Tag Archives: F is for Fried Fair Food

F is for Fried Fair Food

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I’m back in Pittsburgh from my weekend home, having rolled in about two hours ago.  And when I say rolled into town, I mean rolled in.  My word, I don’t ever remember eating so much in my life!  I guess that’s what happen when you attend the 157th annual Bloomsburg Fair!

Let’s be honest about a few things for those of you who have never been to my hometown fair: you don’t go there for the carnies, for the scenic views, or the horse races.  You certainly don’t go for the Ferris wheel rides, the traffic jams, and the often-scary bathroom situation.  You go to the Bloomsburg Fair for the food.

So many places to eat at!

Among the zigzags and stripes of tent awnings and food trailers, there is a mecca of fried food, cooked meats, and questionable health code violations all waiting to be consumed by willing and ready.  Streets guide many fair-goers from stand to stand, but more often than not you find your nose guiding you to the next stand.  So many scents and smells mix together as you walk from stand to stall it’s hard to decide where to start first.  There are the traditional standards that show up every year: Grotto’s Pizza, Hewlett’s Hot Sausage, Mays BBQ.  For those who spend the week there, it’s easy to take in all the food you want and more.  But for my mom and I, on a one day mission throughout the large grounds, there’s only so much space our stomach provides us, so sacrifices and choices must be made.  Sometimes a “fair tradition” must be replaced by a “What the heck is that?!” creation.

We walked around for almost an hour and a half sampling all the smells and free samples we could handle.

How do you choose just one?

We arrived super early to beat the rush of people trekking in on a Saturday, so we were there as most of the stands opened and started preparing their food for the day.  It was fun to watch, and even more fun to taste and smell.  Fudge in this stand, funnel cakes in the next, fresh brewed birch beer and hand-rolled pretzels.  Penn State ice cream, amish-made apple dumplings, and an Asian family preparing some very questionable Chinese food.  Everywhere you turn there’s even more for you to look at, buy, taste, and fall and love with.  Honestly, this is such a diet-buster!  No will power can stand up to the powers of the Bloomsburg Fair!

My favorite food I bought and ate came from the most eclectic booth I saw on my trip there.  What looked like three college buddies were running this stand, and I could easily see how one Saturday, drunk, or hungover, or possibly both, they found a deep fryer lying around and asked themselves, “I wonder what weird foods we can deep fry that will actually taste good.  Sure, we’ve all had deep-fried Oreos.  But these guys wanted to go above and beyond just that.


Their stand was hopping, for obvious reason.  Where else can you find deep fried jelly beans, deep fried PB&J sandwiches, deep fried Pop-Tarts, and deep fried Snickers wrapped in bacon?  They had specials called “The Triple Bypass” that, as you can imagine, offers you three delicious fried foods to feast your palette on.  I skipped the triple bypass, though, for something even more amazing and delicious: deep fried pumpkin pie.

When I saw the sign I couldn’t believe it: can you really deep fry pumpkin pie?  Is that even possible?  How does it stay together?  What does it taste like?  Let me tell you, now that I’ve eaten it, I’m not sure I can ever eat regular pumpkin pie again.  It’s UH-MAZING!  Warm, gooey, full of sugar and deep-fried amazingness.  I ate one and honestly thought about camping out in front of the stand so I could keep eating piece out of piece.  Would Initech even care if I never came back to work because I became a carnival worker at the deep fried food stall?  Probably.  Would I care if I never went back to Initech?  Definitely not.

I was so happy to go home and catch up with my family and spend the day with my mom at the Bloomsburg Fair.  We also ate tons of Mexican food, and baked and decorated cupcakes with my sister.  Very  productive weekend in deed!

For now, I’m going to curl up on my couch and try to sleep off some of this food baby I’m still carrying around.  Looks like it will be salad and veggies for me this week at work.  You know what, I don’t even care right now.  It was totally worth it for the epic food fest I experienced this weekend.

I’ll be back later this week with a new alphabet, and news about my life and all that’s going on with it.  If anyone wants to hook up a deep fryer this week, let me know!!

Lis

 

Next Week: F is for Fried Fair Food

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What a week.

Sorry about such a long absence.  It has been the week from hell at Initech.  I just returned home after logging 72 hours there this week.  No, you didn’t read that incorrectly: 72.15 hours logged this week.  Oh, and did I mention I had a ridiculous cold too.  Elisabeth: tired, over-worked, underpaid, and sick as a dog.  Fun week to be around me, let me tell you.

Enough about that, though.  I’m home, off for the rest of the weekend, and determined to relax, have some fun, and forget about the job I just left two hours ago.

So let’s talk about my next adventure.  Only one week away: F is for Fried Fair Food.

Now before I go any further, let me tell my Pittsburgh friends out there: the Butler County Fair that you all put on such a high pedestal every July, it’s the lamest “fair” I’ve ever seen.  Argue if you want, but I’ve been spoiled all my life by growing up in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania.

