Before I start, let me say that the scale was not kind this morning. I'm hoping it's partly the salt, but I'll also say that you couldn't pay me to count yesterday's calories. I just don't want to know. But they were all worth it.
I've been toying with the idea of joining the WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) bloggers. I like what I eat, therefore I'd like to share it. But somehow photographing it is easier said than done, especially if 1. you're still in the process of waking up, or 2. you're far too hungry to stop for a photo (and my phone has an annoying delay in the camera app). Yesterday I photographed everything I ate, not for WIAW, but because I was at the fair, and my husband was not, and I felt I should document everything so he wouldn't feel sad for missing it. (honestly I think I'm more disappointed than he is that he couldn't go, but still. One thing to note- it's much better to go to the fair with someone else, if only to have an extra set of hands to hold all the stuff you're buying).
When we go to the Big E, there is a very strict order. Usually we get there early, when only some things are open, but this time I had an alarm malfunction (if you get one of those app notifications at the same time your alarm goes off, and you're still half asleep, it's not possible to snooze the alarm, only to turn it off. So I was about 2 hours behind schedule), so I was able to start in immediately.
I wait all year for this, my absolute favorite fair foods.
Normally we split this bag of clam fritters, but since I was alone, I had to do my best on my own. I ended up saving about half the bag for dinner (heated up in the oven- not bad, but not nearly as good as when they were fresh)
Next, we go to the Massachusetts building and have a healthy snack. Mom usually gets some chocolate milk too, but I still had my Del's so I was good.
These cups of raspberries are $1 each- kind of expensive for what you get, but then, it's the fair.
I also get some bread in MA, from the Pittsfield Rye bakery. They advertise "buy 1 get 1 free" at the fair, but each loaf is $7 so that's not a good buy! It's not bad though, so I got harvest pumpkin and purple wheat.
Here's the pumpkin loaf cut- it doesn't look overly pumpkinny (nor does it taste overly pumpkinny) but it smells pumpkinny and it is pretty good.
After Massachusetts is Maine, home of the baked potato with insane lines. For a baked potato! I'll never get over this. Maine also has lobster rolls and blueberry pie, both of which I passed on. I was still full from the fritters!
Then it's on to Vermont for Cold Hollow Mill cider. I didn't used to get this unless it was chilly and I needed a warm drink, but now that I moved south I can't get CHM cider any time I want. It's not cheap, this cup was $3.75, but so tasty (so tasty that I had to fight off a yellow jacket as I walked 10 feet between the VT and CT buildings).
Then it's CT but I don't get food there- HOWEVER. I saw they had Avery's Sodas and they had a PUMPKIN PIE SODA. swoon. $2.50 a bottle though, and I just wanted to take it home, not drink it, so I decided I'd try to find some at a grocery store somewhere.
Last up is NH, where they have soups and apple things, but again, still full from fritters, Del's and apple cider. So I took all my purchases to the car (that bread was heavy!) and started in on the rest of the fair.
I was tempted to see the unicorn cow, and it was only $1, but I didn't want to support a carny showing off what's probably just a cow that lost one horn.
Every New England fall fair needs giant pumpkins...
I really enjoyed both of these wineries. Amherst Farm Winery is located in Amherst, MA, probably about an hour from me. Zoll Cellars is located in Shrewsbury, about 10 minutes from me. I've never heard of either winery, but now I'm definitely planning to visit both! I told both of them where I worked, so we chatted for a few minutes.
Amherst Farm served Red Rooster, Pear, Sangria and Chocolate Raspberry, all very tasty
Zoll Cellars served two different reds, a Vidal dessert wine and a dry Riesling
I went to the Grange Building, where they have a craft show set up, little crafts and homemade jellies to buy and a quilt raffle. We're members of the Grange so we always go, and we always buy a little something, usually little handmade Christmas ornaments- nothing special, they're usually cheap acrylic yarn and that plastic needlepoint canvas. But they're cheap and they're cute, and I'm happy to give them my money.
The Grange Building is just across the street from the state buildings, so back I went! They really are the best part of the Big E.
I decided it was time for lunch, so I stopped at the BBQ place in back of Maine for a pork parfait (beans on the bottom, pulled pork on top, very rich and indulgent and enormous- I might bring tupperware next time I go so I don't have to throw out what I can't finish) and a Long Trail Blackberry Wheat beer in VT- for Clint's sake, since he wasn't there (not that he would get Blackberry Wheat).
And then I finish it all and wish I'd bought more. Normally I get a set for me, and a set for Clint, but this year he said he was fine without, so I kind of got one and a half sets. You know next week I'm going to be very sorry I didn't get a full set for him that I could then eat!
For the rest of the week I'll enjoy a Big E breakfast- the Pittsfield Bakery pumpkin bread with Twin Pines Farm (from the CT building, I always like to buy the local agriculture booth of the day's items) pumpkin butter (which is super yum, I need to make some this year).