Posts Tagged With: community

Let’s Go To The Fair!

Hello all you traveling Foodie lovers.  This week we are talking about going to the fair.  Fairs are a meeting grounds for everything human culture.  Fairs have been around for many years.  It’s all about the show casing.  From arts and crafts, live stock and farming techniques to the crazy foods.  Which type of foods?  Well these days it’s not only fresh but its deep-fried.  Trends evolve from year to year at the state, county and global fairs.

The first fair in the world is not exactly known.  However, the chronicles of mankind are filled with references to fairs, not in an institutional context, but as a part of everyday communal interaction.  Indication in scriptures point to the existence of fairs as early as 500 BC.  Merchants from all over the countries would come together to trade regional goods and native wares.  Later, entertainment and other forms of activity were added to gatherings making them into the fairs that we recognize today.  In 1765, the first Northern American fair was presented in Windsor, Nova Scotia.  Elkanah Watson, from New England, earned the title, “Father of US agricultural fairs” by organizing the Berkshire Agricultural Society.  He created the Cattle Show in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September 1811.  Today there are more than 3,200 fairs in North America alone, bringing people closure together to share and learn about the agriculture and domestic products.

Let’s not forget about the foods of the fair.  Between all the exhibits and competitions, people get hungry and they want food.  What kind of foods?  Well, it seems every so often fairs foods start a new trend.  Right now it’s everything on a stick and something being deep fried.  Let’s not forget about the classic funnel cake or some local ice cream.  Some of the more interesting treats we have tried were hash brown covered hot dogs, or a banana rolled in a flour tortilla and then deep fried.  Have you ever tried fried beer?  Or fried coke? How about a fried Twinkie?  Next time you are at the fair, explore some of the more interesting foodie goodness.

 

With so many fairs all over the globe I know that many of you will find one close to you.  I’d like to leave you lovely foodies with a corn dog recipe and funnel cakes.

 

Corn Dog

Ingredients

  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 pounds hot dogs
  • wooden sticks

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in bacon drippings.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg, buttermilk, and baking soda.  Mix until everything is smooth and well blended.  Insert wooden sticks into the ends.  Dip the hot dogs in the batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.  Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil until they are as brown as you like them.  Drain on paper towels and serve.

 

Funnel Cake

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Directions:

In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  In a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir into the egg mixture until smooth.  While covering the funnel hole with one hand, pour in 1 cup of batter.  Start from the center in a swirling motion to make a 6 inch round.  Fry on both sides until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Going to Market

I hope that everyone is having a grand week so far.  Last weekend was a very exciting weekend for The Traveling Foody Crew.  We started filming various locations around Seattle, Washington for our Youtube channel.  One of our favorite filming moments was at the farmers’ market. The University market to be specific.  The University District farmers’ market is said to be one of the largest and oldest “farmers-only” market in Seattle and is open all year around.  We met with so many producers and representatives and sampled some of the best products.  What I like about going to the farmers market is being able to connect with the producers and being able to talk about how and where the products are being produced. Plus, we take out the middleman and give our money directly to the farmer or the producer.

There are more farmers’ markets popping up all over the America and around the globe.  Not only are these farmers’ markets hot spots for locals but for travelers of all types.  An excellent farmers’ market consists of a snapshot of the region and informs the customers on what is going on with the animals and plant life and their conditions.  A draw to these markets is the social aspect where many of the markets have speakers and booths with information on their community and sustainability within.

If you have a chance on your travels to visit the local farmers’ market then you should venture out and experience what the region is producing.  I know for my family a visit to the farmers’ market makes our cooking and eating experience more enjoyable. I like to leave you with a few recipes we like to make using products from our local farmers’ market.

 

Below like to leave you with a farmers’ market finder link for the United States.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FARMERSMARKETS

 

Don’t forget to check out my book Around the World in 80 Recipes.  And please let your family and friends know about it.  You can purchase it paperback or Kindle.  More information can be found on our “Books” page on our website at http://thetravelingfoody.com/

 

Strawberry Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ¼ to ½ cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ cup light cream

 

Directions:

Rinse the berries and then remove their caps.  Transfer the berries into a blender.  Add the sugar, juice and crème fraîche and blend until the berries are finely chopped. Add the cream and purée.  Transfer into a glass bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate overnight. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a bit more lime juice, if needed.  Serve chilled.

 

Braised Baby Bok Choy with Celery and Ginger

Ingredients

  • 8 clusters baby bok choy
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • ½ cup celery, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ½ cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

 

Directions:

In a pan large enough to hold the bok choy in one layer, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the celery and onion and cook for several minutes.  Add the ginger and cook until the ginger becomes fragrant.  Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the baby bok choy clusters in a single layer.  Simmer over medium low heat for 5 minutes, and then turn the clusters over.  Simmer for another 5 minutes, and then turn again.  Simmer for another 5 minutes, turn and sprinkle soy sauce over the bok choy.  Serve hot.

 

Cucumber Soup with Mint

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, I use a thicker full-fat variety like Brown Cow
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup mint
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

Place cucumbers and garlic in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add yogurt, vinegar, salt and a few cracks of black pepper and combine.  Chop the mint and add. Stir in the olive oil. Chill for at least a half hour.

 

-Damien- The Traveling Foody

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