Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stampin' It Up.

So, for those who don’t know. I live in Canada. To be specific, Western Canada. To be more redneck specific: I live in Alberta, Land of the Cowboys. And guess what time of year it is? 
Calgary Stampede time! 
It’s the one time of the year every city slicker can dress up like the rest of us rural town people. Oh man, the outfits I see. It’s kind of hilarious. At Stampede you can always tell who is actually from the small town country prairie and who is from the city. All the city people dress up like the Rodeo stars. Plaid shirts, tight wranglers with doodads and fringes hanging off, cowboy boots to match. Also, designer cowboy hats. The rest of us who grew up outside the city laugh to ourselves because no one outside the city dresses like that except the Rodeo stars.
So I went to Stampede the other night with my husband, my brother-in-law and his boyfriend. I wore a plaid shirt though because, ‘tis the season. Why not.
So, for those of you who have never heard of the Calgary Stampede allow me to tell you why I wait for this event every year. 
The food.
Welcome to the Fairway!
Ever food you can imagine is here. Deep fried, wrapped in butter and baste, and then sprinkled with sugar. It is seriously heaven. 
I actually abstain from deep fried foods for most of the year to save myself for Stampede. Because it is so worth it, and so greasy. 
First up! We wandered the indoor convention center. Where you can find every infomercial and plenty of massage chairs. Also:
Blue candied apples. How have I never seen this before?!
But as much as we were wandering around, I was antsy. There is one thing that I crave so much for at the Stampede. Something that I usually only see served either at fairs, or in the States where if you can deep fry it it’s done. 
Deep fried dill-pickles.
Oh my word I love them so much! But there’s only one restaurant that I know that serves them, and they aren’t that good. So I had been waiting so long for this delicious deep fried mana from above. And let me tell you, I hunted those Fairway grounds until I found them.
After half and hour of searching and asking around though, no one seemed to know where they were. I was disheartened. Maybe my sweet food love wasn’t meant to be. 
Of course I’m stubborn though so I continued to drag my husband all over the place. Until finally!
A choir of angels sang.
If you have never had one, drop what you are doing right now! Go and find some place, anywhere that sells them, and feast. 
Okay now I’m creeping myself out with how carried away I’m getting.
So.. uh.. anyway. After that, rides! Because after you eat, you always need to go make yourself nauseous.

I of course had to get on the ferris wheel. I love them! Granted I am afraid of heights and being at a high height in a precariously swinging steel box. Which usually would mean I would hate ferris wheels, but no I love them.
It also warrants to be mentioned that the Stampede brings a lot of creative ways to make food. Like say…
Deep frying an entire onion.
Which at first I was like, oh my word that is a lot. What is this I don’t even.
But it’s really good! It just giant onion rings that are no longer rings. Also the thousand island ranch dip was yummy. However, hubby kept loosing his onion in the dip. *sigh*
I must confess though, at this point, that I had never had a deep fried Mars Bar. I know that they are kind of old news, and everyone tries them. Husband and I had not though, so of course that was on the list!
And let me tell you, it was so sugary I nearly overloaded. But so very good. 
After riding the swings, and chasing each other on the bumper cars, and eating Bannock at the Native American village things wound down. A storm was coming in and it was getting late. We all worked tomorrow so we were about to leave. Like heading on out, until, of course le boyfriend-to-brother and I spotted something we couldn’t pass up. 
Giant hot dogs.
Every fair trip needs them! This stand had some crazy flavors though. Peanut butter and Captain Crunch on a hot dog. Wasabi mayo and dried seaweed on a hot dog. A lot of choices, but no, no, we didn’t need too much. We had eaten enough already. 
So of course that means Chicago Dog!
These things were huge, just, seriously. They were pilled high with everything a ballpark dog would have on it, and then some. Just…
Well, see how hard it was for us to eat them:
Le boyfriend(tb) seemed slightly horrified at depth of jaw commitment this hot dog took. 
However, Husband just went at ours like a freaking champ.
That dog didn’t stand a chance. 
Also.. I always giggle when he eats something so large, because his eyebrows also put in effort. Somehow raising them gives his food more room. I don’t know. It makes me laugh.
So we ate our hot dogs, contemplated staying for the fireworks. 
Except then it started to rain cats and dogs, and lightning everywhere so we figured we should get outta Dodge, so to speak.
It was a lovely night. Full of eating the weight of my car in calories, and fun rides with family. Hopefully I may go again this week before it ends, but we shall see.
Finally, what’s a Stampede post without a classic Calgary White Hat!
My brother-in-law poses like a mother truckin’ boss!

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