Sunday, February 14, 2010

Deep Fried Florida State Fair

Wayne and I spent my Wednesday off this week going to the Florida State Fair. He loves that he can get in for only $6 as a senior now. I did, too, as I asked for 2 senior tickets. I lied. I’m not 55. I think I’m pissed that the ticket guy didn’t ask for my ID. We love to just walk around and look. We don’t ride the rides, and anyway, it was too cold for that, though there were some crazy people in paddleboats and kayaks in the little lake.

My favorite part is Cracker Country. It consists of a circle of historic buildings from the 19th and early 20th century such as an old railroad station, school, general store and post office (which is an actual working post office). Like a small Old Sturbridge Village, folks that work there dress in period clothing and tell you about what they’re doing. They are blacksmiths, teachers, farmers, they make soap and candles and print newsletters and demonstrate cracking a homemade whip (hence the term Cracker). You can go there all year round, not just during the fair.  In the “town center” is a small building with an outdoor stage under huge live oaks where The Pleasant Family was playing some great bluegrass (“We’re not really a family and we’re not very pleasant). I bought more of my favorite soap from Miss Jenny. It’s Patchouli with poppy seeds in it. A bar lasts for months and months and makes my whole bathroom smell wonderful. We also bought some Florida Holly honey from Aikens Family Farm based in Zephyrhills. It has a very different taste from orange blossom or clover honey. Miss Jenny’s husband is a potter and as I was admiring his pottery, I mentioned to her that I’d love to see him make yarn bowls. I described what I meant and hope to see some of them next year. His stuff was really nice.

Sorry I didn’t get a picture, but I did get a picture of a Krispy Kreme Donut Burger. Actually eating one was a challenge I was not up to. A brave fair goer allowed me to take his picture with his burger, saying “this may be the last thing I eat!” The thing is a burger nestled between two grilled glazed Krispy Kreme donuts (cheese and bacon will cost you $1.50 more, but what the hell, knock yourself out). We also found the deep fried butter place. Yup, they take a pat of butter and bread it or something, then fry it and coat it with cinnamon sugar. They also sell fried Snickers, Oreos and Pepsi (Pepsi infused dough that’s been…deep fried). We wandered around the building with the judged crafts looking at woodworking and some rather tacky crochet, as well as paintings that belong in MOBA. Here’s a slide show of the pictures I took. Click on them to see a larger version.

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