In some people's opinions, the state fair has changed for the worse.
We used to love seeing all the fish and watching bird shows in the so-called Conservation World. Unfortunately, this has been mostly replaced with Hair Glitter, FOID cards, and instruction tents on how to use a whip or a gun.
One of our most enjoyed activities was riding all the tamest rides and screaming in mock terror for the full 90 seconds of motion. We have always found this hysterical. Unfortunately for the fair-goers this year, since we brought the mini-muffins we spent much of our time in the kiddie-land. Thus we became the screaming creepsters of kiddie-land. Mini-muffin#2 was slightly taken aback.
Then there was the indoor Kiddie-Land. This was either not around when I was kid, or we simply skipped it, as we've never been before. We now can be glad that we also never have to go again. They were showing an especially horrifying version of the scariest kids story ever told, Hansel and Gretel, in marionette form. I'm surprised we made it out of there.
And then, the obvious favorite part of fair-going, the rock people*.
*Rock people: People the like of whom you have never seen outside of the fair. They've never been seen out from under their rocks in attendance at other, more normal, activities. You know the ones I'm talking about. You may have received several forwards with sneakily snapped photos of them at Wal-mart.
But, instead of complaining about the fair, I'm going to entertain you with my fabulous birthday cake.
It was truly fabulous, and almost everything that a birthday cake should be: full of the birthday-person's favorite things.
The one thing that may have been a tad disappointing was the appearance; being a layered cake it promptly had a mini-earthquake along hidden fault lines and erupted into more of a smash cake.
Someone, who will remain nameless, may have even used a spoon to dig out a piece of the middle before it was served.
All's well that ends well, and I ended my birthday with some Homemade Strawberry Cake.
I adapted this recipe from Foodie Bride's Fresh Strawberry Cake.
Homemade Strawberry Cake
2 cups fresh strawberries (+ left overs for garnish)
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 1/4 cups flour1 3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp)
1/3 cup milk
6 egg whites
Step #1: Combine fresh and frozen strawberries in a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes.
Step #2: Use your super handy potato masher and mash those strawberries up.
Step #3: Dump everything into a mesh strainer over a bowl and mash it some more.
Step #4: When all the liquid has strained through, put the strawberry liquid from the bowl back in the sauce pan and heat on low for another 5 minutes or so, and set aside.
Step #5: Put the strawberry pulp that didn't make it through the strainer in the bowl and set aside.
Step #6: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.
Step #7: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in your mixing bowl.
Step #8: Cut your butter into tiny chunks and let your mixer 'cut' it in.
Step #9: Add milk and mix.
Step #10: Add egg whites and mix.
Step #11: Add strawberry sauce from the PAN to your mixture (not the pulp from the bowl) and mix.
Step #11: Pour batter evenly into two cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Step #12: Allow cakes to cool completely. (Um, this is where I went wrong).
Step #13: When cakes are cool, place one on a cake plate and top with strawberry pulp. I also added frosting here.
Step #14: Place the other cake on top and top with frosting and fresh strawberries. I used my Most Bestest Frosting Ever, it was perfect.