Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Tuesday-It's only Fair

So summer, as in vacation, is really close to over. Meanwhile, my daughter keeps reminding me that summer, as in the season, still has some life left in it. I just know that today is a much more chipper day than NEXT Tuesday will be in this house. I have an eleven year old girl who is happy to declare her readiness for the new school year to begin next Wednesday. I have a fourteen year old boy who refuses to acknowledge the impending scholastic doom. I am in a wee bit of denial myself, as I really hate the quiet after they both leave. I usually can't get out the door fast enough myself. Don't get me wrong, I will adjust.

In the meantime, it is time for me to reorganize the clutter in my mind, and unload a few odds and ends. Thankfully, Stacy is hosting a place to store everything! Stop on over when you are done here to see what Stacy has going on, as well as links to some more good clean randomness!


Well, my husband donated plasma again yesterday. It was like he somehow knew that we might not want to discuss the matter over dinner. Granted he did test the waters by letting us know what movie he watched this time. OK, maybe I shot one tiny little dagger out of my left eye at him. He made reference to his bandages later, and the three of us could not shout our disapproval fast enough! The Red Cross showed him lots of love with an Edible Arrangements chocolate dipped fruit free coupon, cookies and a t-shirt. He didn't really need kudos from us, right? I guess I was just miffed that he couldn't empty the garbage here, but was off doing even better deeds elsewhere. Maybe I need to offer better swag than just dinner every night and clean clothes!

I have had a canning season just like every other so far with some hits and misses. The salsa is the one thing that I never have a problem with. (I can say that because there are twenty-four 2011 sealed jars in the basement already, and I don't think I can jinx myself all the way into next year.) The strawberry jam was foamy and separated-generally unattractive and unsuitable for gift giving. I then moved onto hot pepper relish, and in a moment of distraction made an error that might've been accountable for the product not setting. The blueberry and raspberry jams went fine. The peach jam looked super fantastic (both batches since I accidentally peeled twice what I needed), until the jars sat in their boiling water bath for ten minutes. That seems to have softened the set just enough for the peach pieces to start traveling upstream. There was so much peach though that the jars still look pretty swell. The grand finale for this month started yesterday morning when I went out to the fridge to get the cucumbers for my bread & butter pickles. Someone had cranked up the dial on the fridge and whatever cukes I had put in the veggie bin were frozen...solid. Luckily I had apparently bought twice what I actually needed for a batch, and only threw half in the bin. After slicing what I needed, I began to fret over the several frozen cucumbers looking at me, so I ran in to google "uses for frozen cucumbers", then immediately realized that might not have been search words I wanted to string together in parentheses. Luckily everything on page one was rated G. I decided I wasn't up for a new culinary adventure in the middle of already making pickles.

Today was our obligatory visit to the New York State Fair. I want to love it, but I don't. I have tried bringing family from out of town in an attempt to see the Fair thru less biased eyes. That sort of works, plus I get the bonus of their visit. Historically, the event has always put too many variables that I am not particularly fond of in one place: 1) heat, 2) crowds, 3) food that runs a huge risk of upsetting my stomach leading to 4) a line for a nowhere near private bathroom experience. I really thought we were taking our time today and making an effort to be decent fair-goers. Then we were ready to leave, and I realized we had only been there just under four hours. However, I didn't hate it. My neighbor was surprised to see us home so early as she was at the Fair for twelve hours, in one day, last year. OK, then I really felt like an underachiever!

Here are some of my favorite highlights!

It only cost $2.50 for the son to find out for himself that deep fried Kool-Aid is not a good idea! That is batter with Kool-Aid powder that gets deep fried and then drizzled with a sort of Kool-Aid reduction. (Aren't they always using reductions on those fancy cooking shows?)

Just in case the cage wasn't unpleasant enough, a little dose of color adds insult to injury here!

Who doesn't want to win this version of Michael Jackson, complete with bad surgery scars and outrageous jawline with caucasian skin? Let him rest in peace!

These statistics make our state proud every year I think. What's it like to be the mullet sporting guy (or gal, as one of the five today was) walking by that causes them to get out the eraser and marker? Just as a benchmark, these were the numbers at around noon on day six, out of twelve, of the Fair.

No, I didn't try it, but have to admit that for $2.00 I might've been in. The curiosity was almost too much!

My visit is never complete without a stop to admire the butter sculpture. I have to work hard to suppress the little voice that tells me it is a waste of product. Then I just want toast.

I did not get my palm read, have my name engraved on a piece of rice, or try any of the varieties of meat on a stick available, but I did not throw a hissy fit in public either.


  1. What's a state fair without a hissy fit or two? I've been to our state fair once, and that was enough!

    I don't like crowds much, either. I also want toast when I look at butter sculptures!

    P.S. Those molasses cookies were GREAT!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Yeah - I think I would skip the fair. t just doesn't sound appealing in any way. Your canning sounds amazing!!!! I'm sure everything will taste delicious, even the things that don't look exactly like you wanted them to.

  3. Butter statues are a total waste of butter and now I am totally thinking about toast.
    I think it is way cool that you do your own canning!

  4. The state fair looks like fun but expensive. I tend to avoid them because I would spend too much money.

  5. What in the world?

    You all are competing with our WI state fair butter sculptures.

    Also, I hear you: the quiet when they're gone. I am erranding or tweeting all day.

    So quiet.