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September 7, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Some fair food you can make at home

NEW CASTLE — Sure signs that summer is almost over — school and football have started, and county fairs and baseball are preparing to close down another season.

While I’m reluctant to let go of my favorite time of year, I am glad I was able to make it to two county fairs this year.

What is it about fair food? The aromas of sausage and onions cooking and chicken barbecuing as you stare down stand after stand of lemon shakes, candied apples and fudge are enough to smash to bits any sensible daily eating plan.

I haven’t seen this concession stand around here yet but I heard about a state fair in Florida that offers a cheeseburger topped with deep-fried ice cream. I guess that sweet/salty thing always appeals. The Ohio State Fair’s chocolate-covered banana on a stick was extremely popular, and deep-fried butter balls were a hit at the Montana State Fair last year.

But these events only are only here once a year.

While fairs have traditionally been known for one thing — take just about anything, fry it and people will try it — changes have been made for healthier ways to eat and still enjoy the surroundings.

Nah, let’s face it. People go to fairs with the intention of eating what they normally would never try at home.

Because I missed the much-talked-about pumpkin funnel cakes at the Lawrence County Fair, I made it a point to hunt them down last week at Canfield. This is one treat that can be made at home and it’s not difficult, either. The sausage sandwiches are an at-home winner, too.

Stepping away from fair food for a moment, included this week also is a recipe for a spaghetti dish that’s not exactly low in calories but scores mega points for taste. And because, I attended a seven-year-old’s birthday party a few weekends ago and there were cupcakes, Culinary Conversation has a recipe for those, too.

Hopefully, there’s something for everyone this week. Fair enough?

If not, here’s your chance to be a guest contributor.

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