Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Big Fun at the Fair: Those Poor, Delicious Animals

Warning: If you are really upset by caged and/or delicious animals, this is not the blog post for you.  Go away.  Shoo.

We went to the County Fair this weekend.  The fair goes on for a whole fun-filled week, so rest assured we're not done.  We haven't even been to a rodeo yet.  Sadly, there was no fried beer.  Obviously the County Fair is the poor country cousin to the Big Tex state fair.  Sigh...

There was nonfried beer, however.  And margaritas.  But of course I couldn't drink because we took two cars in case anyone freaked out.  With our family, and that much sensory input, it's a possibility that any one of us could lose our minds at any given moment.  Except maybe The Absent-Minded Professor.  He's fine with lights and noises and crowds as long as he doesn't have to talk to anyone.  If he has to make chit-chat with people, we're screwed.

Anyway, we eased our way into this.  Little Dude freaked out almost immediately, even though we went through this really uncrowded area first, with animals and other farmish stuff to look at.  There was a very soothing display about rice.  I find rice to be the least threatening of the gluten-free starches, don't you?

But then the cow mooed and Little Dude lost his freaking mind.

It was a pretty lazy moo, as moos go.  I think the cow was pretty resigned at that point:  

It either had a pollen allergy or it was crying.  So, so wrong.

Little Dude wanted to go home, but we were able to calm him down with a lemonade in the shade with just Daddy, while the girls and I looked at more animals.  Then we switched so he and I could sit in the shade and watch daddy and the girls go on the merry-go-round.

We watched from a very safe distance.  Incredibly, Little Dude decided he wanted to go on it with me, as long as we could sit in one of the sleigh seats and not on a pony.  It was his first ride ever, and he loved it.

I, on the other hand, became nauseous, because the older I get, the more problematic my vestibular suckishness is.  I am now so lame that a merry-go-round is just too much excitement for me.

After discovering that he liked the merry-go-round, Little Dude became all kinds of fired up about the fair.  He went on a little train that gently chugged along a 40-foot track.  He also went down the Fun Slide (with his daddy).  The Fun Slide was fun except that Daddy weighs more than the average eight-year-old, so they went really fast.  In an effort to keep a death grip on Little Dude, the Absent-Minded Professor took a pretty nasty elbow burn.  Little Dude got a little bit hurt too, but by then he was wound up like a cheap clock, screaming, "Again! Again! Let's go again!"

There's a limit to how much Fun Slide of Doom I can handle, so we decided it was time for some shade and the Swine Show.  Not just any Swine Show, mind you.  The Class A Swine Show.  I can't be bothered with lesser swine. We enjoyed that quite a bit, because nobody loves bacon like my family.  We judged the pigs on how delicious they looked and whether we liked what their owners were wearing.  The actual judge had some other criteria, which we didn't understand.  We nodded sagely anyway.  Ah, yes.  The musculature.

Obviously, after seeing a trapped, crying cow and a bunch of hogs trotting around, we were hungry for some meat, so we hit the food area.

I am devastated to report that there were no fried Pop-Tarts, fried Snickers bars, fried chocolate, or fried butter.  Darn.

There were corn dogs, which Cookie adores, although not so much after having a mild round of stomach ick later that night.  Word to the wise: Corn dogs are called "corny dogs" here in Texas.  Another word to the wise: a giant fried hot dog on a stick is not the healthiest choice for a nine-year-old who's been out in the sun all afternoon.

The rest of us had cheeseburgers and hotdogs.  That didn't seem Texan enough to me, so I also ordered a Frito Pie.

If you're looking for a food that doubles as occupational therapy for people with Sensory Processing Disorder, Frito Pie is perfect.  It's a gooey mess, but it's so salty-spicy-cheesy-crunchy-gooey good that even the most tactile-defensive kid will want more.  And then scream every. single. time. he gets some goo on his fingers.

I assume that helps build up tolerance, right?  I mean, he kept eating it.  I know there are some OTs that read my blog; I hope you're taking notes.  Although if a person has a textural issue with foods, than this might not be the right activity.  Except that it's delicious.  So maybe it would get them to eat some new textures.  Because who doesn't like chili and melted, processed cheez on top of salty corn chips?

For those of you playing along at home: pretty sure it's just a bunch of Fritos with a can of Hormel and some Cheez Whiz on top.  Or you can go all fancy and do it Emeril style.  I would do that except I hate to cook and Emeril freaks me out. 


  1. Too funny! I love the cow picture! That is sooooo wrong! But funny.

  2. Now I am craving Frito pie and I have never ever experience it. But I'm thinking that this weekend it's going to be tried...Mmmmmm...

  3. Lol, this so reminds me of our trips the fair, which oddly enough closely resembles our trip to Wal-mart. It never fails, someone goes into sensory overload...and too many times it's me! :-P

  4. P..S. here in Ohio we call Frito pie Texas straw hat: -)

  5. love my frito pie with fixin's: onion, few slices of black olives and a touch of sour cream. Yummmmmy.

  6. That cow comment was HYSTERICAL and the picture just solidified it! So freakin'funny! My kids are totally texture terrors, too! (Wow, that;s a lot of T's) I don't think the babies would have EVER touched the frito thingy! What a brave boy!

