There’s something amazingly nostalgic about going to the Tulare County Fair. From the FFA students showing their animals to brightly lit carnival rides, classic fair food to the amazing exhibits, there is indeed something for everyone each year. The fair serves as a reflection of the valley, both its past and present. From agriculture to business innovation it represents the people who live here and call it “home.”
My mom and I have been entering the baked goods division for years. Something we started a few years back for fun and continue to enjoy today. While it’s exciting if you win something, it’s just nice to take part in this piece of
. Though I’m happy to report that we did take home a few blue ribbons this year. But the best thing about the fair is that anyone and everyone has something to enter and something worthy to be displayed. From kids to seniors there’s a category for every level of time and talent. Americana
The Fine Arts building boasts fine photographers and budding artists. The kids’ building shows off the young talent in the valley and the exhibit halls provide educational opportunities for every age. The rides and shows provide easy entertainment throughout the day and night and the FFA/4-H animals show off the hard work of local kids.
The Home Arts building also features an array of talent. Amazing quilts hang from the ceiling and the room is full of plants, crafts, food and more. The quilts are masterpieces in and of themselves. These ladies are not messing around. Every year I am in awe of their handiwork and patience. The same thing goes for the lovely craft items, produce and blooms that are entered each year. And then the baked goods and canned foods division where the competition really heats up. We’re talking time tested family recipes waging battle here. But at the same time there’s a sweet spirit of days gone by represented as well. Homemade pies and cookies from scratch remind visitors that often the simplest recipes are still the best.
So I thought I’d share the recipe for my corn bread, which won first place in the one of the quick breads competitions. The recipe is rather simple and can be customized to your family’s taste. The cornbread comes out light, fluffy and is great for Thanksgiving or cold nights alongside a bowl of hot chili.
Blue Ribbon Corn Bread
Mix 1 ½ cups flour, ½ cup corn meal, ½ tablespoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt in one bowl. In another bowl, cream ¼ cup butter, ½ cup sugar (if you want it sweeter add ¾ cup sugar or 1/4 cup of honey) and then stir in one egg, followed by ¾ cup milk.
Mix wet and dry ingredients. If you want it to taste even “cornier” you can mix in 1/3 cup corn masa with a little more milk. That’s what I did. Spoon into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350º till you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean (no dough on it); about 35-45 minutes. I like my corn bread sweet so I drizzled some honey on top of the dough before I put it in the oven. If the top is getting too brown you can always cover it with foil and stick in back in the oven till it’s done.
Sorry, won’t be sharing the winning cookie recipes with you. Those are still classified top secret (just kidding). Hope you were able to visit the Tulare County Fair this year. If not, you’ll be able to enjoy all the fan fair once again next fall.