This weekend, I met some friends for a mini college friends reunion at the Big E. For those of you unfamiliar with the Big E, it officially stands for the Eastern States Exposition, a kind of state fair for all the collective states of New England. Unofficially, it stands for The Big EAT, as it is the only place I know of to eat your way across all the New England states in one day.
That, of course, is what we did. There was lobster rolls and potatoes in Maine, maple candy and Ben and Jerry's in Vermont, blueberry pie in New Hampshire, cranberry jam in Massachusetts, tomato salad in Connecticutt, and seafood stew and Quahogs in Rhode Island. Plus, different varieties of clam chowda in EVERY state. Of course, I didn't eat ALL of that food, but I did think about it.
What I did eat was the food item I had been thinking about for weeks, ever since we started thinking about going to the Big E: Tom Thumb mini donuts! In the mega bucket size. Nothing says fair like a mega sized plastic bucket filled with fried dough circles covered in cinnamon and sugar.
My friend, Renee, and I hauled that bucket all over the fair. In the Farm-a-rama: "Hey, you want to look at the baby chicks?", "Sure!", "Donut?" "Sure!" ; "I had not idea there were so many products of bovine origin!", "Me neither!", "Donut?", "Sure!". In the Better Living Center (or, as we call it, The Hoax Hut) we scarfed mini donuts while we researched pillow pals, snuggies, Body Perfect Activewear, and three different types of waterless cookware. Oh, and if you've ever wondered if the Sham-Wow! can pick up a pile of spilled grease and cinnamon sugar...absolutely!
You know what else they had at the Big E? Beer! Lots and lots of beer. I do not remember beer at the Big E when we were in college. I'm pretty confident that we would have spent far more time and effort into procuring said beer when we were in college. But now? There is a Sam Adams tent right in front of gate 1! (And in mid September, the selection includes BOTH the summer varieties and the harvest selections!) There are micro brew gardens and beverage booths everywhere you turn. And you can walk around the entire Big E with a big cup of beer in one hand and a mega bucket of donuts in the other.
Of course, at 5 am on Sunday, Sam Adams and Tom Thumb paid me a little visit. It seems they really enjoyed the Big E, too, and they still wanted to party. As for me, I was not amused by their antics and I am presently not on speaking terms with either Sam or Tom.
I will end with a question for you all: the same question that was running through my head as I was driving down the Mass Pike today. At what age are you too old to show up at a bridal shower completely hung over?