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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Garlic Festival

For those of you who live in a community where there is a devote love of the annual state fair - I finally understand. I live in Minnesota and we are proud of our annual State Fair (which starts tomorrow 8/26/2010). I must say that even as a child I was never a huge fan of the fair. Let me take that back it was something to do and when I was in junior high and high school there was the possibility of meeting boys so that was a bonus to hangin at the fair. It wasn't with the horticulture building or animal barn, nor with the farming machinery - though I did enjoy checking out the new cars and the technology building. I also wasn't interested in the fried food, but I allotted myself 2 - 3 chocolate shakes from the dairy barn, but made sure to eat nothing else.
(picture from 2 years ago - pickle on a stick)

The Minnesota State Fair is well known for its butter sculptures, 4-H projects, concerts, huge hogs, and its midway among many other fascinating foods that come on sticks. The talk the last few weeks when mentioning the fair is always about what the person is planning on eating - corn dogs, foot longs, mini donuts, cheese curds, funnel cakes, deep fried candy bars on sticks, deep fried bacon on a stick, beer on a stick...

In the last 10 years I have probably attended the fair twice. It just doesn't thrill me like it does others. However, I have now found my very own equivalent - the Garlic Festival in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Woot! I cannot tell you enough how much I love garlic and attending a county fair dedicated to its stinky-ness is quite the treat for me.

Not only is Garlic EVERYWHERE at this fair. There is also food friendly options for dairy-free/gluten-free types - Garlic Ice Cream, Corn on the Cob with Garlic butter, Tofu Coconut Curry, Pulled Pork with Garlic Aioli, etc. The food at this fair comes from sustainable farmers and local restaurants like Birchwood, Brasa, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Common Roots. Just typing that gets me salivating! It is like a farmers market and a fair rolled into one.

Last year, I purchased some delicious gluten-free noodles from Vintage Farmer. I am not the biggest pasta fan, but these noodles were delicious. I served them at an impromptu dinner party for a few GF/DF friends and we were all really impressed. I made a point to track her down. I picked up a few more packages this year and I am waiting to break them out on a rainy day I don't feel like cooking.

(Last year's photo)

The Garlic Festival also had fabulous events for the kiddies - bowling with gigantic zucchinis, belly dancing lessons, storytelling, kite and mask making

For the adults there were cooking presentations from the awesome chefs of Birchwood, Brasa, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Common Roots, Lucia's and more.

I have several amazing friends who were working the Garlic Fair too:

Maggie and Sarah of SimplyNeutral, showcasing their AMAZINGLY clean, green and safe household cleaning products. (I love the laundry detergent and the scrub - works great on my porcelain tub and sink).

We also chatted with my friend Melissa Shelton, DVM from Crow River Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic. We both love young living essential oils for the furry friends and the multitude of uses that these powerful oils have against bugs, ticks, fleas as well as reducing stress in pets or even kennel cough or pink eye.

Garlic Festival was a blast this year and I hope you consider taking a trip to Hutchinson next year. Here are a few more pictures of the festivities.

(Garlic wheel)

(honey bees)


Tracy said...

Looks like you have a lot of fun!

You know, I still do not know how to use or prepare garlic. You make me worry that I am missing out on some fabulous flavor.

sarahsic said...

This festival looks awesome! I have always wanted to try garlic ice cream...maybe next year.

I must confess, I LOVE the State Fair. I love everything about it...including the DNR building.

This year I am planning on taking my time looking a quilts, jams, chickens or rabbits, ride the big slide (never done it even though I've been to the fair pretty much every year I have been alive, including as a fetus), honey bee exhibits and hopefully do a Minnesota wine flight again. CANNOT WAIT!

Jilliebeanie said...

I sort of with you on the State Fair...like it, don't really LOVE it.

This garlic fest though...THAT could very well be right up my alley! YUM!

MulberryMary said...

@Tracy - We must get you experimenting with Garlic. How about pesto or hummus?

@Sarah - You make the State Fair sound like a ton of fun!

@Jill - Try going to both and comparing. After reading about all the things that Sarah is looking forward to I might have to try it out again with open eyes!!!

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