Friday, August 17, 2012

Indiana State Fair 2012 - a few of my favorite things

Here are some of the things I've seen so far at the Indiana State Fair.
Click here for the photo essay:

Monday, August 06, 2012

Indiana State Fair Punchlist

I was lucky enough to write about my favorite event, the Indiana State Fair, in my favorite magazine, Punchnel's.

You can read it here:

It's been a good day! 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

indiana state fair 2012 - day three

Second Helpings had a table at the Fair as part of Elanco’s Hunger Relief Day. 

My first goal for the day was to get the display materials to the table by 9:30. Typically an easy task but the scary early-morning storms that passed through the neighborhood had knocked down trees and my power was out. I had a hard time just making it to the Fairgrounds.

Once that was done I decided on an Elephant Ear for breakfast – after all I had no power at home….

I swung by Pioneer Village to check on everyone. Most of the folks that take part in the activities sleep on the Fairgrounds, above one of the barns, I think. I’ve never heard exactly where they bunk – I have a feeling that they might thinking I’m stalking them anyway. I don’t want to freak them out by asking where they sleep. Anyway, they were all fine, and except for some downed branches the Fairgrounds were unscathed.

I got there just in time to see a demonstration on shaving benches – sort of a combination of vice and workbench. Dick Reel did a great job of explaining how they are used and how to make them, with a few groaner jokes thrown in - something about not using it properly and now having a half brother (or two). 

I went home for a few hours to write and submit an article. Difficult without electricity – I should have stayed in Pioneer Village – more amenities then home!

Dad and I met at the Fairgrounds around suppertime. We took our traditional look at the woodworking in the 4-H Building. Dad likes to look at the types of wood, the finishes, and design. I like to count how many kids made gun cabinets and gun racks. We also thoroughly examine the cakes and home furnishing projects. Next stop was the Home and Family Arts Building to look at the project there. I especially enjoyed showing Dad the twig plant stand that came from his side of the family.

It was time for my volunteer shift at the Second Helpings table. Dad gathered a wonderful feast or us of pork chop sandwiches and spiral cut potato chips.

Another fabulous day at the Fair. Going home to no power, not so great. 

Saturday, August 04, 2012

indianapolis state fair 2012 - day two

This was to be a quick visit to the Fair. I worked at Second Helpings until almost 3:00 and had to be at the Red Key at 5:00 for my waitressing shift.

My goal was no only to visit the Fair, but to get a new chef’s hat to Second Helpings Chef Sam Brown. He’d given a cooking demonstration earlier and it was so hot that his hat wasn’t looking so fresh. He was being interviewed for book, Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest, and wanted to look crisp.

 It started raining just as I pulled into the Fairgrounds. And trust me, no one was complaining about it - woo hoo glorious rain! I stuck the toque (chefs hat) in a cooler in an attempt to keep it dry. The rain turned into a thunderstorm as I was walking and an announcement was made for us all to seek shelter in a permanent structure building.  

Look at all of those interesting things tucked away. 

I was lucky enough to get hustled into a space that isn’t usually open to the public – the workshop for Pioneer Village AND the State Fair Queen and her court were there. Jackpot!

I'm soaked and showing the Queen my dairy cow ring. 

We waited about 20 minutes or so for the ‘All Clear’ announcement. By the time I made my way around the Fair, I burst into the end of Sam’s interview. I had just enough time to make my way back to the car and head to work.

It was a short but very sweet visit to the Fair. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

indiana state fair 2012 - day one, part two

The big name concerts for the Indiana State Fair have moved to Bakers Life Fieldhouse for the next year or so until the Coliseum is renovated.

Yes, Barry's doing a naughty move. 

I was lucky enough to get a photo credentials for the Barry Manilow show. I’m not fortunate enough to have the proper lens from shooting so far away.

I don’t know that I’d ever describe myself as a Barry Manilow fan, but I am the right age to be able to sing along to every one of his songs. And the crowd was full of woman my age – my people, as it were. I saw several groups of mothers and daughters.

I wasn’t able to get any great shots, but I did get to soak up the excitement in the audience. I’d been telling people all day that Barry Manilow was the Justin Beiber of my generation, a fact that Barry himself pointed out.

I loved his blue jacket. Seriously. 

As is the general rule-of-thumb the photographers get to shoot the first three songs. In this case we were behind the seated audience, near the soundboard. I don’t have enough lens to shoot from that far away.

After we got hustled off the floor I called Jerry A., the chairman of the Second Helpings board and director of operations for the foodservice company that runs the Fieldhouse. Jerry whisked me up to a suite! Wheee! As it happened there were two women that I knew there and Jerry’s beautiful wife and awesome daughter were there too.

It was fun to enjoy the rest of the show and sing along unabashedly. As it turns out, I knew all of the words.  And I can’t believe that I just admitted that in print. I guess I’m a Fanilow after all. 

indiana state fair 2012 - day one

I’m going to try to keep my streak of attending the Indiana State Fair each day alive.

This is the year of the Dairy Cow and of course I have a fabulous dairy cow ring combining my love of themes and accessories. You too can have an original ring made by the talented Jenny Elkins. You can purchase one in the Gazebo in the Fairgrounds or directly from Jenny on her esty page. 

I haven’t entered any open-judging competitions since I gave up on the Spam contest years ago. In honor of the Dairy Cow theme I decided to try again and threw my cheese in the ring for the Special Agriculture contest in the appetizer category. The criteria included using at least 8 ounces of dairy products and yielding at least four servings.

my recipe being judged

I entered “Easy Cheesy Mini Roll Ups” and got second place! It was all very exciting. 

Gold, Silver, Bronze...I mean, Blue, Red, White

I also did very well on the baked goods that I entered. My Snickerdoodles got first place – I was thrilled. There are lots of entries in that category. My toffee got third place, which is the highest I’ve ever placed.   

I met the Lieber twins and their mama for a quick spin around the Home and Family Arts building. 

We looked at my other entries – first place ribbon on the “tramp art” plant stand that my Great-Aunt Theresa bought from a “hobo” during the Depression, and my 1952 4-H postage stamps also got a blue ribbon.

I entered a Spaceman PEZ that got second place in the Baby Boomer toys division. My Lebanon 1902 toothpick holder got fourth place in that division.

We walked around for a bit and jumped on my favorite ride – the tractor tram. Tammy and the twins headed home for a nap, and I explored Pioneer Village. 

Pioneer Village and I have something in common. 

I’m always happy to catch up with Dick Reel - he’s doing well and looks great.

I was just in time for the threshing ring demonstration in the Village.

I got to chat with Mauri Williamson for a minute. I always get a little bumbly and tongue-tied around him. He started Pioneer Village as a display under the Grandstand and has grown into an awesome interactive part of the Fairgrounds.

All and all a great first day at the Fair!