Friday, August 31, 2007

A couple of desserts

We have been having some people over for dinner. Of course dessert featured heavily on the menu.

This was tarte tatin - an upside down apple tart with apple and pineapple with a sugar syrup then puff pastry on top and baked but then turned upside down to serve.

This one was a trifle with rhubarb and apple layers and blueberry and orange layers with custard (home made of course).

Eat up!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

State Fair: Demolition Derby

The grand finale of the day was something that we definitely do not see at the Ekka, but can find if you are into it - demolition derby!

This is the ultimate redneck entertainment. A very interesting thing we found was at the same time as this, there was an African-American Christian soul concert on at the other end of the fair ground. The types of people attending each were completely opposite. Christian soul concert, or demolition derby. Yep, they seem at opposite ends of the scale to me. Of couse, we chose to see the demolition derby. Shawn said it was an experience like no other. We can go to a Christian concert another day :)

The crowd, the arena and the anticipating participants.

Ready to go in the consolation round. The last 3 cars here go on to the final.

It was loud and crazy.



There was a little mayhem at one stage, but everything was OK in the end.


This was the end product.

There was, of course a bit of a clean up between the consolation round and the final. This was as entertaining as the crashing. Very interesting choice of music, especially in the second video, given the redneck nature of the attraction and the audience!



Then the final. No mishaps here (except, of course, the intended ones).

Finally there was only one car left running and he was the winner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

State Fair: Indiana curios

One of the exhibit halls was selling a lot of things.
This was miniature golf to the extreme!

I don't think the bear was for sale and I can't remember what they were selling, but it was cool.

There was a new fangled washing machine that was supposed to use silver ions and UV lamps and work without detergent.

Some things you would not see at the Ekka, but are usual in Indiana.

Heidi's castle... kid at heart!
And of course millions of hot tubs for sale.

The next exhibit hall was full of strange things invented in Indiana and strange facts about Indiana.
This was a pumpkin cannon.

A replica of The World's Largest Ball of Paint.

An astro-turf covered car.

A strange rule about fishing in Muncie.

An old tractor.

As I said, this is the year of the corn and you can't half tell!

All you want to know about corn and all you don't.

A few other strange things were an army dozer,

the world's largest chese sculpture,

and "try your hand at fishing". We didn't. The fish were only 4 inches long anyway.

Then there were the 4-H exhibits. This is an interesting concept. It is a youth development program for school-aged kids and involves every possible craft, art, activity and project you could imagine. A bit like guides or scouts on project overdrive. All of the best projects from around the state were on display in 2 large buildings.
This is Llew and Shawn checking out the electronics projects.

These were what was left of the baking projects.

I hope they were judged a while ago! Check out the mold!

Other things were photography, cake decorating, woodwork, insect collections, painting, and investigative science project posters.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

State Fair: We arrive and see food and animals

Shawn asked us if we wanted to go to the Indiana State Fair last Sunday. We had heard about it and decided that it would be fun. It is in Indianapolis and we got there at about 2pm. This is the entrance.

This is Llew, Shawn and Maggie inside the entrance. Already looking just like the Ekka!

The main difference was the omnipresent corn... Well, it was the year of the corn.

There was the odd assortment of food...

and food serving venues...

and more normal yummy food.

In fact, there was an awful lot of food!

There were much the same rides and amusements as at the Ekka.

This was how the lazy people got around. We just walked. It was not as far as the Ekka and we simply did a circuit.

Then we saw the animals.



the best piglets in the state,

and the world's largest pig!

Lastly as a treat we saw several teams of six-horse hitch wagons.

Check out the video!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indiana Dunes

Last weekend we went camping to Indiana Dunes. You can see on these maps where that is.

We drove up on Friday with Drew and met Shawn, Ben and Kelly there. Andrew met us on Saturday.

We were early on Friday due to the fact that Shawn said to meet at 12, so we were there a bit before 12 - Indiana time. The dunes are actually on Chicago time and since Shawn was driving from there, that's what he meant. So we decided to go to Applebees in Chesterton. It opens at 11am, which was exactly when we got there. We were actually the first people. That is really something to write home about because usually there are lines outside Applebees waiting for opening!

Dunes means sledding. But we only had one sled. A trip to Kmart fixed that as along with food and drinks, they got boxes! This was a trial fitting.

Then, there was the firewood to cut up with 3 small hatchets. Took a while!
Taking turns, but being careful not to hit Shawn's car.
A little help lighting the fire from the ol' white gas.
The first adventure was geocaching as Tom as just been exposed to the wonders of too.
The object is to download treasure sites from the web to your GPS then go hunting.

Kelly found it with her GPS.

Ben wearing the treasure that was found.
The view was good too.

Later started the cooking. These were Llew's chicken thighs that had been in a dry rub and frozen since Thursday. They thawed perfectly for cooking and were served with a pesto pasta salad and fire-toasted garlic bread.

Can't have a campfire without marshmallows.

Shame about them melting in the car on the way!!!
Sticky mess.

Next morning were individual pizzas from Ben. A few burnt ones, but mostly good and really delicious.
Then we went for a hike up the dunes. I found a friend along the way. Then he bit me.
There were stairs for the first "mountain" Mt Tom.
Ah, the lovely, natural view...!
Hot, sweaty, puffed, and just starting out!

On the way up the next mountain - no stairs this time.
But again a lovely view.
The paths down were so steep that Shawn, Ben and Drew ran. Heaven forbid they met someone coming up!
This was Ben's friend. At least it didn't bite him, and he was sensible enough not to touch it.

At the campsite there was a baby hummingbird. At first it was right beside the fire pit so I moved it to the trees. Its mother found it there and came and fed it all through the three days and it seemed healthy and happy.
Time for sledding!
Down was the fun bit.
Up was the hard bit.
Andrew arrived in time for left-overs Saturday night.

More fire chat and lateral thinking puzzles.
That night was a huge storm. The boys put everything in cars at 3am just before it hit. We got a bit wet in the tent, but it was OK. The next morning was fine.
We sat around and had breakfast, but maybe we ate too much for the chair!
We did have a lot to eat.
More fire.
A last photo of the Engineering Geeks.
If I get more photos from Kelly, I'll put them up later.