Post #503 Who Remembers the Tomato Festival?

August 22, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #503 Who Remembers the Tomato Festival?

Last year, I wrote a post about the Annual Tomato Festival in a nearby town.

It’s a six hour event and it’s a pretty big deal to the people around here.  We went early and left early after having seen everything in about 45 minutes.  It was too hot to really stay around and support everything that was happening.

2013 Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival | www.kitchenconfi

Well, it was held again this past weekend and we showed up about a half hour after opening.  We didn’t ride the tram this time since we knew our way from the parking area to the festival.

It was mildly disappointing, for a couple of reasons.  First, the area has started a new event to be held next weekend called the Annual Watermelon Chucking Contest, wherein they use highly powered cannon-like devices to toss watermelons across the river.  Because of this, they didn’t have the watermelon chucking contest.  Last year, you could set the criteria of the cannon and press Shoot and watch your watermelon sail over the river, hoping to hit the other side.

Second, the number of booths had dwindled noticeably.  Last year, there weren’t a huge amount of booths, enough to easily visit each one in an hour.  This year, the same booths were there, but less of them.  The Humane Society was absent so there weren’t any dogs and cats to cuddle.  And the used books booth wasn’t there which we had all been looking forward to.  There was only one place to buy food, one place to buy drinks, and one place to buy sno-cones.  The lemonade at the drinks stand was remarkable only in the fact that it didn’t taste nearly as good as the little girls’ stand across the street from a couple of weeks ago.

But despite the minor disappointments, it was a fun morning.  It was great to be out and not at work.  It was good to be in a small community enjoying the day and supporting a worthwhile cause, the local volunteer fire dept.  We bought a new filet knife made of carbon steel.  Sharp as a scalpel.  I haven’t cut myself yet.  FiL bought one antique pocket knife and two brand new ones.  He whittles and carves so knives are like toys to him.  We got more information on upcoming events.  We watched some ladies carding wool into fibers and spinning that into yarn.

And we watched some people have a tomato race.  The official race took place long after we left, but they allowed people to race against each other for fun and practice.  Like an egg race, the competitors balance a ripe tomato on a spoon and run or walk fast through a course without dropping the tomato.  One little girl kept dropping her tomato and picking it up until she put it in her pocket and just carried her spoon upright to the finish line.  Her brother cried foul, of course, so they both got prizes.

Since it’s on a river, there were boats everywhere, and places to walk along the water.  There were cool breezes to enjoy, people to talk to, and even people we recognized and recognized us.

Before we left, we bought some heirloom tomatoes, some lettuce, and other salad stuff.  We had home fried chicken, baked rice, and fresh salad.  Way good stuff.

And you know what?  We had a really good time after all.

What?  You’ve never heard of baked rice?  It’s so easy!!

Heat your oven to 350.  Pour two cups of chicken broth into a dutch oven with a tight lid.  Add one cup of rice, and any of your favorite seasonings.  Go light on the seasoning since the cooking process will intensify the flavors.  We also add chopped onion sometimes.  Cover the pot, and bake for about 45 minutes.  Take out of the oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes then serve.  Easy peasy.  If the rice is too soft, reduce the cooking time next time.



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