Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hebron Harvest Fair, Hebron, CT

One of the many things I like about the fall is the country fair.  I live in Berlin, so I naturally go to the Berlin Fair.  I love looking at the animals, watching the tractor pulls, and listening to the seductive call of the carnival barkers as they try and part you and your money.  Oh, one more thing—the food.  I have developed a strict eating protocol for enjoying the many gastronomical delights that the fair has to offer.  If it is sautéed, fried or deep fried, it’s on my menu. 

This weekend, I went to the Hebron Harvest Fair.  I went with my wife and nephew and niece.  It was a beautiful late summer day.  A perfect day to enjoy a cold one.  Sorry, it’s a dry fair.  A dry fair!?  We walk through the gates and I am immediately struck by the amount of people.  This place is crowded.  I have never seen so many people; so many people in Harley-Davidson logo wear, cowboy hats and missing teeth.  A bike riding, Texas dentist could really clean up there. 

There are many different food booths at the Hebron Fair.  I decide to check out a Philly cheese steak.  I get it “wit.”  Mmm, shaved meat, Cheese Wiz, onions and peppers on a soft roll.  Delicious.  We decide to walk off the meal so we take a stroll down to the animal exhibits.  As we walk into the sheep house I see rabies advisory sign.  That’s certainly comforting knowing I might be exposing myself to one of the most deadly diseases known to mankind.  We move on to the see the cute little goats staring at us with their little goat devil eyes.  I know it’s cruel, but as I was looking at the animals I couldn’t help but think, BBQ brisket, lime marinated chicken and braised short ribs.  Time to get something to eat.  I decide on a Cajun bloomin’ onion.  An onion, dipped in spicy batter and deep fried.  It’s served with horseradish sauce.  This one was cooked perfectly.  The individual pieces were easily plucked off, the sauce was delicious, the onions hot and crispy.  The four of us couldn’t put a dent in it. 

We wandered around until we found the tractor pull.  This must have been the junior division because the tractors were modified lawn mowers.  They made a lot of noise but didn’t go too far.  Race on Sunday, mow on Monday.  What would have been real cool would be if they had a push mower division. 

Dockdogs had an exhibition there.  This is competitive dog jumping.  I’ve seen this on TV, but to see it live was really a treat.  These dogs can jump!  The dogs were mostly Labs, but there were a few Dobies.  The longest jump I saw was 20 feet, 6 inches.  It was phenomenal.  We walked by the lumberjack show.  Lots of flannel, denim and suspenders.  I watched them throw some axes, but thankfully left before the log rolling contest. 

We found a good place to sit and enjoy some people watching, and a fried dough. There were lots of girls sporting Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots.  Two punk/emo/semi-goth/very jaded and smug  looking girls walked by wearing of all things matching raccoon tails.  Raccoon tails?  A couple of tweakers were strutting around in green tinted mohawks.  A pair of semi-stoned teenagers was being marched away in cuffs by the cops.  Oops! They must have forgotten that selling drugs is still illegal. The fried dough was excellent by the way.  Hot, crispy, crunchy, covered with powdered sugar and cinnamon. 

We decide to move on.  We go into the craft tent and check out the offerings.  Beautiful photographs, paintings, textiles, ceramics and more.  I was especially taken by the woodturning.  I’ve done a little of that a long time ago and believe me, it is not easy.  I strike up a conversation with one of the guys doing the demonstration.  He took a small piece of cedar, put it on the lathe and with a series of chisels turned it into a small vase.  At the end, he gave it to me.  How nice was that? 

We are getting hungry again so we hunt down the deep fried Twinkies booth.  So crunchy, so crispy, so greasy, so gooey, so tasty.  I’m pretty sure it’s not that healthy, but it was good.  This one had a chocolate center.  Surprise!  We heard a rumor that they were going to be serving deep-fried bubblegum, but we couldn’t find it.  Deep-fried bubblegum actually won a prize as the most creative food entry at the Texas State Fair. 

It’s getting late and we are tired.  All that walking around, all that fat.  We buy some beef jerky on the way out.  Have to have some protein.  We had a great time.  We get back to my nephew’s house and crack open a much need cold one. Good food and good company.  Before I go to bed I take a double Lipitor. What a wonderful day.

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