Our County Fair is fast approaching! My son and I love to enter things in the fair, always hoping for a blue ribbon! He sells Justin's Ranger Cookies at our market and he always tells a joke when you buy a cookie. “Why did the cookie go to the doctor” ? "Because he felt crummy”. He has won a blue ribbon for his cookies, but the customers love his jokes! He is quite the entrepreneur. He is going to sell fish bait (worms) for the campers who come to our produce market. He already sells them fire wood . He is as excited as I am about the Fair, we talk about it all the time. What jams and pickles should mom bring. What should we bake? But there are times when we can't wait to eat funnel cakes , kettle corn, corn dogs,fried Oreos ,let me stop! I have included a few recipes for you to make at home. You don’t have to have a big fancy kettle to make kettle corn . It’s fun and easy. Moms Dill pickles are always a treat, the best I have ever had. And a simple funnel cake recipe. Enjoy! See you at the Fair!
Easy Kettle Corn Recipe
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
*Special Equipment – A large pot with lid
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add popcorn and sugar giving it a quick stir and then cover with lid. Once popcorn starts popping, pick it up and give it a quick shake every few seconds until popping slows down, between 3-4 minutes. Remove immediately from heat and pour into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Do not make the mistake of removing the pot from heat without transferring to a bowl. Due to the high heat of the pot, if you don’t transfer the popcorn it will caramelize and perhaps burn
Keuchels (German Funnel Cake)
Keuchels (KEE-kulls) are wonderful things! They are puffy, round pieces of fried dough which are thick and chewy around the edges and thin and crunchy in the middle. A proper keuchel should be about the size of a luncheon plate and be a lovely, golden brown color. This is an old German recipe, similar to a funnel cake!
1 qt. milk
1 c. sugar
1 stick margarine or butter
Dissolve a yeast cake in ½ c. warm water.
Knead together 8 c. flour and 6 eggs. Add the yeast and the milk mixture. Knead well. Cover and let raise.
Pinch off pieces by the handful and shape into round, flat shapes that are thicker toward the edge and flat toward the middle. Drop into a fryer of hot oil and fry until golden and floating. Drain well and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eating them warm with jam or fresh fruit on top is a real treat.
Mom’s Best Dill Pickles
They are the very best pickles she has ever tasted or made.
3 quarts water
1 quart vinegar
½ cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp alum
Pack 20 to 24 small cucumbers into glass jars. Add 2 cloves of garlic and a head of dill to each jar. Pour the hot brine to fill the jars. Seal and process.
This is excellent with any meat. If you mix equal parts of this and hearty mustard it makes a great glaze for roasts.
Peel 3 oranges and 2 lemons. Cut the peelings into very fine slivers. Combine with 2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.
Remove all pulp from the fruit and add it to the peelings. Blanch and peel 5 ½ pounds of tomatoes and slice.
Combine all ingredients in a kettle and mix lightly. Add a spice bag containing 5 cinnamon sticks and 1 tbsp. cloves. Add 6 cups sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until thick and clear. Ladle into sterile jars and seal. Process 15 minutes.
Green Tomato Relish
This recipe is a great way to use up green tomatoes when the season is coming to an end.
Clean and cut into manageable pieces 5 pounds of green tomatoes. Pack them into sterile jars and to each jar add 1 clove of garlic, a few slices of onion, 1 whole clove and 3-4 dill heads. Place in a large pan:
1 quart of vinegar
1 quart of water
1/3 cup salt
sugar as desired
Simmer for five minutes then pour into the jars over the tomatoes. Seal and process for 20 minutes. These are really delicious!!!