Friday, October 9, 2015

We're Nutty For Food

On my fall bucket list every single year is attending the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival.  Yet every single year, life seems to get in the way of us going.  Whether it is crazy schedules, sickness, budget, or what have you, no matter much I hope or plan, it never happens.

This week has been no exception, as storms have certainly come through full force, but I decided to put on my rubber boots this time and play in the rain!  I'm speaking figuratively of course; however, as we started on the trek raindrops did threaten.

I sent up a little prayer for cooperative weather and safe travels, with Noah beside me playing hooky from school.  We really needed a Mom & Me day.  And God did not disappoint.

What a wonderful time we had!

Mom: Let's take a Selfie!
Noah: Let's NOT!  ;)

My baby shares a love of food with his mom.  Like me, he'll try anything once.  So imagine blocks of booths offering crazy fares like brain sandwiches, bologna balls, pickle slushies, and fried kool-aid.

Normally, I'm a planning type of gal.  My intentions were to scope out the best booths, research tips, find great parking options, etc.  Instead, we just hit the road and hoped for the best.  I wasn't even sure where exactly I was going.  As my mom said though, just look for the rides, you'll find it!

We arrived a little early and snagged a sweet parking spot at the start of the festival, in a church parking lot.  Throughout our day we were blessed to have contact with smiling faces and great attitudes.  Well, except for the filthy-mouth carny Noah and I exchanged "she needs Jesus" glances over.  Maybe the interactions were pleasant because of my sweet boy.  I was touched by how genuinely polite and friendly he was.  Every booth we stopped at he'd leave them with a kind goodbye.  It was a proud mom moment for sure.

kraut balls - minus what Noah already ate!
Though we'd browsed a "Munchie Map" prior to arriving, we decided to just start at the beginning and make our way around.  Our first purchase was kraut balls.  Noah's had a sparked interest in all things German lately, as he's recently made friends with an exchange student and part of our lineage is there.  He was snapchatting some of our finds and she jealously replied from school.

From there it's hard to remember everything but here's what I can recall...

buckeyes -you can never go wrong with peanut butter
fried mac & cheese - see above
A sampler fried ball platter.  - I loved the bologna bomb and the Popeye ball (spinach), Noah agreed on Popeye but preferred the mashed potato and ham/cheese over bologna.
Gator Bites.  Jerk Chicken.  -Noah never had gator and loved it.  Jerk chicken took me back to Jamaica.
BBQ soak - we were curious at the name.  It's a white bread sandwich of bbq.  Yummy.
Hog jowl - would've been better without the sauce.  Kinda like a country ham bacon.

hog jowl
brain teasers

Brain teasers - the brain sandwich is a trademark to the festival but by the time we found it we were stuffed.  We opted for the teasers, which was a hushpuppy.  It was just ok.  Next time we're going for the sandwich.
And a giant turkey leg - think Fred Flintstone

We brought home the turkey leg because we were stuffed.  It smelled amazing driving home.  Also in the bag I was smart enough to carry, we returned with puppy chow, Grippos popcorn, kangaroo and alligator jerky, a cricket sucker, and a caramel apple kuchen.

All the proceeds go to charities so it was worth the near C-note we dropped on the day.  And the rain hit just as we were leaving.

Thankful for the day and what I hope to be the start of an annual tradition with my son.

Bellies full.  Pockets empty.  Memories made.
that's my "Yikes! I'm about to eat a brain" face

You still have one day to enjoy to enjoy the festival.  Get out there and enJOY!


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