Buffalo Bill Days seems to be really developing and this year will include a Bake Off hosted and judged by the Leavenworth Public Library. There are rules to follow, of course, and you can go to the "Leavenworth City Limits" Face Book page to find them and the library will be posting the rules everywhere.
It is not too early to start thinking about how you will enter your cake or pie.
The Bake Off is limited to just cakes and pies, but there are optional sub-categories like gluten-free, sugar-free (you can use honey or other natural sweeteners), and vegan.
You cake or pie must include either apple or pumpkin in some form and you can use both. It does not have to be a main ingredient.
You are limited to just one entry, so make it good.
Also in the spirit of trying to keep to the time period, you can consider using those ingredients traditionally used in 1886, i.e., things like flour, butter, lard, cinnamon, nutmeg, white sugar, and milk.
Personally, although it is historically accurate to use lard, I would probably use some other kind of shortening if I was not already very familiar with using lard.
The librarians say that they will judge based on presentation, taste, and creativity. I suspect that taste will be the big winner, but just in case your cake or pie tastes as good as the one next to it on the table, maybe it would win more points if it looked better.
BTW, no professionals in this Bake Off. If you make cakes and pies for a living, you'll have to sit this one out.
Otherwise, the contest is divided into age groups of 8-12-year olds, 13-17-year olds, and 18+.
You may also enter as a family, which is at least two related individuals, and as a group, which is at least two unrelated individuals. Oh, this other rule may throw someone. Your entry must be made from scratch.
I guess that mostly means no store-bought crusts or cans of pie mix.
You'll have to check with the library on pumpkin pie mix.
That is what we always use at home.
Better to know well in advance so that you can plan properly and not get thrown out on the day of the competition.
There's no refrigeration at Hay Market Square, so make sure that your entry is properly covered.
Get it to the Library's BBD booth by 1 p.m. on Saturday and judging begins at 2 p.m. Judges will not know who baked what and winners will get a commemorative plate. That could be a real collector's item, so make sure you do your best.
Page 2 of 2 - In fact, I would start baking a few things right now without waiting until Saturday morning or Friday evening and the last minute.
Everyone will get a certificate for participating, but only the winners get the plate. Then, when the judging is over, all of the cakes and pies will be sliced and people can make donations of at least one dollar (be generous, please) and take a piece.
All of the funds will go directly to the Library to be used to buy supplies for the Reading Is Fun program and maybe other Library programs that benefit our kids.
So, one way to benefit kids' learning at the Library while having fun and maybe winning a coveted Buffalo Bill Days commemorative prize plate is to bake and enter a cake or pie on Buffalo Bill Days this September.
There are other really cool activities that are planned such as the really well-liked Out House Race, lots of live music by bands that are working for free, and a school-aged youth art show that will include music and drama besides the regular 2-D and 3-D art and it is supposed to be held near the river.
Personally, I would like to see a Quick Draw contest where artists have an hour or two to produce something which is then sold at auction.
The BBD in Cody, Wyoming, has a Quick Draw.
It kind of goes along with the Old West theme. Will have to wait and see.
Matt Nowak lives in Lansing and works as a natural resources manager.