On day two of the Fair, my colleague and I ventured out of our zone to the Tortado booth. We didn't know quite what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. After taking our order, the man in the booth spiral-cut three fresh potatoes on a hand-crank machine, then dropped them into a deep fryer. In just a few minutes, he handed us a cardboard tray piled high with tornado-shaped potato chips. We sprinkled them with seasoning salt and ventured into the food court for corn dogs. We didn't find the hand-dipped corn dogs we wished for, but I am happy to report that the ones we found were hot, crispy and tasty. So were the Tortadoes, which I will seek out again next year.
The next day, I decided to try the 4-H kitchen for lunch. Local kids and their parents were working there, volunteering their time to prepare and serve breakfast muffins, salads, burgers, and coffee drinks. My Cobb salad was fresh and plentiful, with generous chunks of chicken breast, blue cheese, bacon crumbles and a hard-boiled egg over romaine lettuce.
By dinner, I was ready for something substantial. A friend and I split a dangerously delicious pulled pork sandwich from WT's BBQ. We also downed an alarmingly large tray of hand-cut French fries, which were deep-fried to perfection.
Saturday night, I continued an annual tradition of visiting Beaver State Burrito. A friendly teenage girl custom-built my burrito, assembly line style, piling on the beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, black olives and jalapenos as I nodded "yes" at each station. I could only finish half of it, though I wanted to eat more.
On Sunday, the last day of the Fair, a colleague found the hand-dipped corn dogs and declared they were no better than the ones we'd eaten a few days before. Just before closing time, another colleague brought over a funnel cake, piled high with strawberries and whipped cream. "Get away from me with that thing," I laughed. She explained that she had never tasted one; this was her virgin funnel cake experience. Judging from the expression on her face, it was a satisfying one. Four of us finished off the deep-fried confection, licking our fingers and leaving bits of strawberry glaze on our smiling faces. It was the perfect ending to a long, fun week at the fair. - Renée Davidson