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NM State Fair stories

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Larry Greenly

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NM State Fair stories

by Larry Greenly » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:12 am

I went to see my aunt at her food stand today and scored a couple of fair stories.

I was chatting with my aunt outside her food stand near the counter where she sells roasted corn and keeps all the condiments. A woman suddenly shows up with some Frilly Fries and wants to apply some ketchup.

Woman: "What brand of ketchup is this?"

Aunt: "Hunts."

Me (I can't help myself): "Is that spelled with a 'C' or a 'K?'"

Woman: "I'd like a corn."

Aunt hands woman the corn.

Woman: "Do you have some butter?"

Aunt: "It's already buttered."

Woman: "This corn isn't very hot."

Aunt: "I'll get you another one."

Woman: "Do you have some extra butter?"

Aunt: "Here's a cup with butter."

Woman: "Are these salted?"

Aunt: "We don't put any seasoning on them."

Woman: "You mean I have to put salt on myself?"

Me: "For an extra dollar, I'll put salt on for you."

The woman pours an absolute avalanche of salt on the corn, completely covering it. Then she takes a napkin, rubs the salt off onto the counter, and leaves.

**************

Every fair I cooked at, there would be one or two people who would bring back hamburgers saying they weren't cooked enough or saying that they were raw.

Today was no exception. A woman brought her cheeseburger back saying it was "raw." I looked at the bite she had taken out of it and it was gray completely through. My cousin tried to convince the woman that it was, indeed, cooked but the woman said she lived on a farm and knew raw meat when she saw it. It was not undercooked; the hamburger had been grilled to no pink and then held in hot water for up to 30 minutes. It was definitely cooked throughout.

On those occasions when I was still cooking at the fair, if a person brought back a burger claiming it wasn't done (and it was), I'd hold the patty with tongs in the deep fryer for a while until it was very done. Never heard a complaint afterwards. Maybe they were Texans, who like their meat well-done.

And if you wonder why fair food costs so much, the rental price for the space alone is unbelievable. A typical corner trailer space can go for $11,000. My aunt's space went up an additional $2500 last year because she had unfurled a canopy over her window and the fair personnel measured the additional couple of feet and charged her accordingly.

My aunt told me that one stand that sold turkey legs was upped to $17,000 for the space. The owner opted out and the fair had to settle for someone else for only $7000. Greed.

Then there's food and supplies costs, employee wages, state taxes, and the percentage taken off the cash register sales. That's why a drink costs $3.

Oh, and a bit of advice. The ketchup was Costco's brand and, if asked, the cooking oil is "Canola." Tell 'em what they want to hear. So remember that.
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Jenise

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Re: NM State Fair stories

by Jenise » Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:49 pm

Fun stories--what a lot of fun threads you started, matter of fact!

So what besides salt does your aunt offer with the corn? I remember seeing powdered red and green chile offered at a stand in Santa Fe.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Larry Greenly

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Re: NM State Fair stories

by Larry Greenly » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:29 pm

Let's see what I can remember: salt, sugar, lemon pepper, Frank's hot sauce, seasoned salt and...my memory fails me.

One year we were selling some really great corn--a butter and cream variety--that was super sweet and tender. A lady brought her ear back, demanding a refund. Turns out she would only eat yellow corn or white corn, not a corn that's a mix of the two. Takes all kinds.

I suppose the reason I started so many threads--besides trying to entice people to post more--is that I'm procrastinating from doing what I really should be doing.
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Re: NM State Fair stories

by Jenise » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:30 pm

I'm familiar with that form of procrastination. Too familiar. :)

But about the corn..sugar? People sprinkle sugar on corn? That's a surprise.

Hey, the chiles came today! They're perfect, really beautiful. So we're having a chile roasting party tomorrow with a full Southwestern menu including corn on the cob, beans, sweet-chipotle marinated pork tenderloin, etc. Oh, and margaritas. Will you be home next week? If so, I'll be mailing your check and a bit of local refreshment on Monday.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: NM State Fair stories

by Larry Greenly » Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:52 am

I can't afford to go anywhere, so I'll be home.

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