Sunday, August 28, 2011

Indiana State Fair - Miscellaneous

A 444 pound pumpkin

The home arts at the fair were amazing.  There are so many talented people out there. (It seems unfair that talents weren't distributed evenly--some people have many, and some, like me, have none.)

The quilts were gorgeous.  I can't imagine the number of hours that goes into something like that.

There was a Lego exhibit of the Indianapolis Speedway that was incredible.  It even had the museum and the golf course that is inside the track.

Look at all the people!

There was a canned good sculpture competition.  All the canned goods go to Gleaners afterwards.  The winner was a Super Bowl theme (since the 2012 Super Bowl will take place in Indianapolis).  The cans used in the sculptures were chosen not only for color, but for how well they can be used in menus of the families that will eventually get them.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy and Lucas Oil Stadium

We watched a bit of the watermelon seed spitting contest.  The winner spit a seed over 18 feet.

 The beauty queen gave out the ribbons to the winners.
The runner-up had to sweep up the seeds between each contestant.

Of course, they had a competition for home grown produce.  The judging must have been at the beginning of the fair (it goes on for about three weeks), because a lot of the fruits and vegetables were shriveled up.

 You wouldn't have to worry about Halloween pranksters 
stealing this one off the front porch and smashing it.

Of course, there were a gazillion competitions, from the best fruit pies and baked goods to photography.

One of the oddest things we saw at the fair was the Blue Monkey Sideshow.  In one act, a guy put carabiners in his earlobes and then hooked a bowling ball onto them.  He not only lifted the ball up but swung it back and forth.  Now that's talent!  (You have to wonder who came up with that one.)

So this is it--my last post on the Indiana State Fair.  We probably won't go again for another 2-3 years.  Who knows, maybe I'll be hanging a bowling ball from my earlobes by then.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Indiana State Fair - Cake War

When it comes to cakes, I'm easily impressed.  I can't even make a layer cake.  No matter how hard I try, my layers always come out lopsided.  So, suffice it to say, I was totally blown out of the water by the cakes at the fair.  They  were so amazing it's hard to believe they were truly made out of cake.  It's a good thing they were behind glass, or I would have stuck my finger in the frosting just to make sure.

 What a cute idea for a baby shower.

 What Dad wouldn't love this for Father's Day?

 These look like you could put your head on them 
and go to sleep.

 I'm still not sure this is really cake.

 I love that purse.

 How did they get that frosting to look like melted cheese?

Anyone up for a picnic?

This has inspired me to sign up for a cake decorating class.  My expectations are low.  I just want to make a cake that doesn't have crumbs in the frosting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Indiana State Fair - The Animals

I loved the children's classic "Charlotte's Web."  It made me want to live on a farm and raise a pig just like Wilbur.  Going to the fair reminds me of that wonderful story.  In fact, I'm sure I saw Wilbur's offspring.

Could it be?

The first and last animals that we saw were the cows in labor.  One calf had been born not that long before we got there.  Rose was most likely going to be the next cow to deliver.  She was panting and rocking back and forth.  I can't imagine being in labor and having hundreds of people watching.  We were hoping they would give her a little Pitocin to speed things up, but no such luck.

Honey and Louise


The swine building was great.  We saw the world's largest boar, hog, and sow.  As we were walking down the aisles, pigs and their owners walked right next to us.  (When people take their pigs to the judging area, they use a stick, rather than a leash, to keep them going in the right direction.)  The piglets were adorable.  There were many different colored pigs, but my favorite were the pink ones.

 Some Pig!

Fourteen babies would have done me in. 

Proof that pigs can't read.
This pig would be pacing back and forth rather than
peacefully sleeping if he knew what that sign above him said. 

 Obviously, no clue!

The sheep were interesting.  They keep them covered with special hooded robes until right before they are going to be judged.  The lambs were adorable.

This was the first food booth we came to after leaving the sheep.

Annie is in love.

The Belgian draft horses were amazing.  They were HUGE. 

This year, they had the Wiener 100 Mini-Dog Races.  It's a small track with gourmet dog food waiting at the end.  It was a hoot.
This race took all of twenty seconds to complete.

Have I enticed you yet to go see this for yourself?

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Fried

Food is one of the highlights at the Indiana State Fair.  You can actually get something from all of the major food groups--meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and breads.  So let's see how we fared.

My sister-in-law, Laura making a beeline for a tenderloin sandwich.

As I was looking at these pictures afterwards, 
it occurred to me that it doesn't say what kind of tenderloin.  
I assumed it was pork, but now I'm not sure. 

We split it three ways. 
We got our meat, bread and vegetable (the pickle) here.

Laura loves cream horns. 

The aftermath--powered sugar everywhere. 

Annie decided on butter dipped corn on the cob.  
Another vegetable checked off the list. 

Nothing says dairy like Wisconsin cheese.

Aah...deep fried cheese sticks.

We didn't actually get these potatoes, 
but they're on my list for next year.
This woman muttered, "Oh my," with every bite.  

 More vegetables

 Did I mention chocolate is a food group?
I'm still curious about the deep fried butter and Kool-aid.

 Annie and I split a deep fried Snickers.

 It's warm and gooey on the inside.

 The peanuts in Snickers count as protein.

I'm not sure how they deep fry mac and cheese.  
We were looking for deep fried Tums at this point. 

I can't wait to see what they come up with for next year.

To round out my diet, I added a little fruit with a Pineapple Whip.
It's basically a soft serve cone with pineapple juice.  
Naturally, I didn't get the jumbo size.
I figured I'd better cut back.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Proud To Be a Hoosier-In-Law

My husband grew up in Indianapolis and with his parents and older brother (and family) still there, we make several trips a year to Indiana.  This weekend, we coupled our visit with a trip to the Indiana State Fair.  (Of course, the fair has been in the news due to the tragedy last weekend before the Sugarland concert.  Our hearts go out to the families of those who were injured or killed in that tragic accident.)  If you have never been to the fair, it is definitely one you should go to if you want a slice of Americana.  I apologize to those who aren't interested because it's going to take a few posts to cover all the fun we had. 

To avoid the parking hassles, we parked several miles away and took the free shuttle to the fair.
 My daughter, Anne (in the hat), and my niece, Sophie (back seat with the headband) 
with her friends on the shuttle bus.

 My sister-in-law, Laura and Anne
with the Mercedes Benz of tractors.

 Annie dwarfed by Indiana corn.

 The theme this year was the soy bean.
This shuttle was fueled by soy biodiesel.

 Tackle the rides before sampling the deep-fried food.

 A section of the Berlin wall in the German exhibit

 There's nothing like a little corn dipped in butter.

 Gotta love the cowhide garbage cans

One of the many bands warming up.

There is so much to see and do (and smell) at the fair.  Between the food, the farm animals, the crafts, and people, it's hard to take it all in in one day, although I did my best with the food.  After this weekend, I may as well check in to the HEART Center and become a patient with my patients.  More to come tomorrow.