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Talking It Over -- A State Fair trip to remember

The State Fair is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to spend the entire two weeks living there. My husband and I had the opportunity to visit the State Fair during its opening week after several years of passing up the excursion.

There was a chain of events that led to our return to the fair. It all started last winter when I submitted a recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup for the Homemakers Group Soup Cookbook. These recipes were later submitted to a state committee which was looking for recipes containing things grown in Minnesota as part of a Sesquicentennial cookbook.

We learned in June that three recipes from Stevens County were selected, including mine. Each of the recipe contributors to the book were invited to a special program at the State Fair on Aug. 22, where we were honored with a photo and autograph session. We were each given a special apron to wear indicating that we were "Minnesota Cooks."

During the session I visited with a lot of cooks from all over the state, autographed the page of my recipe and shared some cooking facts and secrets (not that I have many of those). One lady stopped me to get my autograph, asked me about my recipe and was kind enough to thank me for submitting it. As the program unfolded, I soon learned that this lady was Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau. Afterward, I was able to get her autograph and a picture with her.

I had a great time and it was a good excuse to get to the State Fair once again. We especially enjoyed tasting some new and some old favorites. We made several trips to the Swine and Beef barns, where our county 4-Hers were being judged on their projects. By doing this we also ran into a lot of people we knew, so it was almost like being back home at the county fair. The only thing different was that my feet and back did not hold up as well as at the Stevens County Fair.

It was a fun day, despite the wear and tear on our bodies. However, I have come to the conclusion that visiting the State Fair is one trip that, for me, is best done in intervals -- like every 10 years. That is just enough time to see the new things added, taste the latest food on a stick and rest up from the last trip.