Competing at the State Fair

My sixteen-year-old daughter, who loves to cook and intends to pursue a culinary education after graduation, entered the State Fair of Texas Cheesecake Competition today. It was quite an interesting experience!

Cheesecakes were but one category of the entire “cheese” competition. We sat in the waiting area as judges tasted and wrote. We counted at least 15 cheesecakes. Hers went first. Not always a good thing in such a large field. But once we knew hers had been tasted, we relaxed and began to listen to the other contestants around us. Some of these people are hard core! I mean, they enter multiple competitions in the State Fair of Texas every year, many of them winning consistently. They all seemed to know each other, like a little sorority of which we were not a part. We listened, our eyes widening as they speculated on the winners of each category and of “Best in Show” for “Cheese.”

We said to one another that we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Honorable Mention would be a good thing. We plastered smiles on our faces and poised ourselves to clap for the winners.

“Third place in cheesecakes goes to . . .” The woman with the microphone faltered a bit. Then she announced my daughter’s name! Tears welled up in my eyes as the other women clapped for her and, I’m sure, wondered who she was. After all, this was her first ever competition! And she was quite a bit younger than all the other entrants.

We didn’t even hear the other names announced. We were too stunned, too excited. I know what it feels like to receive that kind of validation in the arena you feel God has gifted and called you to. It’s amazing.

So congratulations to my baby girl! I’m glad someone in this house knows how to cook!

5 comments on “Competing at the State Fair

  1. Hi Elizabeth
    Grandma Bonnie just called to let us know about your exciting win. Grandma Helen and I are both so very proud of you, keep up the good work. Grandma wants to try to make a cheesecake if you would send her your recipe.
    Aunt Deb

  2. Way to go, Elizabeth! D’Ann, I know you’re so proud. And, hey, my husband Bret is always calling me a cheesecake snob. I almost NEVER like it when I eat it at a restaurant, so I’m gonna need to try one of Elizabeth’s cheesecakes myself to put my own seal of approval on it. You know where I live.

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