The county fair was going on in our town last week. There are so many things that I love about fair week, and one of them is the FOOD! Rows upon rows of fried delicacies at my disposal...YUM! I captured this birdseye view of the food vendors at our fair from the top of the Ferris wheel. The glowing lights and the smell of the hot oil were calling to me...
I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of fair food because I spent so much time at the fair while growing up. I was in 4-H and FFA, so when fair week rolled around in my town, my family practically lived at the fair all week while caring for and showing livestock and working our shifts in the buildings.
It might not surprise you to know that my mom was a meal planner too. She often had meals and snacks packed for us during fair week. We also ate our share of lunches and dinners at the Pork Producers stand and when at the state fair, at the Cattlemen's Association. Plus, there were the church, Lion's Club, and local 4-H club food stands that we frequented. (Tip: if you're looking to save a buck at your county fair, head for these establishments. The food is less expensive and often healthier). There were a few junk food splurges during fair week too. No fair week would be complete without a sugary elephant ear or a crispy corn dog, after all. I always made sure to try something new at the fair. It's where I tried my first gyro. And let's not forget those fragrant Italian sausages served up with sauteed onions and peppers. Mmm. If it's fried or served on a stick you're certain to find it at the county fair.
This year, I set out to find something I had not yet tried. For years I've seen people walking around the fair, barbarically tearing at those giant smoked turkey legs. This was something that I'd always avoided. To me, a whole upper leg of a turkey seemed like too much of a commitment. Not to mention, I thought it made the people who were gnawing on them as they strolled the midway look like cavemen! But since I'm all about trying new things, I decided that a monstrous drumstick would be my dinner at the fair last week.
To escape judgement (or maybe to prove a point), I didn't walk with my super-sized drumstick. Rather, I sat down at a table and picked the meat off of the bone as delicately as possible. I'm sure that I was the picture of grace. Miss Manners would have been proud...
The vendor where I purchased my drumstick had conveniently sliced it down the sides for easier removal of the meat.
Here is mine, laid out in front of me.
I have to say that I'm sorry I never tried this before. It was awesomely delicious! It tasted a lot like the meat from the hog roasts that I attended in my youth. The turkey was perfectly smoked and delicious!
After dinner, we decided to look for dessert on our way to tour the livestock barns. Just outside of one of the dairy barns I spotted this:
Holy cow! (pun intended) this operation put my little ice cream maker to shame! I decided to stick around to observe.
The gentleman from Rader's Old Fashion Ice Cream was kind enough to tell me about the "Hit or Miss" (the name for the engine that powers this ice cream maker. If you heard it work you would understand.) and walk me through the process...
before giving us a taste of this wonderful ice cream.
Then it was "straight to the source" for some calf cuddles.
We had a wonderful time at the fair, but I left that night still craving one thing- my favorite guilty fair food indulgence: a big ol' basket of fried veggies! I used to love the fried vegetable stand at our fair. They'd serve up a heapin' helping of fried broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, and onions flaming hot out of the grease. Although I knew the food was too hot, I couldn't resist taking a bite as I departed the long line of fellow fried food junkies and burned off a colony of taste buds. Every. Single. Time.
Sure, I'm well aware that frying them completely defeats and depletes the purpose of vegetables, but this rational thought doesn't make fried veggies any less tasty! Everything in moderation, people...
The next day I decided to see what was available for frying in my garden.
All of these nice, green vegetables sure look healthy don't they?
Well, not for long!
I began by preparing the veggies.
I cleaned and snapped the green beans.
And I sliced the tomatoes.
And the onions.