Friday, August 27, 2010

Nevada Territory Fair

About five years ago, we elected to leave the air-
tioned exhibit hall where we were crammed into a booth and move out back to be with the livestock. Every year we seem to get a nicer tent and we're really pleased with this one.
This is the interior and it is exhausting to set up. There are only 44 members in the guild and we share a commitment to the guild's mission: to promote the fiber arts. It requires large chunks of time to make sure someone is here for the public. I spent the past two days, since the people with jobs like to come on the weekend. It's hard work and it's also a wonderful time and opportunity.
This is the entrance to a newly created exhibition under the new Nevada Territory identity. Last night when I left, I was so discouraged. Failure of this fair is would be the end - period. But today, it was apparent that the new image is working and it's drawing a different crowd than the past. I realized that it's a hybrid of a regional fair with the 4H and FFA kids and a rodeo, which has always been popular here.
We walked over this afternoon to see how the prepara-
tions for the Dutch oven cook-off were going. Last night we were too late to buy tickets. We weren't about to make that mistake again. We pay $5 for a ticket but we are also the judges, 40 of us. There are four teams and each are challenged to make three dishes - a main course, a side dish and a dessert. This is team #3 from Elko.

They are making a pretty traditional Basque menu. One of the team members speaks Basque. Last nights meat was pork, tonight is leg of lamb. They're using apricots in three of the dishes which he tells us is a Basque tradition.
This is the youngest member of team #4. He's baking bread balls on a bed of corn meal so they don't stick or burn. It's going to for their dessert of Monkey Balls.
And it's 6:30, time to rock and roll. They did leg of lamb in a rosemary rub with a special sauce added at the plate. Last night they were in fourth place, tonight they won overall. Their leg-of-lamb couldn't have been done better, just a little pink and well seasoned. We talked to the teams casually afterward. The leader said - an hour and a half - don't lift the lid. You can't go wrong. These are kids!!
Team #1 is a family who competes in these events. They won the best main dish. It was called stroganoff but since it didn't taste of sour cream, I scored it low. I was only 1 of 40 votes but I did tell them why I voted low, and then admitted that I've probably watched too many Top Chef shows. They said their kids watch those shows and now call out the remaining times and ask when to start to start plating. The mother was so funny. When did plate become a verb?
Team #2 gave us a lamb stew which I really liked, but their side dish was biscuits - not so imaginative. Their dessert was a berry chocolate cake, and even I who don't like desserts, liked this one. They won in that category.

Tomorrow night is beef. I'll be sad to miss the event. This and everything in the Hay Palace is sponsored by the Ag Council of Nevada and paid for by FFA license plate sales - a huge gamble as they try to keep this fair afloat. It was a bloated mess before this fair director and board were hired. I drove out of a full parking lot tonight. I hope that means something.
Oh, and by the way, I did wind my bobbin off onto a ball winder today. I thought the colors were meshing quite well.

Colors on the ball winder and in a skein are much different things. I've haven't fulled it yet and it will appear more relaxed when I do. It's a luster longwool, a likely candidate for a felted bag.


Robin said...

I love a fair! I bet a Boy Scout won the Dutch oven contest. Those Boy Scouts or former Boy Scouts can rock a Dutch oven!

Annie said...

What a beautiful yarn!
And I loved your report of the Fair.