Sep 26, 2008

State Fair Time

Whoo Hoo! The State Fair of Texas starts today complete with Big Tex in a big ole yeller shirt.

I haven't missed the fair in at least 15 years. Probably because I've been judging the food competitions. Yes, one of my not-so-hidden talents is a discriminating palate and an eye for a good recipe.

Years ago I was a food writer and edited a couple of cookbooks - which got me an invite to judge the cooking competitions at the fair. I've judged salads (green salads, pasta salads, meat salads, jello salads, ...), ethnic foods, and a variety of competitions.

But my favorite contest for the past several years has been the homemade ice cream contest. Nothing beats spending the day eating ice cream. Oh sure, it sounds like fun, but this is a serious competition to a lot of folks. It takes some know-how to become an ice cream expert. The entry categories include:

  • Chocolate (can you differentiate between Mexican Chocolate & German Chocolate?),
  • Fruit (everything from banana to pineapple coconut to peaches & cream),
  • Nuts (toasted pecans, yum),
  • Vanilla (true vanilla bean is the best) and
  • Miscellaneous ice cream (from green tea to caramel).

This week's fair tip:

  • Cheapest day to enter the fair will be Wednesdays. Bring three cans for the North Texas Food Bank and get in for $1, courtesy of Kroger. Otherwise, admission is $14.
  • On Tuesdays you can get in the fair for $3 with an empty Dr. Pepper can, and most rides are at reduced rates.
  • On Thursdays you can bring a 20 oz Coke bottle and get in for $4.

photo from Frontburner [where: 75230]

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