  7. I know -- between the rides and the gooey food, I was SO proud of him. He's still worried about the rodeo, because of the rodeo clowns. Damn clowns.

  8. I was soooo glad you told us what Frito pie (never heard of it in PA) is because I was totally grossed out by the picture...it really looked to me like meat, gooey meat with the white stuff being fat! Maybe it was all that talk about cows and pigs, but after looking at it again and again, I could only see gooey meat with white fat! So glad to know you weren't eating that!

  9. SubHub refuses all fairs, probably for all the reasons you state, including the merry-go-round. (he says, "You have to do that." Which is code for, "I'm gonna barf if I go on that, so rather than look like a weenie, I'm going to walk away and get a slushy so I don't compromise my manhood in front of a bunch of preschoolers.")

    Although, the Frito pie might make him change his mind.

  10. Well, I understand that! Blek! Clowns = freaks = scary - not intending to offend any clowns, I promise. Maybe it's the big, red, frowning mouths and the sharp teeth, I don't know....

    Bwahahaha, Submommy!!! Your poor hubs!

  11. @Trina: Frito pie with fixin's is called a Petro where I grew up, and someone brilliant figured out you could make them RIGHT IN THE BAG by taking Fritos snack bags, turning them sideways, and slitting the other side. Makes them so you can walk around the Fair holding them...

    BTW, I have friends who would send their hubs out on a Petro run at 2 am while they were pregnant...

  12. I needed a warning there was a mention of food before reading because as a pregnant woman I am now craving Frito pie. Like really bad. LOL

    Anyway. Love, the cow picture. I shouldn't. But I do. It's just so Texas.

    But most important - How awesome Little Dude ended up having so much fun! Yay!!

  13. Oh! And why the heck does Emeril have a Frito Pie recipe?! You can't fancy up something like that!

  14. I attended the Texas State Fair this weekend and sampled quite a bit of the fried flavors. Fried Frito Pie was one of them! Also had fried PB&J, fried bacon (DELICIOUS!), fried margarita, fried butter and fried grilled cheese with tomato soup. While we were tasting the fried margarita, some well-meaning fair-goers warned us to stay away from the fried beer, that it was awful! Based on how the margarita tasted, we heeded their warning. Yuck. I've got pictures of our culinary adventures on my FB page, SRMM. (Not sure if you can see fan's photos on their pages or not, but I'd be happy to email if you'd like.)

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE Frito pie! Yes, any can of chili over some fritos will do. Although my favorite is made with homemade chili - but that doesn't stop me from eating it using the can stuff. Wolf Brand chili is my favorite canned chili.

    And I like corn dogs too - but only at the fair! :) And I've lived in Texas my entire life and I've never said "corny dog" - so it's not a requirement to live here. But saying "y'all" is a requirement. :)

    Which county fair did y'all go to?

  16. I love Frito pie! Yum! I do hate touching it though, so I use a spork. Lame I know.

    I'm impressed that Little Dude did so well. I can't go to the fair when it's super busy because crowds and loud noises get to me too.

  17. In Iowa, we call Frito pie Hay Stacks...because it's Iowa and we're amazingly lame like that. @ Mary aka Willis that scrumptious concoction you speak of is known as the walking taco and they actually serve that at school here pretty frequently which I find horrific. Here in Iowa we have a pretty rock star state fair I must say and this year I let the husband talk me into a jumbo corn dog. I...could...not...do...it. It was so insanely huge that I felt like they had just hand dipped Piglet himself in beer batter and fried him up for my enjoyment. Think I'll stick to the blooming onion!

    Glad little dude did so well!

  18. Mmmmm! Displaced Texan (now in Chicago) here, pregnant and now craving Frito pie! When I read your previous post about the Fair, I thought, "Forget all the fried crap, the best thing at any Texas event in the Fall is always the Frito pie." Yummy stuff!

  19. Just started reading your blog and I love it! funny, so true with the sensory stuff......my little girl with 18p syndrome had a very similar fair experiance as your little dude. So happy to hear he enjoyed it after watching from a "safe" distance....my little girl did too!

  20. Little Dude rocks! And so do you SRMM! I'm so glad for you all to have had such a fun outing. The frito pie is a little gross looking. We raised our daughter in Iowa and when I was a Girl Scout leader we made walking tacos all the time. It's easy, fry off some ground meat and spice with taco seasoning, open a small bag of fritos and spoon in some of the meat and top with lettuce, tomato and grated cheese. Yummy and no weird textures. We'd eat with a spoon. Can't wait to hear how your next adventure at the fair goes. Good luck!

  21. I have never heard of Frito Pie.... but from the looks and sounds of it, if you love it, you have GOT TO try poutine. You most likely have never heard of it, because it is a specialty from Québec, Canada. French people (and all who visit) LOVE it. I moved to Quebec from Ontario (Canada) 6 years ago and was addicted right away.....It is french fries slathered with gravy and cheese curds (or mozzarella cheese if you don't have cheese curds). There are also variations such as italian poutine which is spaghetti sauce and cheese curds on fries. There is also chicken poutine which is the fries, gravy, cheese curds and chicken. These are the most popular variations, but there are many many more. Trust me....if you love the frito pie, poutine is for you....and maybe even Little Dude!!!


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