Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"I'm studying for the math fair. If I win, I'll get a brand new protractor." - Lisa, The Simpsons

This is a huge cabbage from the fair. The state fair? It's all about the huge cabbage that you need a forklift to move, yet which still tastes like . . . cabbage. When is somebody going to give me a steak larger than Texas?

The 75th Annual Tanana Valley State Fair started on Friday, and our first foray was on Saturday. Part of the fair is seeing people you know. Since living in Fairbanks is pretty close to living on an island, going to the Fair means running into oodles of people you know.

Even people you don’t know tend to be nice. The people at the Alaska DOT were excited to see The Boy amble over to them and begin to talk with them about roads. As a five-year-old, he probably knows more about road design and the various pros and cons of different material (asphalt versus concrete) than most adults, and had a great conversation. We went further down the line and people were falling all over themselves to give The Boy things. He ended up walking away from the Fair with a flashlight, a dozen pencils, five comic books, three coloring books, a dozen buttons (various governor candidates) and enough stickers to patch Bill Gates’ roof.

This is a combination of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam. He'll leave you coal in your stocking if you're bad, or maybe indict you on Federal charges.

We hit the midway. The games were fun, but the big attraction for The Boy were the huge hydraulic and electric solid steel contraptions whose primary intent was to flip a human body around at about half the speed of barf. I should know, since my older self is much more barf prone than my eighteen-year-old self. The Boy and I hit two rides, and we quit after he found the Tilt-A-Whirl just a bit too challenging.

The Mrs. put up with this, despite an increasing level of boredom. The Mrs. was stuck with our 15-month old, Pugsly. Pugsly and The Mrs. sat and waited while The Boy and I made each other miserable by riding in rides that made us want to hurl. This drove The Mrs. a bit nuts, and made Pugsly hungry, but opening his eyes makes Pugsly hungry. If your job were to stand around with a baby while other people went and had fun, well, you’d feel like Madonna’s employees. The Mrs. just felt a bit chapped having to sit around while her men went out twirled.

All of us (queasy or bored) then flitted off and went to the livestock show barns. As we were entering, the sign indicated that this barn held “Lambs, Goats, and Cavies”. The Mrs. was pretty sure that they’d misspelled “Calves”. No.

This is a cavy. It's not a prize from the fair for putting a wooden ring around a bottle, but a real animal. I squeezed this one and it did not squeek.

A Cavy (plural, Cavies) is a real animal, though I can’t see how something that so resembles a ball of trembling fur could have ever stayed alive in the wild with, well, a tame toothless 22 year old mouse not eating it. That a cavy exists is perhaps the best argument for creation science that I’ve ever seen, even though I’m thinking that he pointy clawed animals of the world would argue for evolution, after they’d finished eating me.

Notice that a cavy has no hind legs, which makes it even more of a bed-covering stuffed animal of a creature.

I looked on Google, and couldn’t find any use for cavy fur, nor could I find any recipes for cooking them. I think that’s because a cavy is essentially just a pet. That’s okay, I don’t (often) think how my dog might taste if I were really, really hungry, but when I did have that thought the recurring theme was “barbeque sauce.” Maybe that would be good for cavies, as well. Mmmm, bbq’d cavy.

We finally decided to leave. As the Fair receded in our rearview mirror, I reflected on the day. We’d had fun, seen cavies, and ridden rides, which is what the Fair is all about. Now if I could just figure out how to cook a cavy.


Blogger Lynn said...

I have never heard it called a cavie before. We call them Guinnea Pigs.
The are a rodent. They, like rabbits require vitamin C in their diet, were other rodents can get a way with grains and seeds.
Guinnea pigs have 3month pregnancy and they bear 1 or 2 babies that suckle (from a teat in the crease of the leg) and they eat hard food right away. Guinnea pigs squeel like a pig when they are upset, or in labour.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it the Tenana Valley fair or the Alaska state fair? If it's the former, even with "state" in the name, is there an official alaska state fair? Also, we have cavies in Texas too.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Barbequed Cavy
3 plump cavies per person
1 bottle BBQ sauce (store bought or homemade)
hot grill

Behead, gut and skin cavies. Save skin for doggie chew toys. Slide three cavies onto each skewer. Cook over hot coals until jucies run clear when pierced by a fork. Brush on favorite sauce. Eat while piping hot. Watch out for those tiny little bones. Serve with Board Game Salad (See June 16, 2006 entry at http://
_archive.html). Cavies on a stick are best at 60 below and you have no food left in the pantry and no desire to try to start your frozen vehicle. Enjoy!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Do the good people at Alaska DOT know how to build bridges?

By the way, leave the dogs alone. If you are hungry, get yourself a moose, a bear, a cat, a cavy, a whale, but don't touch the dogs.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Joann said...

I had to read this just before bed. Not Good. Your Cavies are scary, but they might help keep my thoughts off of worrying about my cab's clunking transmission as I try to drift off to sleep.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Coldfoot said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Caaaaaavies.

8:46 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah, the Cavy part must just be to avoid calling them "pigs," which would make people like me think of eating them. See, they don't sqeak!

I'm not sure that there's an "official" Alaska anything. There's another State Fair down at Palmer, and rumor has it that it's more than a bit bigger than ours.

dame koldfoot,
Mmmmmmm, cavy.

I don't know if these AKDOT folks knew how to build bridges, but we have enough $ for them to learn on.

See, if I could teach the dogs to get me a whale carcass, like on Eight Below, then I'd be in the house.

Yes. If there were thousands of cavies overrunning my house, I would be a tad creeped out. Maybe it's cavies that are getting into your trannie?

Mmmmmmm . . . . caaavie gravy!

8:09 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

THEM are Guinea Pigs!
And they look like potential "road kill".
And... DOT at a fair?????

Hi, im officer Johnson.
This is a road.
This is a ticket.
That is a gun.....

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cavey is an old name for a Guinea Pig. They are often eaten in Latin America. It's hard to find specific recipes for them per se (the "western" diet tending to avoid rodent), but they can be substituted in any rabbit recipe. I would suggest stewing them is the easiest to start with. I would suggest adding a square or two of a high cocoa content chocolate (70%) as this will thicken the sauce, and of course continues that Latin American theme

6:46 AM  

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