I had an enjoyable visit to one of my city’s signature events yesterday: The Ohio Challenge, a 3-day festival of hot-air ballooning. If you are in the southwest Ohio Tri-State area, the annual event really is a fun time of fireworks, hot air ballooning and sky-diving demonstrations. Good stuff. The evening was too windy for a safe balloon launch, but they did do the popular “balloon glow”, where balloons remain tethered to the ground but the pilots fire up the burners. Against the dark night sky the balloons look like giant Christmas ornaments. And, of course, being me, I had to take note of any Pennsylvania Dutch culinary influences or Plain presence. Like any festival, this one also has a selection of typical festival food. Deep-fried Oreos, anyone?
We spread our blanket down to watch the balloon glow right next to a couple of German Baptist families watching the glow. These are probably New Conference German Baptists based on the visible, lively patterns on the woman’s dress.
We were just talking on this website last week about how Pennsylvania Dutch food has sort of become intertwined with festival fare. So I wasn’t surprised to see this booth for “Pennsylvania Dutch” funnel cakes. What is that customer doing? Looks like he is waving his fist at the cook! I had to restrain myself from indulging. Meanwhile, Aunt Karen enjoyed “apple flappins.” What are apple flappins? Take a look at these! Apple flappins are best described as apple slices dipped in batter then deep fried. Any pancake batter can be used. Granny Smith apples are good for these. She generously allowed Rachel and I a few bites and, wow, we were not disappointed? What is your favorite fair food? I think you can’t go wrong with anything deep-fried….Rachel likes fried pickles. I think I am more a funnel cake/elephant ear person.