Sunday, September 12, 2010

State Fair Fare

All my life, I've wanted to be a mom. 
Somehow, I was blessed with the greatest kids.  They never gave me a minute of trouble.  They always got along and took care of each other.  Although our life has had some very difficult times, we always hung together and enjoyed each other's company.
My children are grown into fabulous adults and moved a couple of hours away now, but they still want me to come and spend time with them. I love that, and still love them more than life itself.

They wanted to go to the State Fair.  The Minnesota State Fair is the second largest state fair in the United States.  If you go to the Fair; expect large crowds, walking until your feet fall off (or you wish they would), and unimaginable fried foods served on a stick.  This year's State Fair set attendance records.  On our day, Labor Day, the weather was cool, windy, and featured intermittent rain.  I decided a photo journal of our foods on a stick would be a good way to chronicle our State Fair adventure.

Ryan had been to the Fair earlier in the week and scoped out the foods that give the most bang (and grease) for the buck.  Our first stop was the food area by the Agriculture Building.  Ryan, HubBub and I began our culinary journey with the deep fried cheeseburgers.  Typically, Ryan dug in with gusto. You've got to admire that level of enthusiasm!

By the time I was able to swing the camera around and take a second shot, this was all that was left of HubBub's fried batter-covered cheeseburger.  The stick on the cheeseburger only served to fasten a dill pickle to the top. 
Katie's boyfriend, Brendan, was with us for the day.  Ryan's wife, the lovely Audrey, was working at the hospital lab, and could not join us.  Katie, seeking out vegetarian options, started with the wild rice burrito. Brendan went with the apple topped funnel cake.
The seed pictures called Crop Art in the Agriculture Building provided a tranquil opportunity for digesting.  Perhaps it was the cheeseburger, but it seemed that Ryan should have paced himself better? His second course was chicken nuggets, normally a lifelong favorite for him.  Is it me, or does his fried-food-enthusiasm seem to be waining already?
The chicken nuggets were quite tasty. HubBub decided to do a scientific study of the differences between the traditional corn dog and a pronto pup.  There is a difference, I understand, in the breading that covers the hot dog.  Both are, of course, deep fried and covered with mustard; and served on a stick.  Clinical Trial A=corn dog.
We spent quite a bit of time in the Fine Arts building.  It is a favorite stop for me, and Brendan, as he is an artist.  There was a multimedia piece on display by a friend of Brendan's.  I particularly enjoyed the dolls on display, and it made me want to try making some art dolls soon.  HubBub and Ryan were particularly interested in the photography, so there was something for everyone in that building!  While we were there, HubBub and I took a little sit-down on a bench.  I snapped this pic of one of the gorgeous ivy-covered arched windows that are a feature of the fine arts building.
We watched a stage performance of a new television program entitled Mad About that stars two friends of Katie and Brendan's.  The show is premiering this fall on a Twin Cities channel. We headed to Machinery Hill, where Ryan paid a dollar to get a nice yardstick.
Am I noticing a hint of a smirk?  It may be time for more fried food soon!
Yep!  Kate looks ready for another treat! Isn't she pretty? She is so much fun!
Having cleansed his pallette, HubBub was ready for Clinical Trial B=Pronto Pup.
Brendan was satisfied with the standard Pronto and a Coke.
HubBub's life credo is "More is Better" so he went with the Papa Pronto.
Ryan assisted in providing statistical data.
After much chewing, swallowing, pondering and contemplation; we have the results of our scientific comparison.  HubBub said he could taste no difference.  Both the Pronto and the Corn Dog were equally yummy.

Since we were by the Fried Twinkies booth, and Ryan had been able to move without discomfort, it was time to introduce Mom to the nirvana that is the Fried Twinkie.  Ryan got one first, so that I could sample a bite.
Yes, that Twinkie is covered in batter, deep fried, dusted with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup.  Yes, indeed.  Kate and Brendan initially kept their distance.  Ryan knows the deliciousness that is the Twinkie. Do you see that "come hither" look I'm getting?
HubBub and Kate shared some sugar covered Fazoles.  HubBub and I shared a Twinkie.
The Fazoles reminded me of Danish aebleskiver.

Brendan and Katie were in the mood for ice cream. Back into the Ag. Building we went.  Katie got Apple Cinnamon Wine infused ice cream.  Brendan got the honey ice cream. Both were very tasty!
We also stopped by the 4H Building.  The arts and crafts were very nice, and there were underwater robots that the guys fooled with.  It adjoined the handcrafts building, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I had an interesting conversation with some women from the Textile Center about wool combs.  They were so knowledgable and friendly!

Anybody who knows me personally knows that my hair has an adversion to moisture.  My three strands of extremely fine, wispy coiffure turns into a crunchy mess when dampened.  Because it was raining during our adventure, this is the only picture you will see of me.  I am a Minnesota Vikings fan.  My teaching partner is a die-hard Packers fan.  This picture was taken specifically so that I can blow it up and put it on my desk at school.

HubBub was simply famished after snapping this photo, so he decided upon a gyro from the International Village.
The gyro was quite good.  I think the look on his face is because it was raining pretty hard at this point.

Katie and I enjoyed some delicious steamed noodles and veggies from the Chinese booth in the International Village.  Brendan found a glass of Summit ale.
We munched our goodies while listening to a Salsa band and watched their dancers.
Both of my marvelous children had gifts for me, and it wasn't even my birthday.  My wonderful son had spent the previous week working on upgrading my computer with a new operating system.  Windows 7 is awesome, and I know it was a big headache for him.  He is so smart and computer savy, and he saves my tech-ignorant butt more than I care to admit.

My equally smart and considerate daughter made a lovely purchase for me at a recent trip to Fargo, North Dakota.  She and Brendan went there for a wedding and she took the time to venture into the Boucle Yarn Studio looking for something for her old Mominski.  This is what she selected for me. 
It is stunning handpainted Lorna's Laces handpainted roving for me to spin!  She said she saw it when she first walked in the shop and loved it.  She looked all around the shop, and it kept calling her back.  She asked Brendan what he liked and he pointed out the same roving.  The colorway is called Flames, and I love it.

Speaking of things fibery, the HubBub green sweater is getting kind of large to haul around now; so I started a pair of socks for myself on the way down to meet the kids.  I'm loving the colors in this yarn, Sockin' Sox, formerly called Rockin' Sox by Plymouth.  This is the 003 colorway.  I'm using the Lifestyle Toe Up Socks pattern from the PULSH Fiber Journal found online.  I love the pattern, and adore the fit I'm getting with these socks.  I will most definitely make more of these for myself!
So, all in all, Labor Day (the finale of summer) was a fantastic day! 
Thanks to Ryan, Kate, Brendan and Bob, for making it so special!
Love you all!

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!