JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for September 2012

Dinner on a stick.

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It’s a special time in Morris this week.

Not because it’s getting cooler, or the leaves are kinda beginning to change or school is back in session. This week? It’s the week Grundy Countians from all over look forward to — Corn Fest.

I’ve been hearing about this beloved tradition (in its 64th year this year) since I arrived on Illinois soil in April, so naturally I’ve been interested in seeing how it’d all play out.

I think some other events popped up here and there, but Corn Fest was not official until the food trucks/vendors popped up Tuesday and opened up shop yesterday.

Then, the people came. I guess it’s kind of like “Field of Dreams” — if you bring them — they will come. And eat.

One thing that I didn’t anticipate: until the weekend days of Corn Fest (it’s like 5 days long), the thing is mostly dedicated to eating all manner of fried and grilled and sugary foods.

Each day the vendors have been open, my coworkers have spent lunches in downtown, enjoying the fair foods. They plot which stands they’re going to go to — corndogs? caramel apples? pizza? walking taco? And head over.

Since I am new, I took some pointers on the must-dos. I was pointed to Annabell’s BBQ for a pork chop on a stick and my coworker bought a chocolate-dipped cheesecake there for lunch yesterday and, well, I couldn’t resist. My editor issued a challenge to go and only eat (and drink!) things on a stick.

After work, I went home and walked over to downtown, since I’m pretty close and parking would be nuts, and to help preempt the upcoming calories.

I walked all around downtown, and even though I wrote the story about the food vendors, I was amazed at the variety! Pizza, calzones, cotton candy, funnel cakes, apple dumplings, shish kabobs, elephant ears, smoothies, corn on the cob (of course), cajun pickles — you name, it (nearly!) it’s there. There were about 25 vendors and I didn’t get pictures of them all, but I made this snazzy photo collage of several of them.

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I decided to go with the pork chop on a stick and cheesecake, and, lemme tell you — it did not disappoint. The place had a bit of a line, but that shows you how where the loyal eaters go.

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When I got up to the front, I was amused to find this seal of approval. You know it’s gotta be good.

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I walked on home with my to-go order, found my spot on the couch and pulled these bad boys out.

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And both were so good. The pork chop was so juicy and flavorful. Yum!

Dinner on a stick challenge: complete!

So, quick confession: I’ve eaten way too many fried foods today to be good. For lunch, I had a corndog from Pam’s Academy of Dance (THE place to get a corndog—you will not be disappointed) and tonight I had a shish kabob (a sign in the window of the place said “Teriyaki meat on a stick” and one man said “I want some meat on a stick!” while the people behind me seemed worried as to what type of meat was involved. It was tasty.) and crab rangoon. And a half of a funnel cake. Don’t judge.

For posterity, here are my shish kabob and crab rangoon:

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I did not photograph my funnel cake. It was a funnel cake of shame. Except I’m sharing it, so not too much shame was involved.

Anyways. In addition to food, there are things happening — yesterday there were water fights between local firefighters. I’d never seen them before so that was fun. Anything that involves firefighters typically is. 😉

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This weekend I will be covering the queen parade and coronation and the parade, and running in the 5K Saturday (as part of the Corn Fest festivities). Or walking, to be closer to the truth. I haven’t run very much in recent weeks, but I’ll do what I can.

Funny side story: Feeling bad about the fact that I haven’t run for a bit, I decided to go out for a spin Tuesday night.

The fastest time of my run involved me running away from a mosquito spraying truck. I was walking along the road when I turned and spotted a slow-moving truck with flashing lights. As it came closer, I realized it was spraying.

And it had decided to pick up its speed.

Not wanting noxious chemicals to fill my lungs, let’s just say I began to attempt to out run it. Alas, I did not, but it only drove a little past me and turned onto a side street. Whew.

So, anyways, hooray Corn Fest.

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Written by Jessica

September 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Illinois Living