Play Fair

On Labor Day, we took the kids to the Maryland State Fair.  It is fair season again, so this was actually the second fair that we attended this year.  The first was our local county fair, and of no real consequence.  Our third and final of the fair trifecta will be in two weeks.  That is our favorite, so stay tuned for a report on that one.

But, this past holiday we visited the middle child in our fair going family, the state fair.  We started the day early, attempting to beat some of the sweltering and oppressive heat that we had been enjoying for quite some time now.  Sadly, we were not early enough, because the blanket of oven-like temps attacked us within minutes of our entrance into the fairgrounds.  However, we rallied and put the kids on some rides, while we tried desperately to stand in any type of shade available, to avoid spontaneous combustion.  After a few spinning, bouncing, twisting, and flying contraptions entertained my kids, we decided to momentarily escape from the heat.  So we visited the cow palace.

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Tipping prevention technique.

This extremely large building was not air conditioned, but this shelter from the sun dropped the temp a good ten degrees.  What we traded in heat, however, we made up for in aroma, as this was where they housed all things bovine.  We happened upon an area where a cow was being held in a pen, and there were bleachers set up all around.  Curious as to what we would be watching, we grabbed a seat and tried to see what there was to see.

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Ready to pop.

We soon realized that we were on the verge of experiencing the miracle of life . . . live and in high def.  Not sure that our young boys were quite ready to see that (and not sure that we really wanted to experience it, either), we moved along, and instead opted to participate in a different activity involving a cow . . . milking.

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Once we had our fill of milk cow related activities, we reluctantly went back into the sweltering blast furnace outside of the building.  Yeah, that was fun.  However, as we exited the building, I passed a mecca of wonderment and invention . . . the fried foods booth.

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If you’ve been around a while, you know that it is my goal in life to try a different fried concoction at every fair that I attend.  There have been oreos, twinkies, strawberries, pickles, cheesecake, kool aid and reese’s.  All of it battered and deep fried.  Most topped with powdered sugar.  (Not the pickles, because that would be very very wrong).  So, I perused the numerous offerings of this fried food heaven to see what this year’s lucky item would be.  And although there were many many MANY items to choose from, none of them really screamed out me, me, me, pick me!!  I thought about the fried Pop Tart (in honor of my friend Thoughtsy), but they had a sample of it sitting in the window and it was basically just an entire Pop Tart covered in batter.  It did not look appealing.  I wasn’t up for an entire candy bar (did I mention it was scorching hot?  Yeah, so that meant that I pretty much had no appetite), and the fried grilled cheese or peanut butter & jelly looked pretty gross.  I might have been up for whatever a buckeye was (it helpfully said it was chocolate covered peanut butter), but apparently they were very popular because they were all sold out.  What to do, what to do . . . it was a conundrum.

So, what did I do?  Actually, I walked away.  I know!  I’m not sure what was wrong with me either.  I’m gonna blame it on my brain being boiled by the 128* sun.  Obviously, what I needed was a lemonade to cool me down!  So, I went over to a nearby stand selling freshly made, ice cold lemonade, and as I was standing in line . . . the heavens opened, the angels sang, and I saw this sign:

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This!  This is what I had been waiting for.  It was the perfect treat, as Berger’s cookies are unbelievably delicious, and also the perfect amount, because I only needed to eat one to experience it, and could share the rest.  That way, I didn’t need to feel like a total glutton by devouring the entire thing all by myself!  (Although, I will admit that I totally could have hoovered all three of those bad boys . . . they were smack your momma on the ass GOOD).

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And speaking of Baltimore’s Own, the boy who served us these treats noticed my son’s Ravens hat, and mentioned dejectedly that the next stop for their little rolling cart of fried deliciousness was in Pittsburgh for the Steelers.  I told him that he better not take our Berger’s cookies up there to our rivals!  He said he thinks that they are only offering them locally, so at least there’s that.  He also said that he’s gonna represent Maryland pride by wearing all of his Ravens gear while he’s up there.  Good boy.  Go Ravens!

Next up is the last fair of the season, where I am sure to find something new and creative to wrap up this fried fair food festivus maximus.  Let’s just hope it’s not surface of the sun hot when we go there.  To be continued . . .