Monday, December 17, 2012

Behind the Brick: Donut Booth

This one caught my eye because, well, I like donuts. Turns out there's an interesting little story behind it, too. An initial search for "Ramsey County donut booth state fair" brought up the intriguing blog post titled "State Fair donut booth deception revisited." Donut deception? What, were they passing off something -- fried bits of non-donut pastry puffs, perhaps -- as the real thing?  Had I, as a member of the donut-eating public, ingested something non-donutey?

Nope. Never fear, fellow donut connoisseurs, at least not those of you with DFL leanings. Turns out the 10th Ward Rural Ramsey County Donut Booth -- aka Grandstand Donuts -- is run by the Ramsey County DFL PAC, with proceeds used to support local DFL districts. In 2012 the booth had more than $116,000 in sales, netting them about $34,000 in profits. Who said politics and fried dough can't mix?

As for Fran Voerding and Lora Lindorfer? I don't have much information about these two women, but they must have worked tirelessly indeed to have earned their own commemorative Minnesota State Fair brick, which, after all, will be around far longer than will one of their mini-donuts.

To get a brick of your own, contact the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Five Things: Sweet Martha's Cookies

  1. Sweet Martha's has been serving up cookies at the fair since 1979!
  2. When not practicing the art of cookie baking, Martha Rossini Olson is teaching art at Highland Catholic School in St. Paul [UPDATE: make that enjoying art outside of the classroom! She is now retired.]
  3. Sweet Martha's has a tradition of celebrities and VIPs getting behind the counter to serve up cookies to fair-goers; in 2004, Vice-President Dick Cheney took a turn as cookie vendor.
  4. Sweet Martha's is high-tech! In 2012, their 450 employees used the new "When I Work" scheduling app. Sweet Martha's is also on Pinterest
  5. They can bake more than 23,000 cookies in 12 minutes!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Favorite Meeting Spot

Do you have a favorite meeting spot at the Minnesota State Fair? If not, you might want to get inspired by this piece of chainsaw art. "A Favorite Meeting Spot" was carved by artist Dennis Roghair in 2005. If you've been to the fair, you've seen Roghair's work. This Minnesota sculptor's hand (and by extension, saw) can be seen all over the state fair, where he has transformed the stumps of long-dead trees into lasting works of art. If you want to check out "Favorite Meeting Spot" for yourself -- or use it for your own meeting spot in the future -- it's conveniently located by the giant corn roast stand.