Though I gave a passing nod to my RED RIBBON from the 2013 North Carolina State Fair last week on Facebook, I wanted to write a little more about it here. This was the third time I entered the same Almond-Brandy pound cake, an action my sister-in-law found incredulous (“how can you give away half of that cake!”) and my mother found utterly charming (“you know, some people enter their green beans for fifty years and never win anything!”). I, on the other hand, found it to be extraordinarily satisfying. And fun. And a little kitschy.
Here’s what I included with my recipe:
“This cake is a family favorite! It’s reminiscent of my wedding cake nineteen years ago, which makes my husband happy … and I use my Granny Duck’s tube pan from 1947, which makes my mother happy. And making a cake that brings such enjoyment and nostalgia to my family makes me happy. A success all around!”
The first two years I delivered the cake, I didn’t place at all.
In 2010, it was labeled incorrectly. Since my recipe uses baking soda and flavorings (brandy and almond extract, among other yummy secretness), it’s actually a “mock pound cake;” not realizing the difference, I mislabeled it as a “true pound cake.” The blue-haired ladies accepting submissions made no attempt to help me rectify the situation. I think they just didn’t want a young whippersnapper like me to place. Whatever, yo. I labeled it correctly in 2011, but the mister theorized the slight was the result of another jab from the blue-hairs. I was sidelined in 2012 with my TBI recovery (and bad memory … and forgetting to register). So we all had an extra year to stew and plot and plan. What a bonus!
This year, I baked the cake on a damp day, which made it super tall and fluffy. Really, it was a beautiful as it was tasty. But my true secret weapon: my mother delivered the cake to the table. Her beautiful silver hair blinded the bluest of the blue haired ladies, silencing them on the spot with her spectacular coiffure. I think it let the cake speak for itself rather than giving the volunteers time to focus on my young badassness.
To the 33 cake testers who enjoyed my cake: thanks for the great taste. 🙂 I’m perfectly satisfied with second place … red is, after all, my favorite color. To my husband and his genius idea to let Rah-Rah deliver the cake: two gold stars! And to my mother: may your halo of silver sassiness shine until the end of days.