Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A (half) Day at the Big E.

What was anticipated to be a typical Monday morning filled with typical things like coffee, a run, ride or gym workout, and a trip to Big E's for bananas and other ice cream shop sundries, turned out to be a completely spontaneous trip to the 'real' Big E, the Eastern States Exposition. If you're a western Mass'er, I'm sure you've at least heard of the biggest fair this side of the Mississippi (I'm guessing). Chances are, you've walked through the state buildings, checked out the 4H contests involving prize sheep, cows, and other fun farm animals, and perhaps even ridden a ride or two on the midway.

If you've been reading the ICD for a while, you might remember last year's Big E adventure. Bre introduced me to what the Big E really is all about. Food. Bad for you food. And plenty of it.

Well, today's morning jaunt with Bre to the E was no exception. It all started with a giant baked baked potato from the good state of Maine. Loaded like the last guy out of the Brass Cat on a Tuesday night. Breakfast of Champs indeed.

Course two immediately followed, just next door in the Vermont building. Homemade apple pie. Ala mode, of course. The Vermont cheddar cheese option is also darn good, but in the spirit of my livelihood, I opted for the homemade vanilla ice cream as the topper.

Don't mind my pasty white skin. No hiding how much I worked this summer. Not to mention it was freezing at the fair, my hoodie offering no assistance as it sat safely tucked away in the car.

The third 'must stop' food stop involves maple cotton candy in the New Hampshire building. Mmm. Almost makes me want to add a cotton candy maker to the shop's arsenal.

Ok, I'm full now. Time to check out the non-food faire at the fair.

New this year, sea lions. Cool.

I felt like one of these after our feast in the foodway.

Runts rule.

Like working in a tollbooth I suppose but without the fumes. And lemonier.

Perhaps a more tender scene from a Cormac McCarthy novel, steers in love...

Oxen pull competition in the coliseum building, cool stuff. Makes me glad to not be a pulling horse though. I can think of easier ways to earn your hay, even if you mostly work in ten second bursts.
Don't worry, I wasn't this close to the llama in the petting zoo. Zoomed and cropped and nobody got hurt.
baaah.I knew there had to be something sculpted out of butter at this year's fair. Sure enough. A little tough to see with the refection, but I suppose some might say it adds an artistic touch to the image. But then again, it is just a giant cow made of butter, sitting in a refrigerated case.

Well, there you have it, a few highlights from this year's Big E visit. It's open until the 28th, so gather up your family or friends and check it out. Good fun. You may need to eat salads for the next week to recover your insides from the 'not so good for you but still good' food, but a lot of fun to be had.

And so with that last thought, I leave you with a hearty plateful of cheese curds. They may not sound like heaven in a basket, but I must admit they are to die for (ironic), and if they don't completely put you over the edge will be the thing you look forward to most between now and next year's fair.


TC said...

I haven't been to the Big E in years.
Do they still have the Clam Fritters in the Rhode Island capital building? Those were the best.

Jim Ingram said...

Didn't notice, will leave room for that next year and report back.