Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Fair Faring at the County Fair

It's a sad commentary when the county fair is now billing itself as a nostalgia piece. But it was true. I guess I'm a nostalgia piece, too, since the fair they are now hyping as a trip down memory lane is what I think county fairs are all about. I go to see animals. I go to see vegetables and jams and jellies. I go to see handicrafts. I go to attend huckster presentations on Vita-mix, or the wonders of jojoba oil. I go to eat corndogs and cotton candy, ice cream novelties and ears of corn.

I do not go to hear about high tech, or grab a sushi plate for lunch. Call me silly. Must not have worked for other people, either, because when they "updated" the fair (agriculture is so passe') and moved it to April (April??) no one else went, either. So now it's back, with nostalgia as a theme.

So I looked at animals, which came from the South County, where there are still ranches. (I'm enough of a farm girl, still, to assess sheep and hogs on the merit of their eating potential. I also commented on a dairy cow that looked underfed, to me.) I ate unhealthy fair food. ;-) I didn't go on any rides, because they were waaaaay overpriced ($4 to ride the ferris wheel!). So I got my Ki adjusted in a 20 minute workover, instead. And felt much de-stressed. ;-)

I went to a cooking demo and sales pitch for West Bend waterless cooking pans, and thought they were a pretty good product and probably worth the money. (I didn't buy any, though.) But some of their spiel was hysterical. Microwaving food destroys 90% of the nutrients in it, they say. (I've heard this urban myth, but now I'm wondering if this is its origin.) The one I *really* liked was that iron is porous, so the black stuff on the outside of it comes from all the germs that pass through the iron and accumulate on the outside. (And all those years, you thought it was carbon, right?) Also interesting to see how they used cult-ish ways of getting people into the buying frame of mind. I think it's nice cookery, but you also wonder if you want to subsidize this sort of sales technique.

There was an exhibit of antique farm machinery (great stuff), and an exhibit of the county fair in the 1950's. Went to a show given by the "Sea Lion Encounter" folks, with a big message of conservation and marine habitat, since it was put on by the University of California.

And just before heading out, I went to their "antiques show" building. Most of this stuff wasn't antiques, because I grew up with it! Sorry, I still think an antique should be at least 100 years old. Foolish prejudice, I know. But in one booth I met the custard cups. Very nice 1940's pyrex custard cups, like I could really use, because I still make *real* custard. The booth owner must have not had much interest in them, and saw the look of zeal. "I can make you a great deal if you want all of them..." It WAS a great deal, $6 for the lot, and I paid him on the spot and chuckled all the way home.

So, I still haven't inventoried all of them, still unpacking and washing. So far, I have 4 oversize flute-rims (I see junket or Danish Dessert here), a couple with molded designs at the edge, four plain, one smaller than normal, and still have more to unpack! Yep, it's custard time!

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