Girl + Fire = Food



Monday, August 1, 2011

Winning at the OC Fair

Last May, I asked the G+F Facebook fans to pick a favorite blog post from the last year to enter in the Orange County Fair's Blog Competition. My good friend Alexandra suggested one of my personal favorites, the Sweet & Dirty Martini. The black and white picture that accompanies it was taken sometime between 1998 and 2000, when I was experimenting with all things martinis, both in the photo lab and in the kitchen. The recipe in the post was a product of one of these experiments in my parents' kitchen.

One day my dad asked me if I would make us some martinis, but they only had sweet vermouth in the liquor cabinet (with the Tanqueray, of course). We went with it, and the sweet & dirty martini was born.

Entering the OC Fair blog competition meant a free ticket! So down to Costa Mesa I went with my parents. And that's where Chef Louise surprised me with this:

In case you can't make out the little sticker in the upper corner, it's a 3rd place ribbon. G+F impressed the judges enough to garner a little ribbon!

I did a little happy dance (it was a big surprise), got my white ribbon and then we decided to indulge in some ungodly huge portions of fair food.

In order: a giant sausage covered in grilled onions and bell peppers, chocolate-covered bacon, and a plain funnel cake. The funnel cake was the size of a dinner plate. Which might be tiny in comparison to other county fairs, but in California we're careful about our carbs.

There were also artisans, vendors (of all things ranging from knives, mattresses, and barrel-aged balsamic vinegar), and rides! Who doesn't love carnival rides? We love sugar art, as created by Jim Victor.

He said it was going to be a girl eating an ice cream cone. I say he was channeling Picasso. He agreed.

But really, the highlight of the day:


My parents also picked up a bottle of Gianni's Fine Foods Six Mushroom White Truffle Balsamic Vinegar. I missed Trufflepalooza last weekend because I was in Orlando, but this almost made up for it. I'm sure you'll see it in a dish on here at some point in the near future.

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