Old Home Day in Londonderry always seems longer than it is. I think it is the anticipation of the planned events which begin long before the 3rd weekend in August. For the second year a new tradition continues; the Town Fair. I received a brochure and held on to it for awhile contemplating the categories. I did not have a new knitted scarf or finished any woodworking project. No sewing yet on my new machine or any needlepoint, not that I had anything current in any category for the fair. Well, I could enter a cake. So that was my plan. I just needed to wait to the last minute to put my creation together. My chocolate pudding cake needed to be made the morning of the event.
Meanwhile daughter #1 was on leave for 2 1/2 weeks from the Air Force. I suggested she enter something, too, since she was in town during this time. She came up with a cookie before she had the actual recipe, NH Woodland Crunch. Okay, a little different. Now what to do about the woodland part and the crunch part. She threw out ideas and we had a good time thinking of bizarre combinations. “No” I said “you can’t use acorns. TOO much of a crunch.”
Thinking of the show ‘Cupcake Wars’ put both of us in competition mode. Mine was a traditional recipe I have made many times before. Tweaking it a bit for this event was what I had planned to change it up. My daughter made a butter cookie adding some of our own maple syrup to the batter. They looked good. Now for the woodland part. Jelly beans for ‘rocks’ was awful so scratch that thought. We threw ideas back and forth – chocolate? oreos for dirt? pretzels as twigs? We really were going out ‘on a limb’. Taking a collection of items out of the cupboard she started to put the plan in motion. I went to Shaw’s and picked up random items. Mind you it was 8:00 on Saturday morning. Drop off was between 8-10.
I got back and we put the pedal to the metal. Mixing up my pudding cake I put it in the oven to cook. Only 30 minutes bake time. While that was baking I assisted her with melting butterscotch, laying out an assembly of toffee brickle, granola (of course earthy-crunchy oats and honey) , the pretzels and nutella spread. The cookie assembly went as well as could be expected with the butterscotch hardening as soon as it was drizzled. But all in all they looked good.
Meanwhile my pudding cake was a disaster. Why was it a watery mess? Oh, no. I did not have time to redo or rethink only fix it somehow. I drained out the liquid, heated it to reduce and thicken slightly, added it back to the dish, gave it a mighty stirring, added a heaping amount of walnuts and we were off 5 minutes before 10:00. “I bet Mammoth Road is closed off for the parade!” I said in panic.”We’ll have to go around to get there.” At 10:05 we pulled into the Grange and brought our items in. I also brought a painting to enter as I had just finished it a few days prior. The parade was just about to start. Talk about down to the wire and the 11th hour!
After judging, taste testing by anyone happening in the building and we were elated with the ribbons and gift coupons for our efforts. A fun time was had by all.
Coming soon to a bakery near you, NH Woodland Crunch cookies!
Debbie Curtin writes stories about people, places, events and other topics of interest that engage the reader. As a member of the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Debbie keeps ‘in the game’ with other like minded people. She has been an artist and creative person all her life and uses the unlimited sources of inspiration that abound everywhere in her writing as another art form.