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The State Fair

August 28th, 2005 No comments

Well, Christine and I just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the “Great Minnesota Get Together” and we had a blast! We broke with tradition and went on a Sunday afternoon (we’re more of a “Friday early” family) but we had a good reason. You see, my wife’s current favorite group (note, I didn’t say band – I’ve learned that lesson by now) Tonic Sol-Fa was giving a free concert at the bandshell so, well, we just had to be there. Of course I think my wife mostly just wanted to stare at the bass, Jared. Anyway, the lads put on a terrific show – if you have a chance to see them, I whole heartedly recommend them. I was disappointed they didn’t play my favorite, Grace, from their current CD Boston to Beijing. Such is life!

As one would expect, there was more food than you could shake a stick at (and, surprise, most of it was available on a stick) and we ate most of it including all the usual suspects:

  • corn dogs
  • french fries (from the stand across from the midway of course)
  • cheese curds (from the one true source in the Food Building)
  • Sweet Martha’s Cookies (gotta get these at the giant booth next to the Grandstand)
  • all you can drink milk (now a buck – man, I remember 75 cents, 50, even 25 cents…I know Dad, it used to cost, what a nickel?)
  • chocolate shakes from the Dairy Barn (something about drinking a dairy product while watching a cow being milked…but then I grew up around critters)
  • the ubiquitous mini doughnuts

Good times! We even ventured off the well worn path that is our “Fair eating plan.” Every year, a dozen or so new products comes on the scene. In years past it was deep fried candy bars and then deep fried Twinkees (are you sensing a trend here? Put food on stick…deep fry food…sell for $4…repeat.) This year we tried:

  • grilled chocolate sandwiches (seriously, it sounded good…wait, now that I think about it…not really.) Seriously, skip it.
  • spaghetti and meat ball on a stick (told you we could put *any* food on a stick.) Not bad, but don’t feel bad if you didn’t try this one. If it were a dollar cheaper I might have a different opinion.
  • chocolate dipped potato chips. Haven’t tried these yet but they sure look interesting…

Of course we also brought home a few things including a “rice kristie bar” and various nut products. Hey, you just haven’t lived until you had cinnamon sugar coated almonds!

The Fair is always a bitter sweet time for me. I really enjoy going (and eating!) but it has always stood as a sign that summer is over. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall but that also means we’re not that far from snow… Sigh. Oh well, we had fun! And for those of you that don’t go every year? Why the heck not? Couple of fun fair facts (going by memory here – couldn’t find anything online.) Ours is the second largest fair in the country to Texas (though theirs lasts a month, ours less than 2 weeks) and each day, the Fairgrounds becomes the third largest city in the state. I know, its corny, but I really do love the Fair! Well, that closes the door on another fair experence…until next year!

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Mexican Lasagna

August 23rd, 2005 No comments

Joe asked me to post this recipe so here you go:

Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna

I’m a big fan of Rachael Ray and I’ve had a ton of success with almost every recipe of hers that I’ve tried. They’re quick (her shtick is 30 minute meals) and easy to make. Check out any of her great cookbooks! There you go Joe, don’t say I never did nothin for ya!

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