Daily Archives: September 6, 2012


OK, so I’m a bit behind with this one. You’d think with an extra day to the weekend I’d have had all the time in the world to put a post together. You’d be wrong. Turns out I labored a lot on Labor Day. Still not sure how (or WHY for the love of God, WHY?!) that happened. But at least it was sort of fiber related laboring…  I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, the good stuff… Growing up in the Midwest, the county fair was a big deal. I mean a really BIG deal. And I grew up with one of the best practically in my back yard. Actually, it might have been better than that- it was quite literally in my grandparent’s back yard. Free parking and a clean bathroom were always right there! I’m telling you, there was very little else I could ask out of life… Some of the shine of the fair has diminished. I no longer live in the same town, Grandma and Grandpa are gone so the house has been sold and, honestly, I just don’t enjoy large groups of slow moving people so much anymore, but I still need to do it for one day. It just doesn’t feel right to pass a Labor Day weekend without a trip around the midway or a visit to the 4-H building to take in the amazing projects the kids are turning out. Oh. And the food. One day a year I need to abuse my digestive tract with things that make my arteries shudder just thinking about. Without any concern for calorie content, fat content or anything else. Just the deliciousness that is food you can only get at the fair. The last couple of years I’ve been forced to break with tradition.  Parking at Grandma’s took me in the back gate where one of the first things you come across is the beacon that is the best thing going at the fair… That’s right…  Not just any cheese… Hot. Wisconsin. Cheese.  We are not necessarily a proud people, but we do love our cheese. And we are really good at taking all that is wonderful about it and improving it. By dunking it in batter and running it through the deep fryer. Admit it… Your arteries are quivering. But a little jealous.  This was always my first stop, at least as an adult. But since I no longer have my primo parking place, I have to settle for my prime back up option- my brother in law lives about a block away from the main gate. Still a great spot, but there’s a lot of other stuff I have to pass before I get to the Hot Wisconsin Cheese stand.  My plot to clog my arteries by 40 was further impeded by a very important date. For the last 2 years I’ve had a play date with my Goddaughter at the county fair.  N is the third of 4 kids in her family so she’s the one who gets dragged along at the whim of mom & dad and her big brother and sister. The little sister is just getting old enough to assert her own will and is still too little to be entirely effective in this area, so N still gets the worst of it. She still likes some of the “little kid” stuff J & A are no longer interested in and, being 6, is all full of the drama over not getting to to these things. So last year I said how about we make our before school starts play date a day at the fair. Which she thought was great. And decided she wanted to do again this year.  So we picked Sunday afternoon when her mom (my BFF) and big siblings were scheduled to work the 4-H food stand. It’s three hours for N to do the fair her way. On my dime (or $25… Inflation you know). And it’s all kinds of fun.  I get to be silly and experience the fair through a child’s eyes. As I’ve come to discover, this puts an entirely different twist on things. I have to suspend my grown-up notions that the games are a rip off, the “prizes” are crap that’s going to fall apart by the end of the weekend and just not worth it and go with it. Let the six year old lead the show. But give her a bit of guidance along the way.  She surprised me this year.  She was a little more insistent that the $25 allowance I gave her was entirely hers to do with as she wished- oh and if she wanted food I had to use my money for that… you know, MY money, not her $25- she didn’t quite win that one. But I also kicked in a few bucks to cover other things… Anyway, she had her idea and her mom and I had a few others. I’m the good Godmommy who will make sure any rules mommy wants to put in place are followed.  I will joke about loading the kid up on cotton candy & Mt. Dew, but I won’t actually do it because if it were my kid, I’d not be happy and, even though I don’t have kids for someone to extract revenge with, I still love my be sties too much to cross all the lines (Jill, you know this goes for your kids, too, right?). So this year N and I did some good comparison shopping before she decided what she’d spend “her” money on.  The 3 for $3 Pick-A-Duck game was a much better bargain because, even though the “prizes” weren’t as good as the 3 of $5 Pick A Duck game, the prize wasn’t as important as the duck-picking experience, she decided… I love the logic that comes out of kids sometimes!  So she played some games, we rode a couple rides (I think I nearly made her hurl on the tea cups. But she said she wanted to go really fast! I was just complying…), she got a snow cone as big as her head and we had fun.  Oh, and of course we wrapped it up with Grandpa Cratchet’s puppet show.  That’s N and Grandpa up top. We’ll call it a special kind of hell for the Godmommy, but tolerable for the joy on her face. And I knew once our play date was over, I was gonna get me some noms! So I dropped N off with her folks, met Mr.Me and headed for the deep fried cheese. Cheddar nuggets with jalapeño ranch dipping sauce… Oh my… So good. So we wandered a bit while I ate my cheese then hit what remains, to this day, my FAVORITE treat of the fair. Deep fried cheese is great and all, don’t get me wrong, but I can get it just about anywhere.  So while fair cheese is still awesome, it is no Cow Pie. And the Cow Pie reigns supreme in my Fair Food Hall Of Fame. Oh. You’ve not had the pleasure? You’re turning up your nose and wondering if I really have gone round the bend? No worries… No need to call the nice young men with the