My darlings, I feel that I deserve a pat on the back.
If you read last week’s WIAW post, you’ll know that I am on a personal journey to rid my diet of excess sugar. Well, I’ve gotta say that this past week hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I anticipated. I can do this.
Monday, The Man and I went to The Big E. In the days leading up to this adventure, I prepared myself for the certainty of failure. I was certain my “No Sugar” mantra would die an extremely rapid and merciless death once I spied the bags of cotton candy the size of my body, make-your-own slushy stations, and barrels (yes, literally barrels – big ol’ barrels) of rot-your-teeth candy.
Here’s the shocker: I. Didn’t. Cave.
What? Yup. Aside from the 5-ton bag of Kettle Corn that I (with little help from The Man) consummed in the span of time it takes a cheetah to run down a gazelle, I resisted temptation.
Now, this isn’t to say that I ate healthy that day – of course I didn’t, I was at the sixth largest agricultural fair in the U.S. – but at least what I did consumme wasn’t dusted with my own personal version of PCP.
So, here we go! What I Ate
Wednesday At The Big E! **I will still use the “Fall into good habits” version of the WIAW logo cause of my above mentioned success**
Monday marked my first trip to The Big E since I was about 10-years-old and I had no idea what to expect. I knew it’d be fun, I knew I’d eat a lot of yummy things, and I knew there were rides but other than that, I had no clue. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. This fair is the best thing since nut butter!
The Man had just been the week before so he already had a few items on his wish list, one of which was the stand that sells fried cheese curds.
Straight from WI?
The curds come battered and deep-fried with a side of marinara and aren’t half bad. Not my favorite fried food of all time (and I gotta say I prefer my curds fresh so I get that satisfying squeak when I bite ’em) but worth a try. They were sorta reminiscent of fried mozerella sticks – the curds are by-products of making cheddar cheese but they have a milder flavor than cheddar, hence the mozerella-y-ness – but with better, lighter breading.
Before diving into our next (and best) fair food, we stopped by the agricultural house were we saw some big a** pumpkins…
We dubbed this one “Jabba.”
…that sorta had the same characteristics as a morbidly obese human.
This one has gan-“green.”
Some beer was in order (to erase the image of fat, anthropomorphic pumpkins from my brain) so we headed over to the Shock Top booth were The Man got the Belgian White and I got the Raspberry Wheat.
The orange slices are a must have.
I like this beer, which means something coming from my wine-accostomed palate. It’s super light and refreshing and just slightly fruity – it was the perfect beverage to pair with the best treat of the day…
Not to be confused with an Egg McMuffin.
…an Arepa! I’ve never had one of these before but I hope the one we shared Monday will not be my last. This cheesy, corn-cake concoction was to die for!
This arepa was not long for this world. We scarfed it.
The corn cakes were lightly crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. The cheese inside was perfectly melty and warm and it’s saltiness was the perfect balance to the sweet, corn-tasticness of the cakes.
Look at that cheesy goodness. Oh, man.
This nearly blew my mind. Words cannot describe the deliciousness. You must try one at least once in your life.
We filled time between snacks with shopping (loads of vendors – crafts, hot tubs, blenders, mattresses, you name it…), people-watching, rides down the Big Yellow Slide, posing for embarassing photos, and cow-cuddling…
These girls were super nice. That cow I’m petting belonged to the one on the left.
…that seriously made my day…
The girl is smiling but her eyes say “You be careful how you cuddle my cow…”
…cause who doesn’t love to cuddle a cow?
Yeah, I was excited.
All that cuddling made me thirsty – hey it was a pretty intense roll-in-hay 😉 – so we headed over to the Hofbrau booth to get a pint of Dunkel.
Handsome beer in a plastic cup.
A little dark for me but tasty in small doses – it was also the perfect match for the corned beef, saurkraut, and cheese fritters that we got at the same stand.
Our next, and I have to say most surprising, stop of the day was at the Wine & Cheese Shop. Who woulda thought that The Big E would put on a pretty good wine tasting? We sampled the delighful Cayuga White and Red Hen Red from Mineral Hills Winery…
Bottle of red…bottle of white…
…as well as the pleasingly sweet and uniquely cloudy (due to the high concentration of concord grapes) Sand Castle from Zoll Cellars.
Love the summer-y labels.
To cap off the day we decided to get a platter of fried veggies that The Man had tried, and thoroughly enjoyed, the week before. In retrospect we should probably have skipped this part. Things started well, we ordered our platter from the kind veggie-daddy and waited with anticipation for the battered and fried congregation of cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms. After a few moments, our veggies were ready and we retired with them to the back of the truck where the kind veggie-people had set up a few tables. Thank goodness we were hidden from the main thoroughfare by an enormous food truck because what transpired next was not pretty.
The Man kindly warned me that the veggies were pipin’ hot but in my zeal I just couldn’t wait. I chose a zucchini to start and found it to be warm but not unbearably hot – it’s thinness aided in it cooling faster than some of the other veggie choices. Relishing the delicious success of my zucchini experience, I opted next for a mushroom. Folks, I love mushrooms, so I popped that whole thing right in my mouth. Well, it was hot. Hotter than hot. It had not cooled yet to zucchini temperatures, probably due to its increased volume.
Rather than remove it from my mouth until it was more palatable, I tried to employ the “wave-my-hand-in-front-of-my-mouth-while-making-an-“O”-shape-with-my-lips” cooling technique…with disappointing results. It was around this time that The Man got up from our table to go get some more ketchup…from around the corner…out of eye-sight. Thank goodness for small blessings because it was then that I, very unattractively, started to choke. Legit choke. This was for reals. I almost needed the Heimlich. A small Asian man at the next table took a moment to glance up from his platter and calmy ask “You okay?” I proceeded to make some uncomfortable inhaling noises in response, which he must have took to mean I was fine cause he went right back to devoting his attention to his half-finished platter of veggies. This was fine, however, because it was not long after when I coughed up and spit out the offending mushroom, had a few sips of beer, and commenced laughing hysterically at my ordeal – all in perfect timing for The Man’s return.
Needless to say, the veggies did not get a photo. They are not deserving. They are not my friends.
And that,my dears, is What I Ate and Drank at The Big E: refreshing beers, delicious curds and fritters, a heavenly arepa, unexpected wines, and a mushroom that almost killed me. Oh yeah, and that bag of kettle corn…but my time spent with that treat is a relationship better left undiscussed. 🙂
What are your favorite fair foods?
Have you ever choked in public…or in the privacy of your own home?
What did you eat Wednesday?