Almost Enough.

The first thing I ate at the Circleville Pumpkin Show this past weekend was a fried oyster sandwich. I know, I know. Not only does it not contain pumpkin, but it’s not even from Ohio. I didn’t care. I was hungry and the month has an “R” in it. Some silly theme wasn’t going to keep me from trying them.

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After a bite or two, though, I felt both disappointed and ashamed. Oysters taste better with bubbly or Maya (preferably both) and I had come to Circleville to eat pumpkin-flavored stuff, hadn’t I?

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This revelation was solidified as I choked down the final few bites of bready land-locked seafood and Baseball Boy got himself a slice of pumpkin pie from one of the church stands. The faithful of Circleville must have spent a week baking pumpkin pie, because there was no shortage of the stuff. From the Methodists to the Nazarines, each congregation had a pie or 100 to sell. BB’s slice was great and without a doubt the best of the pumpkin-themed fare we’d find.

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The show, a free pumpkin-themed fair that takes over downtown Circleville every October, was packed this year, perhaps a successful victim of the “stay-cation.” You can’t beat free.

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You can’t beat camels, either.

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Although my next purchase did not include pumpkin, it was Ohio-ey, at least. When I ordered the fried bologna sandwich from these kids, they asked if I wanted cheese. I had a bout of temporary amnesia and asked, “Should I get it with cheese?” The correct answer, of course, was yes. I love cheese. What was I thinking?

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My “cheese” turned out to be a Kraft (or knockoff brand) single. Not quite cheese. But to be fair, I thought that cheese was orange and was made by pouring milk into a mold (like the commercials) until I was at least 19, so I’ll give the Methodists a break. The sandwich, tucked with a little nab of mustard, was delicious.

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Next on the list was the pumpkin crepe. It seemed like a great idea until I actually saw it. This, I might add, was with my request for them to withhold half of the candy and all of the praline sauce. Two bites was both disappointing and enough.

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I saw a large crowd starting to gather near a bakery behind all of the street vendors, and we wandered off course for a bit. This pie, in the window of Lindsey’s Bakery, held 96 pounds of cooked pumpkin and 36 pounds of pie dough, according to a sign inside. I overheard a man tell his son that because the pie was dirty and had so many germs, the custom is for the bakery to throw the pie into a field for pigs to eat. I heard it on the street, so it must be true.

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The next find was pumpkin chili. This stuff had a tiny bit of pumpkin flavor and was, as Baseball Boy eloquently put it, a “step below Wendy’s.”

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I was excited to see the pumpkin waffles, after reading about them on a Columbus Underground thread. The bright orange deep-fried “waffles” were crispy, light and cheap. ($1.75 a piece.)

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Had I not already consumed $20 (and pounds) worth of food, I probably would have ordered three more of these.

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We were pretty full by the time we got around to finding the actual pumpkins for which the show is named. A contest for the largest pumpkin produced these beauties, with the largest weighing in at more than 1600 pounds. I felt like I weighed at least half of that by the time we left.

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On our way out, we accidentally lingered too long near the Hey Hey stand, which meant that we’d have to find more space for food. I don’t get down to the Hey Hey nearly enough (and can never figure out how to get there) so it was imperative that I eat their potato pancakes and fried sauerkraut balls while I had a chance.

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The pancakes were to die for, and I’ll be making a trip down to the Hey Hey soon. As we drove past German Village on the way back to Columbus, I was tempted to see if we could stop at the bar for seconds, but decided against it. A girl need to know when to say enough.

Circleville Pumpkin Show
159 East Franklin Street
Circleville, Ohio 43113

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4 thoughts on “Almost Enough.

  1. Amanda says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Hey Hey and those potato pancakes look AMAZING! Let’s go soon!

  2. Bridget Oyer says:

    I’m ashamed to say this is my first time reading your blog, Jill. (the pumpkins lured me in)

    But, just wanted to say you’ve become a great writer! Your personality & sense of humor jump at you as you’re reading !

    Loved it !

  3. Jill says:

    @Amanda We’ll go as soon as you can hold your food. (Get better soon!)

    @Bridget Thanks! I’m glad that you like it!

  4. Marilyn says:

    Oh my gosh – I had completely forgotten about the Hey Hey!! I’ve spent many a post-run beer session there, and the sauerkraut balls are amazing! I don’t even *like* sauerkraut, and my running partner had to convince me to try one. They’re wonderful! Thanks for reminding me about this fun place! I’m in for the trip if there’s a party.

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