I'm trying to arrange a before-we-all-go-back-to-school trip to the Indiana State Fair this coming weekend with the girls, my nephews and my parents. The boys are coming to stay and with the State Fair beginning on Wednesday, I was thinking that Friday might be a good day to go and look at all the winning projects, the animal barns and eat. Eat, eat, EAT.
I do love a good state fair.
Here are some tried-and-true offerings that we willingly sample. Oh, okay, let's be honest. We wolf them down like a pack of, well, wolves. Hungry wolves. Hungry, rabid wolves. Who were raised without any manners:
1. corn-on-the-cob on a stick, dipped in butter (also anything else that comes our way on a stick. Stick foods, we love 'em.)
2. funnel cakes
3. elephant ears
4. pork chop sandwiches
6. milk shakes
7. frozen Cokes - although we give a brief nod to the calorie count of this whole endeavor and order frozen DIET Cokes. Why? Because overindulgence is just wrong. Push it too far and it becomes gluttony and heaven knows none of us wants to go there.
I've also heard about some new foods making their debut at the Indiana State Fair this year, to wit:
1. How about deep-fried Bananas Foster cheesecake on a stick? No, I'm not kidding. Check out this picture if you don't believe me. Besides, what kind of cruel person would joke around about something like Bananas Foster cheesecake? Deep-fried and on. A. Stick. You all know I'm not that way.
Would you believe it's served with a scoop on vanilla ice cream on the side? That's been drizzled in caramel sauce? No? Well, then, get yourself to the fair. Because this entry from Urick Concessions won first place in the 2008 Indiana State Fair Signature Foods Contest, they have an extra booth. Which is conveniently placed right outside the Grand Hall, across from the Pepsi Coliseum.
If you try to cut in line ahead of me, I will break both your legs with no remorse. So help me.
2. To help you down off that sugar high, Barto's Catering & Concessions is offering hickory-smoked pulled-pork sandwich with shagbark hickory syrup barbecue sauce. Okay, so the barbecue sauce is probably sugary - it still packs about a thousand times less of a wallop than the deep-fried cheesecake, so I think it seems like a sound nutritional choice. Don't you?
Speaking of sound nutritional choices, I was listening to 93.1 WIBC-FM, which is my favorite Indianapolis talk radio station, on the way home from taking my husband to work, and I was enraged to hear a woman from Clarian Health Network actually talking about the calorie and fat content of state fair food, right there on the air with morning personalities Jake and Terri.
What kind of sadist would come on the radio early on a Monday morning and tell you that an elephant ear has over 1,000 calories and 61 grams of fat?
As a healthy alternative, she suggested corn-on-the-cob on a stick, except she said that a "good food choice" would be to ask the vendor to HOLD THE BUTTER.
This woman can't possibly be from my beloved Hoosier state. Because if she were, she would know that an ear of corn without butter is simply not allowed. You know those police officers who walk around, being all polite and looking handsome in an intimidating kind of way in their uniforms? Well, they aren't there to direct traffic or to provide security detail. They're there to MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUTTER ON YOUR CORN.
Ms. Bossypants Clarion also smugly announced the calorie and fat contents of a bunch of other foods and it was too bad I was driving, because I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and sing, "Lalalalala-la-lalalaaa!!!" over and over again. I couldn't change the radio because my favorite classical music doesn't broadcast very far and rock music jars me unendurably in the mornings. She totally dissed the big turkey drumstick, just when I was thinking how thoughtful God was to provide us with a food that comes on a stick of its very own. She was even dismissive of host Terri Stacy's timid suggestion of an Indiana Dairy Famers grilled cheese sandwich.
If this woman had her way, we'd all be eating steamed cauliflour on a stick.
Her big offering, one which she was very enthusiastic about, was for everyone to come to the Clarion Healthy Living Pavilion and tour the giant, 40-foot long colon, complete with depictions of "healthy colon tissue as well as tissue with hemorrhoids, cancerous and non-cancerous polyps, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis and various stages of colon cancer." Gee, I can hardly wait. Treats like giant 40-foot colons don't come around near often enough, although I'm glad this one came with plenty of advance notice so that I can be sure to miss it.
Although I can see that this is the one place at the fair that my nephews, especially Dayden, would be immediately and irrevocably attracted to. I can't decide which would be worse: eating a bunch of fair food and then walking through the giant colon display (which will nauseate me, because I have a tender gag reflex) or not eating a bunch of fair food beforehand and then having no appetite after seeing late stage cancerous polyps displayed in fiberglass and as big as my head.
The exhibit, affectionately known as "Coco, the Colossal Colon," is free, by the way.
Although I kind of think that Clarion woman was a bit of a colossal colon, myself.
Click here for the Indiana State Fair website.
Here's some interesting history of the Indiana State Fair back when the fairgrounds were out in the middle of the country in 1892, instead of right there smack-dab on 38th Street at Fall Creek Parkway. I never get over the sight of all those livestock sheds there in the heart of the city.
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