For some, the state fair signifies summer’s last “hurrah.” For me, it means “time to get my serious grub on!” I mean, really, is there anything better than walking around with transportable food and people gawking? I think not. So this year I decided to fire up the grill and get my food comrades fair prepared with a “Food on a Stick” party.
Three great things about this party: 1) clean up is a snap, 2) you can stretch out your food supply and...3) it's food on a stick! How can you go wrong? It's also a fun way to get a little creative without having to go kah-razy.
Most grocery stores carry bamboo skewers for grilling. There's been a great debate about whether to soak them in water before using on a grill so that they won't burn. I've tried both ways, and have seen no difference. They get a little charred on the ends, but still do the job. I've invested in metal skewers because they're reusable and I can get more food stuff on them.
There are also a lot of options for your serving stick. I found these great party forks from Party City
that added some color to the party table. But if you're going for low-key, bamboo forks still bring the food stick fun.
Unless you really want to try your hand at a deep fried candy bar, you can make your food selects and prep super easy. Go for the barbecue standards (hot dogs, brats,etc.) without the extras. I've lost count of how much food I've thrown away at the end of the barbecue that included quarters of hot dog buns, half-eaten ears of corn and the dessert everyone was too full to eat. So I chose food I knew people would love and I could easily divide up.
Brats are great because they come in so many different flavors. You've got your beer brats, cheddar brats — and you can also head down to your local butcher shop to see what they have to offer. I've found ones stuffed with green peppers, gouda cheese and bacon. If I had to describe in one word: brat-gasmic.
If you want to get fancy with it, grab a cut of skirt steak and either dress it with your favorite steak rub or marinade. Grill for a few minutes on each side and then cut into slices and skewer.
Grilled corn is another one that's great for feeding a crowd. Simply cut into quarters, baste in butter or oil, wrap them up in foil and grill. I also melted about half a stick of butter in a serving tray so that my guest could easily dip to butter their corn (just watch for double dipping!).
Last, but certainly not least, dessert. While I've seen a lot of great ideas online, I was most intrigued by lemonademakinmama's Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick.
It's the easiest dessert you could ever make. I served mine with French Vanilla flavored Cool Whip and it was delicious.
If you're looking for more great ideas, or just curious, here's a list of some of my fair favorites and what they're serving up this year.
Minnesota State Fair
- This is my home state, so I'm a little biased. But I'm definitely all about the breakfast lollipop. Whuuut?!
Iowa State Fair
- This one is almost wrapped up, but if anyone out there tries the Fried Butter on a Stick PLEASE let me know how it was!
Texas State Fair
(aka Fried Food Capital of Texas) - So after reading about last year's "most creative" winner, Fried Beer™, I've been dreaming about going to the Texas State Fair. So there may be a road trip in my very near future.
What food do you most look forward to at the fair?