Bringing the Tables of Amsterdam and Paris to the Oregon State Fair

Next month starts the Oregon State Fair, it’s my annual tradition to compete in the “Creative Living” category; this year with vegan bread, and table decorating.

Every year, my friends and I spend hoursssssss at the fair, exploring and doing everything possible. We love the fair! While looking at the multitude of things people entered (from pies to canned meats to calligraphy to pine needle baskets), we always look forward to the table decorating competition. Part of intrigue is that the tables are an interesting departure from the eternal shelves of jams, jellies, and honeys; but the other part is that the judges write up extremely critical narratives that are posted next to each table. It’s like geez – this is the state fair, not the Olympics of table setting – but they are funny to read nonetheless.

Why the hell would I want to submit myself to be torn apart in a category I don’t have any expertise in? First, they cap the entries at 16, which makes it exclusive, and thus appealing to me. Second, you know I like a challenge. I figure why not? Maybe I’ll learn something. I’ve got thick skin, y’all.

Here’s the rubric:

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 7.31.21 AM

When I was in Europe, I paid particular attention to the table settings in every restaurant or cafe we ate at, as well as the menus and foods served. Since the menu essentially drives the rest of the table, that is currently my step one.

Here are some of the meals and tables I sat at this month…











Don’t worry. I still worked out on while we were there 😛

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