Monday, August 08, 2005

Cookin No. 13 - The State Fair

Music fest has come to town, and as a local, I fled Bethlehem as the hordes of tourists came in to see the show. Music fest usually means slow traveling around the city, It means that you probably won’t be able to get to your favorite restaurant, and that you won’t be able to find a parking spot. Music fest means a week at home, staying out of sight and relaxing. So this weekend was relaxing at the lake, and the weather was great. We had planned on having a Tuscan dish for an early dinner, and then head out to the Sussex county fair for some hick fun. Although everyone decided that they would rather eat fair food, so dinner was cancelled. My friend and I enjoyed a tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich by the lake before we jumped in for a swim. After the swim we headed out to the fair. The dish was supposed to be tuna, with red onion, brochette and canolini beans with sage. It’s a easy and quick dish to put together, and very refreshing in the summer. I first experienced it in the town of Luca, Italy, where I also had my first bite of real parmesan cheese, oh what a delightful dinner that was.

Tuscan Tuna:

One can of Progresso Tuna in Oil, per person
1 red onion
A couple of sprigs of sage
Olive oil
Canolini beans
Fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar

The beans:

Rinse the beans and in a bowl toss with olive oil, and chopped sage. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let chill in the refrigerator.

The Brochette:

Dice the tomato, a real feat I know, but do your best. Mix the tomatoes with chopped basil, vinegar, olive oil, pinch of salt, pepper, and finely chopped garlic. Cut the bread into slices, and place on a baking sheet. Spoon the tomatoes onto the bread and then cover with shredded mozzarella. Set into preheated oven at 350o until they are golden.


Open can of tuna, squeeze out some of the oil, scoop tuna onto plate, and put a slice of red onion over it.

Then finish the plate off with the Brochette and beans.

Eat and be merry.

I will have to make this dish soon so that I can show you what it looks like.

Onto the fair:

I really enjoyed the vegetable competition; some of the veggies were so amazing looking. Like a rippled tomato, I had never seen a tomato that looked like that, and baskets of the most amazing looking vegetables, made me just want to take one home and start cooking. There was also a flower show, and some of the arrangements were just gorgeous, I saw the perfect roses, they looked like they would taste delicious, perfect sunflowers that breathed warmth into the air, and other vibrant colors.

After looking at the horticulture we moved on towards the food tents, and saw a vendor that was making ice cream on the spot. They has redesigned a John Deere engine from 1903 to churn ice cream, it made quite a bit of noise, and we just had to try the ice cream. I had vanilla and peach, which were very good, but not as good at the purple cow in Easton. We were also going to watch some cows get milked, but moved on before the show started. There were rows of prize winning beef cattle, and I kept looking at them thinking, “my god, I’m looking my food in the eye”, it was a little hard to stay around them. The impersonal ness of a slab of meat, and meeting the source, is kind of daunting. But I survived.

The best part of the day was the demolition derby though. No food involved, but highly entertaining. I had never experienced one before, and this being my first time, I loved it. I never thought watching beat up cars smashing into each other would be considered entertainment, but I was unlike anything I had ever seen. I found myself rooting for cars with funny paint jobs, and actually being disappointed when my car lost. It was a true test of machine against machine. We were sitting so close that we got sprayed with dirt, and I didn’t even care.

And now, I am sitting back, thinking about what to make for dinner, maybe I’ll find some ripe tomatoes and see what happens.

Bon Appetite


Blogger Cate said...

I've never been to MusicFest, but I'd imagine for you as a local, it's tiresome with all the extra traffic. We go to Bethlehem every year for Chriskindlmarkt though ... actually almost bought a house in Bethlehem a few years ago...

12:41 PM  

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