25 May 2008

County Fair and Other Amusements

Yesterday started out sunny and warm. The newspaper said it would probably be the best day, weatherwise, of the three-day holiday weekend. Jer and I seized the opportunity, and rode our bikes to the Multnomah County Fair at Oaks Park. It felt so good to get back on my bike again, and the ride along the Springwater Trail and the streets of south Sellwood was a joy (for me, anyway -- Jer came back with an aching tailbone; must do something about that seat).

The fair itself was a schizoid blend of traditional -- home ec skill competitions, midway and carny rides, animal exhibits and trials -- and (ick) modern, as in vinyl window sales come-ons (I counted four of those), obscure specialized appliance vendors, insurance and real estate agents, really tacky souvenir vendors, and so on.

Next time, if there is a next time, I'll know to avoid the mercantile tents at the south end and focus on the animals and the judged events. These included a smattering of quilts and other needlework, an aisle or two or fresh flowers and prize produce -- very slim pickin's, considering how early it is in the growing season -- and a couple of dozen flower arrangements. Aren't these two charming? Click to get the full effect. Another one of my favorites consisted of a pair of cowboy boots, a walking stick, and a bird of paradise).

There was a bountiful assortment of baked goods and home-canned foodstuffs. Look at all those ribbons. One entry was labeled "curried prunes". Mmm, mmm, good.

Butter making dirt babies? I don't want to know.

Our dinner last night was a lot more appetizing than either of those. Jer made individual puff pastry tarts filled with asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, gruyere, creme fraiche and tarragon, and an edamame, green bean, orange and marinated red onion salad with a tart-sweet dressing.

I took this photo of the western sky just before we settled down to dinner and a movie. Thunderstorms were forecast, and they hit not long after. We abandoned Across the Universe to take in the spectacle from our porch. The light, warm rain drew us out, and we ended up walking around the block, flashes of lightning and rolling thunder accompanying us every step of the way.

It was a delightful day.

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