Our Rural Roots

A Taste of Family Tradition

Blogger Tiffany Dowell Lashmet shares how her son decided to take a chance at the fair, following his grandmother's footsteps into the kitchen. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet)

My Gran, a former Extension home economist and elementary school teacher, judged the baked goods contest at our county fair for four decades. Every fall, you'd find her dressed in her favorite jewelry, headed to the fair to sample and evaluate each entry.

For the last 15 years or so, my brother and I were showing livestock at the fair while she judged. She would always make up a little plate of the very best entries and smuggle them to us at the show box. Even our friends knew if you saw Gran in the sheep barn, you better come running to get a treat.

This year, my 8-year-old son decided he wanted to enter the recipe contest at the Tri-State Fair. The competitors make an item (breads, cakes, cookies, candies, etc.) and handwrite the recipe.

He chose my Gran's Tiger Butter as his entry. She made it every year at Christmas -- a simple yet delicious chocolate and peanut butter candy. My little boy melted the ingredients and swirled them together, and then, painstakingly, he wrote each word of the recipe in his best handwriting.

Gran died a decade before my kids were born, but she's undoubtedly beaming about his Best of Show purple rosette and the fact they are carrying on a family tradition that she started all those years ago.

Gran's Tiger Butter Recipe:

1 (24-ounce) package vanilla almond bark

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation and Cooking:

1. Put almond bark in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 45 seconds at a time until completely melted, stirring after each time.

2. Add in peanut butter and mix. Spread mixture on wax paper.

3. Put chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 45 more seconds and stir.

4. Pour chocolate chips on top of the almond bark mixture and swirl with a spoon.

5. Let cool and place in refrigerator to harden. Break into pieces.


Tiffany Dowell Lashmet balances family, farming, fairs and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at https://alwaysafarmkid.com/… on Instagram alwaysafarmkid and Twitter @TiffDowell