School’s out, we’ve had our first ice cream truck sighting, & I’ve got a sudden craving for funnel cake. It must be summer! And with summer comes the sweet & silly Pick-a-Duck

Our small city has the distinction of hosting one of the oldest continuously-running state fairs in the country, dating back to 1765. Once a largely agricultural event, the York Fair had grown & shifted with the times & is now a riotous jumble of gaudy sideshows, the seamless chatter of game hawkers, cacophonous rides, 4H displays, as-seen-on-TV vendors, ear-splitting concerts, calf riding competitions, & of course, more fried food than you can shake a stick at.

If there is one thing the folk of Pennsylvania Dutch country do well, it’s fry things. Sweet dough, oysters, ice cream, pickles, Oreo cookies, all are candidates for a thick layer of batter & a waltz in boiling hot oil. A day at the fair calls for a total suspension of sensible eating & the assumption that for at least a few hours, oil, sugar & dough count as major food groups.

Despite running in early September, the arrival of the York Fair invariably summons one last blast of atomic summer heat, & after a few hours in the broiling sun, one’s guard is down. Suddenly that game of Whack-a-Mole looks less like a thinly veiled scam & more like a whole lot of fun… We try to steer our small son clear of most of the games, knowing how crushing it is to spend the last of your pocket money & come away empty-handed, but I do have a soft spot for Pick-a-Duck. Also known as the Duck Pond, it’s a simple, everybody-wins game – a flotilla of rubber ducks bob merrily around the chase, each with a number painted on the bottom. The numbers correspond with those pinned to the giant stuffed pandas, balloons & beach balls slung overhead. Pick a duck, try your luck… Invariably, no one ever seems to win the giant bear, but it’s good clean fun without feeling like a total rip-off.

I created Pick-a-Duck as a tribute to those sweltering afternoons on the midway, when we all become sticky-faced kids for a moment. It’s definitely a novelty scent, unapologetically sweet, with a hint of smoke & salt that echos popcorn & BBQ pits. I make Pick-a-Duck luxury bars in three different colorways (glittering Athena Red, sparkling Apollo Blue & Strawberry Taffy Pink) – you never know which color you’re going to get! Pick-a-Duck Sorbetto comes layered in cotton-candy pink & blue.

Now to wait patiently for September – I hope the fair comes earlier in your part of the world!

Pick-a-Duck will be live through early September


About Hayley

I'm a trained pastry chef, DIY queen & mother with my heart in west England, my soul in Chicago, & my feet in south-central PA. Paintbox Soapworks was born out of my love for handicraft, beautiful fragrances & clean hands. I play around with colors & scents & soothe my insomnia by dreaming up new ideas. I pull heavily from music (Waits, White Stripes, Wilco), books (Tolkien, the avalanche of children's books in C's room) & my own fertile imagination.
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One Response to Pick-a-Duck

  1. What a cute story, I love it!

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