Country Fair Food

Country Fair Food

By Brenda Hyde

Growing up in the country I loved fair time in the summer.  The food, the farm animals, the exhibits...and yes, I was in 4-H and entered my brownies and actually participated in a fashion show with my hand sewn outfit! Many of thefairs begin in July and go through September.  Be sureto look one up in your area! When you can't go to the fair youcan still cook the food for your family and pretend you are there!

Homemade Corndogs


1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon melted shortening
6 hot dogs
6 skewers or sticks
Vegetable oil for frying

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, mustard, baking powder and salt. Add the milk, egg and shortening and mix until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a tall glassor jar.  Wipe the hotdogs with paper towel or a clean teatowel to make sure they are fairly dry. Place the sticks in the hot dogs and dip them into the cornmeal batter, coating evenly. Deep fry in oil heated to 375 degrees until golden brown, about two minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with mustard and ketchup!

Blue Ribbon Caramel Apples

8 apples, any variety
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash and dry the apples. Insert a stick into the stemend of each one. Use a heavy sturdy saucepan and a candy thermometer. Over high heat, cook 3/4 cup of the cream, the corn syrup, butter, and sugar to 280 degrees F (firm ball stage). At this point the syrup will be golden in color. Remove from the heat and carefully swirl in the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and the vanilla.  Use caution the mixture may splatter. While the caramel is hot, dip and turn the apples into the caramel to coat all around and let the excess drip off. Dip the bottoms into the chopped nuts. Arrange the apples on parchment paper or waxed paper on a baking sheet and let cool.

Funnel Cakes are a Pennsylvania Dutch treat that probablyoriginated in Germany, and they are one of my favorite fairfoods, along with Elephant Ears!  Both can be topped withpreserves, pie filling, jam, honey or cinnamon sugar.

Funnel Cakes

1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk, or more as needed
Oil for frying
Confectioners' sugar
medium sized funnel

Into a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.In another bowl, blend together the egg that you'vebeaten, and 2/3 cup milk.   Add to the dry ingredients.Beat until smooth. The batter should be similar to pancake batter-add more milk if needed.  Add oneinch of cooking oil to a large high sided skillet or pan.Heat to a temperature of 375 F.  Cover the small hole of a clean funnel with your finger.  Fill the funnel with the batter.  Carefully move your finger away from the hole in the funnel, allowing the batter to flow into the skillet.  Move the funnel to form patterns with the battergoing in a circular motion. Fry until golden brown, about 1 or 2 minutes, turning once with large tongs. Remove to paper toweling to drain. Place on a plate and sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar or at this point you cantop with honey, maple syrup or other fruit fillings.  Serve hot.  Repeat the process until all of the batter is used up. 

Elephant Ears

2 packages yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warmed milk
5 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons sugar
8 cups flour
oil for frying 

Mix all ingredients well, and let dough rise for 40 minutes.  Punch down and refrigerate until chilled. Break off into walnut size balls and flatten out dough into large circle. Gather up dough on one side and pinch, forming a shape similar to an elephant ear.Place on a clean tea towel and cover.  Repeat with remaining dough. Deep fry one at a time in 1 1/2 inch  oil. Fry on both sides, flipping with tongs. Drain on paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. NOTES:  You can cheat on this one and buy the frozen dinner rolls such as Rhodes. Thaw andallow the dough to rise before rolling out. 

About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three, living inthe midwest United States. She is also a freelancewriter and editor of Old Fashioned Living. Sign up forher free newsletters here


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