Two weekends ago I went to my first ever county fair. I really did not know that this kind of old fashioned America still existed (I’m too much of a city kid!) and I have to say I was delighted. There was a big ferris wheel towering over the whole scene and many other much scarier big rides, as well as arts and crafts booths, tons of fried everything and real live animals!
After I settled into the Mission Tortilla stage and checked out the ingredients for my two demos I decided to tour the fair. I was most interested in the animals and luckily we were right next to the livestock tents. I don’t see a wide variety of animals in New York City except for squirrels, small birds, the occasional sea gull (which always makes me so happy, it reminds me that Manhattan is actually on the ocean), mice, rats, and pigeons, aka flying rats. If I had time I might have gone to the petting zoo but there was no time so I cruised the livestock tents. I was shocked to find card carrying teenagers tending to these cows/sheep/goats/chickens. Apparently the animals are part of their high school projects. How impressive! That is not what you will find New York City teenagers occupying their time with.
The Mission tortilla stage was located right in the middle of the food booths and smack across from the most frightening of those booths: “The Heart Attack Café” which was featuring fried butter and chocolate covered bacon, among other culinary delights. I was especially intrigued by the fried butter. I was interested in what technique they used to fry it because if you just threw a stick of butter in hot oil it would melt and become one with the oil. I knew there had to be some coating on the outside.(I was lucky enough to read a newspaper article later that explained that the butter was combined with cream cheese, dipped in a kind of cruller batter and then deep fried — helpful info for those of you who want to try this at home.)
It was a tad distracting to have this booth right across from me while I did my demos. The ride going right over my head was distracting too but I knew I would never try that. I am not good at speed and heights. Fried butter though, that was a dare. It seemed especially weird to be across from “The Heart Attack Café” because what we were making in my booth was healthy food. We started with two versions of tacos, one made with lean beef and one made with ground turkey in a homemade peanut sauce and then for the second demo, artichoke and spinach dip quesadillas (and we made the dip ourselves) and then a Mexican salmon salad wrap with avocados.
When my demo was over, my very trim friend volunteered to take one for the team and taste the fried butter but at that point the line went around the block. We decided to pass and head home. I was sort of glad I didn’t get to taste it. I would much rather eat healthy tortillas.