Then, there was this:
And when I wasn't sure it could get any better there were these:
|For vanilla-sea salt caramels in dark chocolate|
So I decided to go really big and enter the California State Fair, and instead of entering two items, I figured I'd go for broke and enter three. All of which, of course, I wanted to be as fresh as possible so I waited until the day before the drop-off to make them. And so there was this:
Yep, two second places and a third place. And the most ironic part is, the third place entry won Best Of Show at the previous fair; the espresso-hazelnut truffle that placed second here placed first not once but twice at previous fairs!
The competition wasn't really that much stiffer at the state fair. The system of judging was different, but not necessarily harder. The problem was me: making three totally different products in a single day and expecting all of them to be cosmetically perfect is just plain stupid. Candy is time-consuming to make and chocolate is finicky to work with-- it can't be rushed, no matter how big a fair I enter. And sometimes I get impatient, and then I make tiny mistakes that no one else but me and the judge would notice, and then I don't win.
I would love to be able to say that I never make the same mistake twice, but I can't. Usually I have to make it a few times before I finally learn my lesson. This isn't the first time I've made cosmetic mistakes on my candy, but I'm hoping that three non-blue ribbons, framed on the wall, will help me make sure it's the last.
Especially next summer, when I enter the state fair again, and WIN.