A quick Google search of Bloomsburg Pennsylvania will bring you two main returns: Bloomsburg University (developing hard-core liver problems since 1839) and the Bloomsburg Fair.  Those are our two claims to fame.

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, with the fairgrounds in the center.

The Bloomsburg Fair (or just the Fair) makes Butler look like a child’s picnic.  On most Saturdays the fair peaks out at over 100,000 people.  That’s not a joke.  For a town of about 15,000, it’s almost more than we can handle.  School is shut down for the entire week, because buses cannot get to students with the traffic.  Many employers offer a half day off, or some similar incentive, so that workers do not ditch. Semi-large name bands and groups such as Joey McIntyre, Switchfoot, and LFO have performed there.  See why the Butler County Fair seems so rinky-dink to me?

I haven’t been to the fair in 10 years.  My last year at home, 2003, I spent the entire week working at Wendys.  Didn’t even make it to the fairgrounds.  And as I sat in my cubicle a few weeks ago and came to this grim realization, I realized I wanted to do something about that.  I wanted to head back to the fair.

My family is less than thrilled that I’m coming home for the fair.  To them it’s a ridiculous annoyance they can’t bear to be over.  I guess small-town living in north east Pennsylvania means they’re not used to sitting in traffic 🙂  To be fair, maybe I’d feel the same way if I lived there year after year and had to deal with the same old boring traffic, drunks, derby enthusiasts and carnies.  But to me it’s a fun life event, like Christmas or vacation, so I’m eager to be home to see what’s new and improved about the fair.

The other reason I want to go is to see what has happened in the year since the flood.

Right behind this home is one of the fairground entrances. You can see the damage Hurricane Lee had on the town.

Last September, Bloomsburg was one of the hardest hit towns that Hurricane Lee dumped itself upon, and even today the town is still struggling to recover.  For the first time in a very long time (and perhaps ever, I cannot remember) the annual Bloomsburg Fair was completely cancelled.  The storm had wiped out many of the permanent buildings on the grounds, and caused millions of dollars of damages to that and surrounding areas.

It’s not that I’m a huge fair junkie, bouncing around throughout the summer from one fair to another.  Often times I find them boring, stuffy, repetitive, and, at times, down right creepy (the world’s smallest woman?  Really?)  But there’s a certain hometown pride that never leaves you, and I want to see how my hometown has worked to recover in the year since the storm.  I could think of no better place to do that than the Bloomsburg Fair.

So next week I will be gorging out on fried foods.  Oreos, cheese, Snickers, Fruit Loops (yes, it exists, and yes, it’s wonderfully delicious!), and everything in between.  I’ll be visiting my family, spending some time with them, and watching as thousands of people stream into my hometown for the wonders that are found in the Bloomsburg Fair.

As always, if anyone wants to tag along on the road trip, let me know. 🙂

Talk to you soon, hopefully without so much of a delay as this time.

Lis

Letter Updates and Itineraries

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It’s come, folks.  That sad moment where you put one letter to bed for good.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that F is for French Infusion is no more.  A night of crepe and quiche making, wine drinking, and Amelie watching is no more.

Some of my friends are more than ok with that.  To quote the always-quotable Red Foreman, “If it wasn’t for us Americans, their asses would be speaking German!”

Instead, I have replaced it with a new agenda: F is for Fried Fair Food.  I don’t want to give too much away, because I’m actually very excited to be switching this letter up, but for now let me just say this: for the first time since 2003, I will be visiting my old stomping grounds.

It almost looks American!

Also, I may have set a date!  Haha, not to get married, but to scuttle off on my International Adventure.  Scuttle, a word that is not used nearly enough in the English language.  Shame, too.  Anyway, our international roadtrip to the Great White North is scheduled to commence Friday, March 1, 2013.  By “our international roadtrip”, I mean me and my old college roommate.  We’ll be the two girls blasting up I-79 in Wilson, my dear old Elantra, rocking out to the Biebs (when in Canada, eh?) while puffing on Cuban cigars.  Ok, probably not the cigars.  They make me vom.  A lot.  But we’ll be bringing chopsticks, Ukrainian juice, American money, our video cameras, and probably a poncho.  I mean, what’s a trip to Canada without a stop at Niagara Falls?

Also, NHL, could you maybe, pretty please, end this hissy-fit-rich-keep-getting-richer-one-percent bull crap and end this potential lockout?  WHAT IF WE WANTED TO SEE A HOCKEY GAME IN THE COUNTRY WHERE IT ORIGINALLY STARTED?  WHY MUST YOU DESTROY ALL OUR HOPES AND DREAMS, NHL?!?!?!?

Ok.  It’s time for me to be productive.  Maybe shower, eat, do a little cupcake shopping.  Enough of this cool, trendy blogging crap.  What am I, a hipster?

Lis