The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Balloon Scenes...

My hometown of Middletown is a struggling industrial city on the banks of the Great Miami River.  It is sometimes difficult to find much redeeming about our town, but M-town does have a rich ballooning tradition dating back to the early 1990s when the Nationals of hot air balloon competition was held in our city.   For the past 8 years M-town has hosted the MidFirst Ohio Balloon Challenge Festival, which brings balloonists from all over the country to compete.  It's a fun weekend of watching breath-taking balloons floating gently over the city.  And of course any summer festival has to feature funnel cakes.  Funnel cakes aren't so much an Amish tradition as they are a Pennsylvania Dutch one.  Newcomers to this site:  almost all Amish are considered Pennsylvania Dutch, but not all Pennsylvania Dutch are Amish.  Pennsylvania Dutch is a large umbrella term which covers Amish, Mennonites, Catholics, Lutheran, Moravian and other immigrants to the Keystone State in the 1800s.  The term "funnel cake" comes from the early practice of pouring the batter through a funnel into the fryer.  There were no fewer than four funnel cake booths at the festival.  I indulged in one (and then the next booth I passed announced "award-winning funnel cakes" - SIGH) , what I really wanted was an elephant ear - another PA Dutch tradition - but I couldn't find any of those.  All in all, an enjoyable weekend!

Re: Balloon Scenes...

Hi Kevin, Don't know how we missed it but on Saturday I heard they were having the balloon thing in Middletown. We didn't see a balloon anywhere. Did it not start til later in the day or what? We were there about lunch time. Maybe next year we can get more details before we come down your way.

Re: Balloon Scenes...

Hi Kevin, Don't know how we missed it but on Saturday I heard they were having the balloon thing in Middletown. We didn't see a balloon anywhere. Did it not start til later in the day or what? We were there about lunch time. Maybe next year we can get more details before we come down your way.

Re: Balloon Scenes...

My FIL always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. I always wanted to do that for him, but unfortunately, he passed away before that happened. I'd LOVE to try it -hubby is not so sure. And, I love funnel cakes! Elephant ears, too! Kevin, try some of the county fairs. I have seen elephant ears there. I got one at either the Greene or the Clark county fair one time. 

Re: Balloon Scenes...

Last weekend was the Balloon Rally in Wellsville,NY. That is about 45 or 50 miles away. We used to go when our kids were small,but we haven't been now for a few years. It is enjoyable,but doesn't look as big as yours. The food vendors at yours sound great! I've never been in a balloon,only in a Piper cub that my son flies. I would love to try it ,tho'!!

Re: Balloon Scenes...

Riding in a hot air balloon is on my "bucket list", and I love funnel cakes.  Maybe I'll do both at the same time!

Re: Balloon Scenes...

I DID ride in a hot air balloon about 10 years ago...my balloon only went up to about 1000 feet, high enough...my Mom rode a balloon that same day which went up to about 6000 feet, if you are going to do it, go high!:)