the Competetion at 9am the next morning. It was an all day competition so I think she was working purely on adreneline. I know we were out of steam. :) At the competition, they had little booths for the kid's to go to, and even Jeffrey was allowed to participate. They made ice cream in freezer bags. The kids seemed to love it, but in my opinion it was really disgusting.Ashlyn made a Cabbage Chinese Chicken Salad that is a family recipe. I will include the recipe on another blog post. It is really delicious. FYI, Ashlyn hates salads and sauces and this had both. I made her taste what she made though, and with a grimace she ate it and swallowed. I laughed when Ashlyn came back from her interview for her Salad entry. They asked her why she liked it, and she smiled and said, "I think the ingredients blend well together." She said, "Mom, I didn't lie, I didn't tell them whether I liked it or didn't like it." I laughed.
Neither Jeff nor I were allowed in the room with Ashlyn, so she had to set up her place setting all by herself. There were strict rules on the height of her table decorations. She had an orchid as you can see in the picture, but it was 1 inch higher then what was allowed so she got dinged on points for that, and she also got dinged for not squaring up her chopsticks. She had drizzled the salad dressing on the salad rather then mix it ahead of time. Our thought was because it would be sitting for awhile we didn't want the cabbage to get soggy. Oh well, we will try it differently next year.
Ashlyn won a Blue Seal Award for her Cabbage Chinese Chicken Salad, and Boy was she excited!!!
Last but not least, the Cake Competition. When we walked in the building and Ashlyn carried her cake in, the people started ooing and awwing. I'm not kidding, really. The cakes...were all styrofoam, but what they judged on was the decorating. We found an awesome cupcake cookbook, and so we decided to adapt it from cupcakes to cake. The name of the book is called "Hello, Cupcake!" written by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson. It is a book definetely worth having in your cooking library.
The entire thing was made out of candy. Starburst, Vanilla tootsie rolls, twizzlers, pretzles, spearmint gum, green frosted flakes, green m&m's. There was very little frosting or piping. The other competitors relied on that technique but we decided to think out of the box, and it paid off.
Jeff carved the styrofoam to look like rows in a garden, and then Ashlyn frosted it with chocolate icing, and then put oreo's in a blender. The radishes are out of a cherry starburst rolled with a vanilla tootsie roll, the leaves are green frosted corn flakes,the beans, are green starbursts with m&m peas, and green twizzler vines. The carrots are orange starburst and she piped the carrot tops. The shovel is made from pretzles, and green spearment gum, and the cabbages, are the frosted corn flakes and a green starburst center. Everything was done by rolling with your hands. I think she did an awesome job, and she's only 10, and this was her first competition!
And the winner is..........! Ashlyn won Reserve Grand Champion and earned a pin to go on her cap. By the look on her face, you can see how excited she was. Moments like this, make it so....worth it to be a mom. I love this girl!
That's our girl!