When my pal Ruth Handel proposed we spend the day at the Los Angeles County Fair last week, it took little more than the promise of lunch on a stick (a hotdog, a slice of cheese cake, a sausage or perhaps even a pork chop) and a stroll through the craft exhibitions that had me racing to her Mar Vista pad last Thursday morning for our day-long adventure. I must say, the visit was other worldly. We strolled a train museum, marveled over botanical creations, bet on a horse and watched the race and even took a ski lift (YIKES! I forgot I'm afraid of heights!) across the expanse of midway games and carnival rides. But nothing entranced me more than the baking exhibition, with it's mile-high layers of delicious-ness and colorful fondant fabulosities.
I must be fair to the fair, however. This year's annual event started on September 5 and runs through October 4, so these cakes have been sitting in their display cases for several weeks, and unfortunately, most haven't aged well. We chatted with one of the supervisors who told us that all of these cakes were delivered in pristine condition, shared the dish on the antics of some of the judges and regular contestants, and even told us how every decorated cake gets a fork stuck into it (hopefully discretely) just to make sure it's the real deal, and not just a gussied up hunk of foam.
I'm ready for a slice of cake, so let's take a stroll....
Ruth and I giggled over this fish cake and its sliced candy scales. Why, the decorator even gave this fish lovely, long eyelashes!
Aw....this cake reminds me of what most of my cakes look like. I'm sure it was gorgeous when it was presented and must have been a chocolaty delight to take a Third Award.
I'm a sucker for coconut cake, as must have been the judges. It also looks as if it were baked in my tilted oven.
Perfect timing for Halloween, this ghoulish gob of goodness was one of the judges favorites in the decorating category, most certainly before the cute spooks slid off the hill and onto the ground.
And finally my favorite. The pineapple upside-down cake. I'm certain it was light and airy when first baked, even though it now resembles a pineapple pancake.