Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dorm Room Cooking at Colleges and Universities Will Never Be the Same

It's been almost 25 years since I stepped out of college. All the memories that I have retained ranges from acing exams and partying until the end of time. But one of the things that I remember fondly was how I just got by on what little money I had. What made it fun was seeing how far you could go on the food situation. Oh the days of cooking in the dorm!

I can remember always coming back to the dorm either after long session in class of just late night blasting going for the mini-fridge and struggling to make something out of what I had left. In most cases, I would have half of everything but but could never make anything. Unfortunately I also had to throw away most of the food because it went bad which turned into me spending more money and so on... wasted money.

Fast forward to today and it seems that food shows is a major cog in the entertainment wheel. If there's anything that can be cooked in 50 different ways, there's a show about it. Well, I came across one such show but only on the internet and I have to say how I wish that it was around when I was in college.

So yesterday I get an email from a friend in the catering business. He said, "If I only thought if this I could have been rich" Normally I would have just deleted it but the name really stood out so I had to check it out.

I watched some of the videos on a viral site and within 15 seconds I was into it. The titles of the cooking segments are real catchy like Sticky Booty Burger, Heart Attach Ramen, Garbage Omelet and The Stoner Banger made with a hot dog, grape jelly, mustard and honey dijon chips. Yep, he actually cooks-down the jelly and the mustard in a sauce pot.

The guy in the videos is kind of funny as he really looks like a college student just whipping it up. So far his recipes are real interesting and they don't go out of the reach of what you would find in a typical dorm kitchen. But one thing that makes this interesting is that her really seems to be a chef at heart lightly dropping cooking terms as he rattles off his concoctions.

Infused with these odd recipes is a real stoney sense of humor. Teh chef in the video has a quirky personality with an east coast kind of draw to his speaking. As well his appearance is in tune with what I think is today's hyper cool laid back college cruiser.

Other recipes in the video segments are The Stick Booty Burger is an infused peanut butter burger with jelly topping and a small dose of spices. The Garbage Omelet is just that; everything left in your vegi-box and in this case, wasabe peas. The Heart Attack Omelet is really just Top Ramen but not with the mixed in flavors that come with the package but a home made pepper jack cheese sauce with fresh jalape?os.

I have to say, after watching these videos I found the chef and the content very interesting and creative in an entertainment sense. I don't know that I'm going to run out and actually try these recipes but I will say one thing, I'll bet kids in college are going to get a kick out of this!

Giano Beninate
Dorm Cooking Videos -

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Blossom Festival - An Awesome Event

The 2008 Apple Blossom Festival went on as planned despite several threats of rain. People were everywhere for the weekend in Winchester, Virginia on the first weekend of May this year. It is hard to figure the actual attendance because there is no gate to this downtown Winchester event. But there were as many people as there always is at this awesome celebration.

There was a carnival open three days before the actual Apple Fest. Powers Great American Midway was the host carnival. It was located about three miles from downtown the host of the main venue. The Circus provided by the Clyde Beatty - Cole Bros Circus was at the Apple Blossom Mall around two miles from downtown. Both of these extra attractions drew large crowds as well. The rides were always turning at the carnival lot. The people packed in elbow to elbow on Friday and Saturday night at both the Circus and the carnival lots.

The patrons were spending money as always. They just did not support the games for sure. Some of the games workers complained of not getting many players. The people seemed disinterested in the games as a whole. The Water Races and quarter pitches did better than usual. The balloon games did well as normal. But several other games took a huge hit in overall grosses. Some of these games were down over 50% in gross. That is an abnormal decrease in sales for any event in a one year period. It was terrible for the games concessionaires and workers.

It was said that there were a few more games on the streets spots than normal. Some estimated up to 10-12 games were added. There were certainly a bunch of games on the streets. They were covering footage in 5 different blocks. If there were more games in Winchester this year that would account for some of the loss in revenue by the games people. One concessionaire stated that although he did not have more games this year he had twice as much help. So the spot was not as far off for him as most this year.

The food sold as always because people have to eat no matter what. People will often buy a certain food at every event they attend. Well in Winchester it is the apples that are going. Several people enjoyed theirs via candy apples. Man those candy apple vendors had to have made a bundle.They were selling them no matter what.

The Firefighters put on a huge parade every year at the Apple Blossom Fest. The parade is long and has many nice floats. It normally takes 2 hours or longer to run through. The Festival has fireworks on two nights. This display is nice and bright and lasts around 15-20 minutes. There are bands to listen to and many other fun activities at this annual festival.

The first day, Tuesday, at the carnival lot things were slower than normal years. The attendance was down and some blamed it on the weather. It was somewhat chilly that day with a little wind to make matters worse. Wednesday was twice as good and basically back to normal crowd size. Thursday was slightly better and was just a scantling off of the Friday crowd. Saturday was by far the best day for all the vendors locations. Weather the location was on the carnival lot or downtown or at the circus lot. Saturday was the finale and the people came out in droves supporting this long time Apple Festival.

I created the web site The web site was first published for use on the internet on February 4, 2008. Already boasts arguably the best free listing of bonafide fairs and festivals on the internet. has 48 pages of fairs and festivals which you can find all the pages on the home page in a drop down menu. There is a merchandise page with several vendors, a carnivals page with nearly 80 links to different carnivals web sites, a contact page, an employment page, and the home page to go with the 48 pages of fairs and festivals listings. You will find this site truly informative and a very helpful tool for anyone who does anything in the outdoor amusements. Come check out now!

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