Cookery Maven Blog

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Where else can you go and see a women carving another woman's face in a gigantic brick of butter? Nowhere (that I know of) other than the Minnesota State Fair. We haven't been to the 'great Minnesota get together' for about 5 years and not much has changed. There were still millions of people, food stands every two feet and lots of livestock thrown in for good measure.

There are a few places I tend to avoid like the plague: the Mall of America, Old Country Buffet, any beach anywhere with flies and the Minnesota State Fair. There was one hitch with my State Fair avoidance— my kids and sisters love it. I decided to take one for the team, put on my sensible shoes and head out to join my fellow Minnesotans in St Paul.

We had a tremendous amount of fun, ate a tremendous amount of food and did a tremendous amount of walking. The best food I ate was at the beginning of our State Fair Adventure 2012— Australian battered potatoes with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. I don't know what the Australians do to their potatoes but they were definitely onto something special— fantastic!

The fried pickles were a big attraction for our group. I ordered the gourmet pickle (basically a fried pickle sandwich with cream cheese in the middle) and it was just what I expected— a pickley, salty, creamy version of a fried Oreo.

As a kid, I loved the horse barn. I loved it as much as an adult. I think it was draft horse day because the majority of the horses were enormous and sturdy.

We walked out of the horse barn and into the holding area for a 4-H event with white cows (or steers, I am not entirely sure what the distinction is).

Three Holsteins in a row— beautiful symmetry.

Walking up the staircase with a scratchy piece of burlap and waiting for the signal to fly down the slide was something I looked forward to all day when I was little.

Fried alligator, frozen grapes and sugar-free lemonade. If there were an award for the strangest combination of food, Bayou Bob would definitely be in the running. Although, I don't know what was offered with the deep-fried lamb testicles. If it was a mint jelly smoothie, Bayou Bob may need to take it up a notch.

The grilled corn was a hit with the group. I think we all felt eating a vegetable after the onslaught of fried and sugary food we had eaten all day was a good choice.

We are State Fair connoisseurs about two things: cheese curds (The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds) and mini-doughnuts (Tom Thumb). We were headed out to our car when we walked by the Tom Thumb stand and realized, a trip to the Fair is not complete without tiny doughnuts coated in cinnamon sugar. We bought four bags and left the fair with full bellies and sugary fingers.