You don’t have to come from a long line of food preservers and cooks to win Homemaker of the Fair. You just need to have good teachers.
Michelle Drayton-Fisher, of Enterprise, didn’t know how to cook when she married her fifth-generation Wallowa County fellow, Bill Fisher, 25 years ago — but he did.
“I learned all of my cooking abilities from my husband,” Michelle said.
And she still didn’t know how to make preserves when she and Bill moved back to the county four years ago. But her neighbor, Naomi Carlson did, and she taught her, starting with peaches.
“I just kind of went crazy after that,” Michelle said.
Crazy enough to have 69 entries in four categories and win the Homemaker of the Fair award for the 2015 Wallowa County Fair.
Michelle had entries in textiles, baked goods, food preservation and floriculture. She won 36 blue ribbons, three Best of Shows, six Ball Canning Awards, and the Ida Hillock Memorial Award in addition to another nearly two dozen second and third place ribbons.
Her favorite entry was her blue-ribbon coconut cream pie — her husband’s all-time favorite.
“We’ve perfected it over the last few years,” she said. “The secret to my pie crust is that it’s a vanilla vodka crust, vanilla marshmallows, and flavored with real vanilla pods brought back by a friend from Mexico.”
Her show-stopper, however, was in another category — canning (food preservation), and it won Best of Show.
“It was a gift package of five different jams and jellies — all from Wallowa County,” she said.
The jams and jellies were: Sheep Creek Elderberry Jelly, Redmond Grade Wild Plum Jam, Harl Butte Huckleberry Jam, Imnaha River Chokecherry Jelly, and Enterprise Backyard Dandelion Jelly.