Let me start by pointing out that I’ve never successfully flipped a flapjack at home.
Thankfully, I got about 30 flips in, including a few doubles, as I competed in -- rather, was roped into -- the inaugural Flapjack Flipping Contest on Sunday at the Domestic Arts building.
“There’s a King Arthur Flour pancake cooking contest today, so we thought it would go well together,” said Mary Hollinger, one of the organizers. “We wanted to do things to encourage people to participate, whether it’s canning something or making a pie.”
Initially, I thought I’d be the only competitor, but three children and nine adults volunteered from the crowd to flip a fresh pancake in a small frying pan. In each round, three competitors had 30 seconds to flip as many times as they can, with bonus points given for tricks and showboating.
“These are scientifically measured and regularized so they’ll flip extremely well,” emcee Jim Hollinger told the audience.
“And you can see by all that flour who made these,” Mary said, pointing to Jim’s apron.
I didn’t taste them, but Jim’s pancakes were indeed perfect for flipping. I was surprised at how easy it was to fling them into the air.
“He’ll have some extras mixed up so if we have a lot of competitors, or a lot of boo-boos, we’ll be covered,” Mary laughed.
Steve Miller of Burdett won the competition with 65 points. He showed off double flips and tossed pancakes a half dozen feet in the air.
His wife, Margaret, also competed with her own “trick shots” -- she started singing “Do You Know the Muffin Man” while attempting high flips.
Steve said he'd never flipped a flapjack before the competition but joined in at the request of his wife.
Several pancakes ended up on the floor, but only one went flying into the audience. Margaret tossed it from her pan to a child in the front row.
And Steve's competition-winning mantra?
“Catch the pancake,” Steve replied with a laugh.
Lee Lindquist of Andover jumped up from the crowd in response to the call for volunteers. He and his wife came for their 10th year to the fair.
“I’ve flipped pancakes for fun at home, just being silly,” Lindquist said, shifting his son who was seated on his lap. “We were just looking at the schedule and thought it looked like fun.”
The prize of food tickets for fair treats was nice, though most competitors were glad to join in the fun of trying -- and only failing a little bit -- at something new.