Fried fair food, specifically fried pickles and corn dogs, is one of the most nostalgic food genres out there. At least for me, anyway, who grew up in the middle-of-nowhere-Pennsylvania where this type of food could be found on the regular every summer.
Well, randomly one afternoon -- while I was avoiding my "day job" responsibilities -- I went down a little rabbit hole of fair food and sent my friend a text. I asked if she and her daughter (more so her daughter) had ever had fried pickles, corn dogs ... or funnel cakes. Apparently, they both love fried pickles, but the other two were questionable. So, we set a date to create our favorite fried fair foods.
If cooking for myself at my house, I'd take the time to try to experiment with recipes. However, my friend volunteered her house and supplies ... so we went with pre-existing recipes for our fair food. You know, in order to make sure we got it right the first time.
Fair Food: Part 1
We went with fried dill pickles courtesy of Holly from the blog Spend with Pennies. Now, I've made fried pickles before and always had a hard time keeping the batter on during the frying process. Something about Holly's recipe all but eliminates that problem! The pickles have the right amount of batter (that stays on the pickle), giving each that perfect crunch.
Fair Food: Part 2
Is it really fair food if it's not served on a stick? Well, we set out to conquer the corn dog. Neither of us had ever actually made these. When searching for recipes, we knew we wanted one that would be good using "mini" dogs since our pans weren't quite big enough to do an entire hot dog. Cue the "mini corn dog recipe" from buns in my oven blog. In all honestly, we were both a little concerned that the batter was so thin. However, we skewered up a corn dog and plunged it into the hot oil. Wow!! The batter puffed up so much and created the most amazing shell around the hot dog. Me, mom and daughter approved.
*Ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing are all great dipping choices for corn dogs and fried pickles.
We made the beloved funnel cake ... a true winner in the category of fair food. Having spent at least one or two summers during my childhood trying to perfect a funnel cake recipe with my dad, I knew I wanted to make it today (since I've been missing home ... stupid COVID.) This was also an almost definite on the "friend's daughter has never had one" so I knew we had to make them super good. Going back to the awesome blog Spending with Pennies, I used her Homemade Funnel Cake recipe. Not only was it the perfect amount for three of us (and one of the three to have an extra), but the funnel cakes were fluffy and the perfect amount of sweet ... even before the sprinkled sugar on top.
So there ya go! Motivation to get a little nostalgic this weekend and fry up some amazing fair food for you and your family.