Happy Fri-yay!

In case you haven’t noticed, we are almost halfway through the year (I know you just checked the calendar). Hopefully you are somewhere that isn’t unbearably hot yet. The Central Valley has had a lovely week of temperate weather, albeit extremely windy at night. Next week will be higher than normal, with the projection of 111 on Tuesday (ugh!). I will be staying inside as much as possible, and I know the dogs will be happy that I’m still working remotely.

Our area is surrounded by farmers, so we can get a wide variety of fresh produce all year long. I haven’t been able to find ramps or fiddleheads to try to cook with, but I think those are mostly East Coast beauties. The stone fruit is starting to really come into season, so much that I had to completely pick all the fruit off one of the plum trees this week. I already know that I’ll be processing it this weekend into jam, pickles, and at least one pie (or several smaller ones). The second tree will be ready to start picking fruit next week, and the third type will be ready in about a week. Add to that the 40-year-old grapevine is having a bumper crop year, so there will be raisins galore. That will come in handy for my fair entries this fall.

Yes, the Big Fresno Fair will be up and running this October. The competition book went live online last week, and I’ve already started plotting my entries. I think my record for the fair one year was 44 items entered between Home Arts, Fine Arts, and Floriculture buildings. This year should be as hectic as the rest have been, and I am fully prepared to rush out the door and hope paint dries on the way to turn things in. Some things will never change.

I never tell anyone what categories I enter things in until after everything is dropped off. Once that is done and I can find my kitchen again, I put together a “where’s Waldo” score card and post it for anyone that wants to play the home game. The building is fairly large, but the entries are not always grouped together by division and category. Therein lies the fun of hunting for everything. It usually takes us an hour or so to track it all down. All I will tell you is that the goal is to make it this year a memorable one.

Do you enter in your local fair? What are your favorite memories of going to the fair (food, rides, livestock, home arts, etc.)? Let us know in the comments.

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