‘Carny prozac’

Fair food drive thru at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds.
Jason Cassidy

Sometimes when Arts DEVO sits down at the keyboard, this column just writes itself, especially when I copy and paste the words from somewhere else:

Silver Dollar Fair Food Drive-thru Menu:

Corn Dog……………………………..$5
Giant Corn dog………………….. ..$9
Candy apple………………………….$5
Carmel Apple………………………..$5
Cotton Candy………………………..$5
Funnel Cakes
-Powdered sugar……………………..$7
-Cinnamon sugar…………………….$7
-Strawberries w/ whip cream……$10
Deep Fried Oreo’s…………………$5
Soft serve cone/cup……………….$5
Milkshakes……………………………..$7
(oreo, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry)
Chocolate dipped banana……….$5
Chocolate dipped ice cream……$6
Cheesecake dipped………………..$7
Oreo Cookie Sunday……………….$7
Drinks
-Bucket of lemonade………………$12
-lemonade 32oz……………………..$6
-Soda…………………………………….$4

Is there anything else I need to write? What do you add to perfection? It would be a sin to edit such poetry!

Coronavirus might’ve run the fair out of town along with every other sliver of fun, but the hosts of the Silver Dollar Fair have responded to the cancellation of the community tradition with an endorphin-inducing stroke of genius. For this weekend (Friday-Sunday, June 5-7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.), they’ve set up a fair-food drive thru on the grounds (2357 Fair St.) featuring the menu above, and literally nothing could be sweeter … or fattier, or more perfect.

The midway of frialated arts has always been the main attraction for this fair-goer, so this distillation of the carnival experience onto a disposable tray handed to me through my car window is the dream I never dreamed of come true. Plus, it’s just the kind of carny prozac the weary citizenry could use right now.

In fact, in the event that future days get you down (I know, I know, no chance, right? I’m sure we’re all good from here on out.), I’ve found that cooking up a bootleg batch of the good stuff can take the edge off at the end of a long day.

Arts DEVO’s corndogs and fried cheddar balls.

Last weekend, at the DEVO Compound, the menu was homemade corn dogs and funnel cake, and the rush was real—and easy to make. We gleaned the funnel cake recipe (and a little history behind the humble dessert) from Tori Avey’s site, and the corn dogs are from recipe Arts DEVO has been adapting and refining over the years.

Corn dogs

Ingredients:

  • 8 hot dogs (Nathan’s Famous or Hebrew National are best)
  • 1/2 cup plus a few tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • About 8 cups avocado oil (or other high smoke-point oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 8 wooden sticks

Heat up hot dogs (on grill, in pan, in oven, whatever). Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then insert a wooden stick into each hot dog. Spread a few tablespoons flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat and tap off excess.

Heat 3 inches oil to 350°F (use candy thermometer) in a deep three-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat.

Combine cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Whisk in buttermilk.

Transfer some of batter to a pint glass, filling it almost to the top.

Working in batches of two or three, dip dogs, one at a time, into glass of batter to coat (add more batter as needed), then fry, turning to insure until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F and refill glass with batter between batches.

Serve with mustard, jalapeno-mustard, or any other weird or fancy mustard.

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