Celtic Fest: Bethlehem PA. The Big E – Local Southern NH fairs

Late summer and let the fairs begin; as a child I remember going to any and all local fairs with my family.  Cheshire, Hopkinton, New Boston, Deerfield and the mother of all fairs the Big E – Eastern States Fair.  I have very fond memories of going to all of these, actually looking forward to going and making sure I knew what days the fairs were happening, checking out what the main event was and making plans with friends to attend those days.  My favorite event was definitely the demolition derby. I am sure, actually positive I am not alone in this, derby day always drew the largest crowds.  I learned a very valuable lesson; that I stand by till this very day.  While I am not necessarily afraid of heights per say, I having no problem climbing up on things, in things etc.;  I DO NOT like climbing back down.  Being kind of a punk teenager; I was at the Cheshire fair on derby day, there were no seats to be had, standing room would be fine but I am only 5’4” tall, a friend at the time had a GREAT idea.  Let’s climb the pine tree and watch from up there.  First off you know full well you are not going to be able to stay in the tree, security is bound to kick you out.  Secondly it’s a pine tree, actually I learned a couple of things that day.  I am not a fan of pine trees; pine pitch is the worst, I don’t mind them in the woods, love the smell of them; hate them anywhere near the house and or driveway.  Back to my not being able to climb down; I was stuck; scared shitless; probably one of my first anxiety attacks that I can remember.  Thankfully no emergency personnel had to come, but it took a team of people to help me get down.  Never again!!!

Since this is a foodie blog and there is so many choices of things to eat at fairs; I love the smell of the sausages but to me they never taste as good as they smell.  Fried dough is heavenly and I will forgo everything else just to have a fresh buttered cinnamon and powdered sugar fried piece of dough.  It is amazing to me that as I have gotten older I choose carefully what I eat.  As a kid one of everything please, food was to consume only.  Now I know what I like and don’t and what I should and should not eat, not that I always listen to this. Hence the fried dough!

I cannot go any further without talking about the Big E – now that’s a fair!!!!  My brother passed away way too soon a few years ago. I am so glad that the 3 of us siblings wanted to take our kids and our dad to the Big E.  It was a beautiful late September day; we went during the week, less crowds.  We got to share with the kids how we do the Big E.  We first walk through all the vendors; check out the “infomercial” building; at least that is what we call it.  Check out all the animals, damn those Clydesdales are HUGE.  But the best part of the fair is eating our way through the state buildings.  I am telling you the loaded baked potato from the Maine building is FREAKIN AMAZING!!!!  If you do nothing else Go – Buy – Eat – No sharing please!

We are visiting a very good friend of ours new home in PA this weekend.  I am actually sitting in her living room right now writing this.  There is a Celtic festival nearby so we all (of us) jumped in the SUV and went yesterday.  It was gorgeous day out, though we had a couple of Irish peeps with us, we were ALL Irish on Saturday; or at least we drank and ate like an Irishman.  We walked and walked, we drank beer, very cold beer which was excellent.  Since it was a Celtic Fest the fare was typical Irish food, bratwurst, corned beef, shepherd’s pie etc.  I did see the largest cans of sauerkraut I have ever seen.  After contemplating what we were going to eat while walking by all the food vendors, stopping for a corn on the cob that was covered with some spice rub that had chili powder in it and it was excellent!  Another highlight was their Potato Chip Twister.  Fried to perfection!  Sad to say but we had 3 or them.  The music was great, my bratwurst was awesome and did I mention the beer was cold YUM!!!!

My Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – I know so simple but it is comfort food for me!

Brown some ground beef – remove all the grease, I also dice up (very small) and sauté some onions. I season the beef very well with salt, pepper, garlic and adobo (my favorite go to spice) I use a can of creamed corn and also a can of niblets.  I top with yummy mashed potatoes and then some grated cheddar cheese.  Very simple but OH so yummy! I will be making this sometime this week!!!!

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