...and pooped!

My second craft fair is over! It was a crazy week to have just prior to it. No, really. Crazy.  (Car in the shop THREE times, a flat tire, weather so bad that it spawned a tornado at the middle school about 2 miles from our house, a chemical plant fire the next day at the high school with my kids on lockdown inside, a track meet and a rare evening appointment for mom...PLUS all the midlife-meets-midteens angst we've been experiencing lately).

But it turned out okay in the end. Better-than-okay, in fact.

Sweet Gloria, a godly friend and prayer warrior (AND craft fair organizer extraordinaire in her "spare" time), thoughtfully put my booth facing the food area. People bought their jambalya plates, turned around, and saw
Thanks to her, I sold lots. (But forgot to take pictures of the booth!) I loved seeing the little kids pick out their pops, and it was a lot of fun to watch (and hear!) grownups come back for seconds and moan about the flavors, sometimes with their mouths still full of the first!

Can you guess how many hours it takes to turn eight cakes into cake pops even if you do realize at 6 a.m. on day of the fair that you going to have to leave two of the cakes in the fridge, unpopped?!

About 24. Hours. Straight, since I wanted the cake to be as fresh as possible and couldn't find good advice about making them ahead.

At age 25, 24 hours straight was an easy feat. Who needed sleep? Not me!

At 50, the answer to that question would be:

I do. 

But I didn't get any. I might be recovered by Easter.


(And maybe I'll have the incredible mess cleared away by then, too.)

But it was fun! I had a blast coming up with the flavors and the shapes, and the day of the fair was picture-perfect. Sharing a booth with my friend Pam was a real pleasure, and she was gracious about helping me put a gazillion curling-ribbon closures on a gazillion treat bags when I got there. (She makes and sells wonderful grace-based Christian greeting cards and writes heirloom memory books, in case you're interested.)
Bakerella might be proud?
The little sweetie above
 (homemade birthday cake flavor inside, which is just funfetti sans the sprinkles) 
is for Celeste, my friend Gina's adult daughter! 
To make the ears for the creatures, I looked online for cartoon images and resized them in Publisher. I traced the printed pages onto waxed paper, then let the candy-melt copies dry before sticking them in place. These big ears are sooo much cuter than the short and straight kind, but they're VERY fragile.
Creamsicle egg pops, formed with the help of another muffin tin.
These were the FIRST shapes I made, and the LAST to be decorated--
two hours before I had to be at the fair to set up. 
In the end...
  • I did finally learn to make CAKE KEBABS (which is what I'm currently calling more than one cake ball on a stick)! Thanks Regan, for the idea! (More on that later.)
  • I did channel Bakerella just a little bit, even though I didn't think I would. I made chicks, bunnies, and two kinds of lambs.
  • I did use both my electric skillet AND my heating pad to keep all the candy melts at a good temperature 
  • I did weigh each cake pop and bite. About 1.0 ounces for the first, .65 ounces for the latter, before dipping. I'm not sure why, but I did want them to look "even."
  • I realized I enjoyed the interaction with the teenage taste testers more than ANYTHING else about the whole process.
  • I did have to leave the fair early when the heat started to melt the chocolate. Thanks to the glorious weather, I got to stay a couple hours longer than I had expected to get to stay, selling just that many more pops.
  • I really didn't get to sleep between 5 a.m. Friday and 10 p.m. Saturday, except that post-fair 20-minute nap! If I'm ever going to do this again, I MUST figure the timing out. Fresh cake pops are a given, but man...it's hard to go that long without sleep!
  • I wound up with two "un-popped" cakes. The red velvet and fiori di sicilia will go to the kids of the Cake Pop Project this week; the fair is over, but the fun is not!
  • I forgot to count how many cake pops I made, but I can tell you there were lots. There's a cookie sheet full (52!) that I didn't think were good enough to sell. My family is grazing on them. C even had one. (Bad C!)
  • I forgot to take pictures of the booth. Again.
My long-forgotten heart muffin pan
helped shape these puffy 3-D heart pops.
It's a dangerous thing that I find myself thinking, "NEXT TIME, I'll...." (And I do want to make the November fair. Christmas and winter images are on my mind! But I think I want to use the cake pops to draw attention to my booth, where hopefully folks will buy other stuff, too!)

Just so's you'll know...the hands-down favorite was caramel-pretzel-brownie, which I made using the Giardelli mixes again but with homemade caramels tucked in each ball by hand before the final roll.

And Merci to my friend Gina who is taking the leftovers to her office today to sell for the youth group's mission trip fund! 

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