State Fair Rejuvenation: Cucumber Juice


I have survived another Minnesota State Fair. It was epic as always! 

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I love the MN State Fair. Some people look forward to Christmas all year; I look forward to the State Fair. 

The State Fair has over 1.7 million people attend the 12 days of fun each year, making it one of the largest state fairs in the nation. 

Many people love the State Fair for the crazy food - deep fried candy bars, deep fried pickles, double bacon corn dogs, chocolate covered bacon, and new this year: deep fried olives. If it can be put on a stick and deep fried, it is at the fair. 

Martin and I got ninja tattoos for answering a trivia question about vegetables. The Miracle of Birth Barn is our favorite stop, which we visit every day. We also got to make our own seed art cat!!!
The State Fair is a display of  extremes. The best, the weirdest, the largest, the most shocking in all the state are present at the fair. I don't necessarily love all the food. While I do indulge in a couple deep fried cheese curds, a few spoonfuls of honey ice cream, a few deep fried olives, and a couple mini donuts, I try to balance it out with healthy options too, like a mango on a stick. Yes. There are healthy options at the fair. 

This year, I spent 6 of the 12 days at the State Fair. Most of the time, I worked my regular day job and went to the fair after work in the evenings or on the weekends. Because of this, the fair is exhausting and requires significant restoration afterwards. This was my seventh fair working at the German Rootbeer stand, which is owned by my sister-in-law's family. 

The lumberjack show was super impressive! We had lots of fun with friends at the fair. Animals were always a fun sight to see. 
What I love the most about the fair is just being at the fair. I never know what I will see or do next. If I try to control my experience at the fair, it is never fun: I end up running from one building to the next, never really seeing anything and only checking off to do items on my list. Instead, I like to just wander the fair. I sit whenever I can and I share all the food I buy. 

New this year: Mango on a stick! So delicious!! Several choices of beer flights were available. Sweet Martha's Cookies has some massive stand mixers. Martin got to milk a live cow!!!
The State Fair makes me proud to be from Minnesota. The people who enter projects, who show animals, who march in the parade are proud of what they can do and I feel lucky to experience their accomplishments with them. 

The State Fair is a community. I ride the bus to the fair and people don't talk to each other on the way to the fair; on the way home, everyone talks to everyone else. We have established community and we are relishing in the real human contact that is devoid of most experiences today. While the State Fair is not perfect, it reminds me to live in the moment, to enjoy the unpleasant aspects of life, and to relish in surprises. For me, there is nothing better.

This year, the State Fair was oppressively hot (110 heat index!). I kept cool and hydrated with Cucumber Juice. This is a flexible recipe, so taste throughout and adjust the flavors to your liking. 

Cucumber Juice
5 minutes, makes about 1 liter

3 medium cucumbers (about 650 grams)
1/2 cup water
1 lemon or 2 limes
1 tablespoon agave nectar
  1. Peel the cucumbers and cut into chunks. Place in a blender with water, agave nectar, and the juice of the lemon or limes. Blend until smooth. Add a cup or two of ice and blend until the ice has been blended into the juice. Taste and add more agave or lemon/lime juice as needed. 
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth) over a pitcher. Pour about 1/3 of the juice into the strainer and use a spoon to press most of the juice through the strainer. Repeat twice more with the remaining juice. You should have about 1/4 cup of unusable pulp afterwards; discard. 
  3. To serve, mix the juice at a 1:1 ratio with water or carbonated water. Drink and enjoy! (Try also adding a bit of gin...) 
Past State Fair posts:
Minnesota State Fair: A Guide to the Fun! (2012)
Adventures at the MN State Fair (2011)
Polenta Eggplant Casserole (2010)

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