Fried Green Jello

Yes, indeed, we were lured to the Utah State Fair today by the promise of deep fried green jello. (I reckon that once you mastered the process of frying jello—a challenging concept in itself!—you could fry ANY color of jello but, as we’ve recently found out, green jello is a particular Utah treasure so it makes more sense than it might first seem.)

So, we picked up our dear friends, Chris and Louise, this morning, dropped Mom at the wonderful Adult Day Care program she goes to, and drove the few blocks from there to the fair grounds.  We actually had a fine time at the fair (pix and more details to follow) but I’ll just get the bad news over with right away— we never did find the fried green jello vendor.  We even asked, a lot, and no one seemed to know.

When we got home—before I wrote this and exposed my possible ignorance—I Googled it just in case it was all a hoax that we had fallen for. But, no, there are reputable news reports that there really was someone selling fried green jello (along with fried Snickers bars, cheesecake, and other similar delicacies) but we just apparently missed him. Drat.

We did manage to get my long longed-for corn-dog (you know, the real thing, deep fried, not one of those microwave phonies) which is admittedly an odd thing to long for.  I haven’t had—or even thought about—corn dogs for many, many years, but it was one of the absolute key “fair foods” when I was growing up and went to the Louisiana State Fair with my family. And, as you know if you’re a regular reader here, when we went to the 4th of July celebration locally, it brought back all those memories and developed into a craving.  What can I say—these things happen.

I also had a really delish lamb gyro and a Dr. Pepper—also something I haven’t thought of, nor consumed, in probably forty years.  And Louise and David both ate some outstanding homemade-style ice-cream.

Butter Sculpture!

So, did we do something other than eat at the fair? Yes we did!  We enjoyed the exhibits of surprisingly good “fine art” (as distinct from “craft” type of arts) and the pretty darn amazing butter sculpture.  The sculpture was actually still being worked on, and the sculptor returned to work just as we passed by. I would imagine that working in what is essentially a huge refrigerator must make it a slow process, requiring a pretty good number of warming-up breaks!

The “creative arts” (or “crafts”) areas had everything from horrifying kitsch to some really astounding examples of craftsmanship, even aside from the butter sculpture. We saw some fine examples of woodworking, for example.

Impressive woodworking

 

 

We four were unified in our NON-interest in riding any of the rides and our interest in checking out the livestock barns. (Yes, possibly odd for us folks who have never owned a cow or goat, but still interesting to us all.) We learned about the

Cute little Dexter cows

Dexter cow, a heritage breed making a big comeback as the “family cow”since they’re small, cheerfully mannered, and cute as a bug. After seeing them, the Holsteins seemed positively gargantuan!

Huge Holstein

The sheep were darn cute, although also somehow much bigger than we all expected.

Well-dressed sheep

Most were fashionably dressed and Louise got the prize for correctly guessing why they were so attired (to keep the hay off them until they were judged). And the goats were equally cute, although I’ll just admit right now it’s very hard to take pix of critters at the fair withoutjust getting all backsides and tail ends.  ;-)

In any case, we enjoyed the fair although my research today (looking for documentation of the existence of fried green jello) revealed that we missed some things I wished we’d seen.  Unfortunately, at $10 per admission ticket (well, only $7 for my doddering senior citizen husband!) we’ll probably wait until next year and try again.

I also went last week to the Swiss Days celebration in Midway, Utah, over in Heber Valley, just a bit beyond Park City and had a fun day with “the girls”—our daughter, Jen, her mother-in-law, Kate, and sister-in-law, Megan.  Good times were had by all.

Before that, Chris and Louise took us about an hour north of here to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge where we spent a truly delightful morning. More on that in a soon follow-up posting.

In the meantime, should you find yourself faced with deep-fried green jello, please report back!

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10 Responses to Fried Green Jello

  1. Martha B. Higgins says:

    Arden, I just love reading your observations of everyday things, so entertaining. As an avid bird watcher, I await your details of the migratory bird trip!

    • arden says:

      Hi, Martha,

      Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, “blogging” is funny since most of what you write about is pretty mundane stuff, but hopefully folks find it entertaining! The bird sanctuary was a great trip and this being the season of migrating, I think we’ll try to go back again very soon and just see what has changed. So, stay tuned — more info and pictures to come! Hope all is well there with you.

      –arden–

  2. I remember when Oprah did her show from a State Fair and sampled the corn dogs and fried Snickers bars. But no fried green jello there either. I did get a little excited about the lamb gyro, but the rest, not so much! :)

    • arden says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      Yeah, we were both dismayed *and* relieved not to have found the jello — we’d committed ourselves to buying one just to try it! I would agree, most fair food can be avoided without any real loss — the corn dog thing is a childhood memory (it actually *was* tasty though) and the gyro isn’t even something I associate with the state fair, but was darn tasty too. Nice to hear from you!

      –arden–

  3. Ardis says:

    After reading about the fair corndogs, I think I’m going to have to break tradition and go to the Louisiana State Fair this year to get one. When I was a child my parents would give me $2 if they didn’t have to take me to the fair, but when I was old enough to go with friends the corndogs were a regular event. Thanks for the memories!

    • arden says:

      Hi, Ardis,

      Yeah, although I remember going to the fair as a teenager with friends, going as a family is one of my strong childhood memories and the corndogs were a vivid part of that memory. Great to “see” you here!

      –arden–

  4. Louise (as in "our dear friends, Chris and Louise") says:

    “My” favorite experience at the fair, was learning that there is a breed of sheep which have no ears! Don’t know if there are multiple breeds, but these guys had no ears as we all know them, just little curls covering their ear-holes! Didn’t think to get a photo.

    • arden says:

      Hola, Louisa,

      You know, I actually TRIED to get a picture of those tiny little “rosebud ears” on those guys, but never did seem to get one that was any good. There’s always next year! (And now, at least, I know what vendor has the fried green jello, so we’ll know who we’re looking for! There will be no escaping it.) See you soon!

      –arden–

  5. Bill Webster says:

    Arden, your fair tale reminds Gloria & me of Susie, the New Hampshire red chicken with whom I won first prize at the Cortland County Fair in NYS. Susie required, in the estimation of this young 4-H’er, a toothbrush. I used it and some mineral oil to brush her legs and feet every day in preparation for the fair judges. While other chickens flapped their wings and let the feathers fly when the judge picked them up, Susie snuggled up peacefully for her examination. Better yet, Susie laid her first ever egg the day she won the blue ribbon. She picked up second prize at the NYS fair, too. Thanks for the reminder.

    • arden says:

      Hi, Bill,

      How great to hear from you and “see” you here! Sounds like Susie was definitely a prize gal. ;-) We hadn’t been to a state/county fair in many years, so are now looking even more forward to our own county fair next year (which we’d inadvertently let slide past us this year). Hope all is well there with you all. Hugs to all.

      –arden–

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