Food: the Good, the Fair, and the stuff that wants to kill you

Made salsa yesterday, for the first time. Since I opted to chop rather than process, it represents “pico de gallo” more than salsa. The taste is crisp and clean, which I like, but because it is in pieces, the flavors don’t blend. But that was before it sat in its own juices overnight. My husband said “I’d have put it in the food processor” and I may do so, to see how the tastes mix after stewing all night. I added a bit of cumin and salt and pepper, but mostly thought I’d let the peppers (jalapeno, sweet, and pablano) add the fire.

All ingredients save the lime were procured at the local farmer’s market–some of them were even grown locally AND organically. The onion was a sweet white onion–quite possibly the most beautiful onion I’ve ever purchased/seen. I bought two just because of the look of them and the taste did not disappoint. The sweet red peppers were another impulse buy when I asked the proprietor what makes this a super sweet pepper and she came undone in her enthusiasm for the taste of this particular pepper. I have one left and may use it in eggs this a.m. I saved a little of the onion, too.

I’m having fun with food this week. Friday night dinner was a little frightening and inspired. It was a “clean out the fridge” night. There was some left over steak, five strips of bacon, a half-package of frozen hash browns, and I added a can of garbanzos and some canned stewed tomatoes and made a flavor profile of our favorite spanish rice recipe. The texture was off-too mushy. I should have garnished it with the baked garlic pita crisps to give it a little snap, but I didn’t think of that. It was a one-dish dinner–didn’t even serve a salad or fruit. Just some humus and pita chips on the side. Pretty sad, but there’s a serving left in the fridge that I’m saving for a week-day lunch!

Gastronomically, last night was a disaster. We went to the Porter County Fair–we have some must haves on our list of things we do at the fair that include fresh corn on the cob dipped in butter, a lemon shake-up, and an elephant ear. (My husband also had a fish taco that looked and tasted fairly healthy) and the two daughters with us shared a “walking taco.” I had filled up earlier by sampling my salsa, so was not as interested in anything beyond the corn and the elephant ear. We walked around the exhibits and saw my daughter’s friend’s llama (cool!) and then tried to figure out what rides a kid who suffered a concussion 2.5 weeks hence could actually ride. (Answer: only lame ones.) 

The girls were disappointed they were stuck using up tickets by riding the Ferris Wheel with their old parents, but bore it up well. Then someone, who shall remain nameless but who held all the cash, decided that this particular trip to the fair would be the one where we would go here:

Yes, that says Deep Fried Butter (thanks to Kaye from whose FB page I stole the photo)

Yes, that says “Deep Fried Butter.” I didn’t hear how that was made, but read that the “Deep Fried Pepsi” has to do with injecting Pepsi into a dough ball then frying it and rolling it in cinnamon sugar. We ordered the value basket, also dubbed the “are you sure those defibrillators work” basket: two deep fried oreos, one deep fried Reeses, and one deep fried (full size) Snickers bar. Let’s just say that this was not elevated to a “must-do-at-the-fair” thing. This was, in fact, labeled a “don’t ever have to do that again, ever, ever EVER” thing. My husband was the only one who even enjoyed the taste of these things. The rest of us felt sluggish and sick after one bite. “I feel like I need to eat a large salad,” I said after the first bite of Snickers. We kept a close eye on my husband the rest of the night to make sure his heart hadn’t slowed to a stop by the assault of the fried things. It’s morning now and he seems to have lived through it, but I just told him I’m NOT making eggs afterall and would like him to go eat a bowl of his whole-oat cereal, instead. He didn’t argue.

Eldest daughter had been to the fair with her friends and when she heard what we did asked “what even made you think this was a good idea?” To which I, the mother, had no answer other than “oh, no one thought this was a GOOD idea.” And now we know. I say this to you, dear reader, if you ever pass through Indiana–the land of the deep fried ever-thang–just say “no” because if it sounds like it will kill you, it most likely will. And, frankly, it didn’t even taste good. I’ll endure a lot of pain for something that tastes good (I’m talking to YOU, DogFishHead 90 minute IPA), but this was just as nasty as you’d think it would be.)

Off to church to repent poor fiscal and gastronomic choices, and then to the family reunion where I’m certain to face more painful food choices/options.


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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