Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fernie Flamingo

Beaven and I took the grands to the Fair yesterday. Between our initial Corny Dogs and petting the kangaroo at the Children’s Barnyard I ran into Fannie Flamingo’s sister. Fernie has a Funnel Cake stand in the Creative Arts building. I had forgotten all about Fernie, even though Fannie has mentioned her to me several times. I think Fannie may be a little jealous of her because all Fannie will say is that Fernie “was always Great Grandmother Fannie’s favorite.” In fact, I think Great Grandmother Fannie gave Fernie the secret recipe for her famous Seven Seed Souffle just before she flew off to the big birdhouse in the sky.

Fernie has lived in Arkansas most of her adult life. She married a furniture maker and moved to the hills right out of high school. Sadly, her husband, Farnsworth, was taken from her in a tragic accident with a Delta floor-mounted industrial joiner- planner. One of his tail feathers got caught in the planner blade and all that was left of him was enough feathers to make a rather small pink pillow. Fernie still has that pillow and sleeps with it every night.

For the past ten years she has traveled all over the US with various state fairs selling her fabulous funnel cakes. Fernie is a fantastic cook. Her time spent at Great Granny Fannie’s side was well-spent.

I was so excited to see her that when I heard she was staying in a trailer on the grounds of the Fair I told her to come on over here and stay while she’s working at the Fair. Oh, she was so happy to get that invitation! I guess life on the road can wear thin.

She told me she would earn her keep by cooking for us. And, cook, she did. Indeed. Cooked a lot. Man, can that bird cook. She's cooked just about everything food item sold at the Fair, mostly the fried stuff. We've enjoyed Corny Dogs, French Fries and Tater Tornadoes as well as Onion Strings; we’ve had fajitas and tamales and cotton candy (she brought in an old machine from work) and candied apples. I've had Belgian Waffles for every meal.

I’m afraid that Fernie doesn’t do a very good job of cleaning up after herself. I have grease splattered all over my kitchen. Little mounds of flour dot my countertops with a dusting of powdered sugar on top of it all. Once the grease congeals I’m afraid it will be too far gone to scrap off the counters. The grandkids have been asking her to stay with us permanently after the fair closes. I’m just not sure our arteries can take it.

This will have to be short. Fernie has built a campfire outside in the back and took bags of chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. I think she's working up to S'Mores and a few choruses of Kum Ba Ya. I have to go stop her before they arrest her for violating the county burn ban.

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