Competition cooking at Douglas County Fair
Kain Anderson's cake for the Douglas County Fair wasn't an ordinary layered one; it was decorated to the hilt.
There were coconuts -- actually Cocoa Puffs -- dangling from palm trees and a pool of water made from a thin layer of blue Jell-O.
"It's a tropical pool cake," the 14-year-old Lawrence baker said. "We found it in a magazine."
The cake was among hundreds of food and craft entries that began rolling into the fair Monday for judging. Today, 4-H'ers will bring in projects ranging from photography to woodworking to livestock to be judged at the fair.
Among the livestock will be 130 beef cows, 30 dairy cows, 55 sheep, 25 hogs, 10 goats and nine llamas.
Beginning Wednesday, the entries will be open to the public for viewing.
On Monday, Anna Brown, 10, and her sister Sarah Brown, 12, of Eudora, brought in their cake entries. The cake competition was just one of many they planned to enter.
"It's a lot of fun, but it's really stressed and it's really busy," Anna Brown said.
Eight-year-old Rowan Plinsky, Lawrence, lugged in her basket entry that she made for the "cooking for fun" competition. She filled it with fudge treats, cookies, cheddar zucchini wedges, books and crossword puzzles. The basket was an entry, but also a gift for her ailing grandfather, she said.
"Once we get this back from the fair, we're going to send it to him," she said.
Foods judge Lisa Davis, who has been judging since 1986, said there are tough competitors in the Douglas County food categories.
"In this county, they are creative with their decorative items, a lot of their food baskets and stuff," she said. "This is one of the more creative counties."