In Fall thoughts turn to…

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I don’t know about you, but when the fall is here and the weather starts to cool down, even from the other side of the world, I start thinking about my State Fair.

In the Fall, there is a certain smell of dead leaves or something, that really reminds me of going to the State Fair.

I only went a few times in my life, but they really stand out in my memory.

For the food.

I didn’t care so much about the rides… although I do remember Dr. Blood’s haunted house. There were lines around the block to get in. My older cousin and her boyfriend went in and my other cousins and I stood outside, trying not to catch the eye of the very realistic looking ghouls that stalked the area, looming over people and terrifying everyone.

We waited for them to come out and watched people who we considered grown ups (high school kids) stumbling out of there screaming and crying. It must be horrible to make people so old and cool get that upset!

One of the ghouls walked by my cousin, who was about 6 at the time, getting really close and peering down at her. Without a word or even a single sound, she bolted for the restrooms, my aunt running behind her… It took forever for my aunt to get her out of there.

Yeah, the food was the best part.

Corndogs and Cotton Candy. Funnel Cakes and Caramel Apples and Frito pie. Plump and crispy Tater Tots.  Big, sloppily greasy cheese burgers with lots of mustard. Fries as thick as a finger, perfectly fried and hot in the cool night air. Fresh Southern Maid Donuts, the best donuts in the entire South, had their own booth at the Fair. Donut Holes!!

So I have decided that I am going to make a few State Fair foods this winter (Yes, Winter is here.) and see if that won’t give my mind something to think about besides cold, gray, snow and ice.

A friend at work is interested in Corndogs and Tater tots. So I began with Corndogs.

Making corndogs in Austria is not as difficult as you would expect.

Homemade Corndogs

Note about measurements. In the US we measure by volume. So my measurements when I make this are also by volume. Basically, one cup is 1/4 of a liter, on a measuring cup. M’kay?

If you live outside of the US, then first you do a bit of preparation. You take your Maiz Mehl or Gries or dried Polenta, just whatever dried corn meal you can easily get. Put it in a coffee grinder, (they are cheap, I got mine for 8 euro in Haas.) and pulse it 3 or 4 times. You want to grind it smaller, but not powdered. Still a bit nubby if you know what I mean.


1 cup of AP flour / 250 ml Glatt Mehl

1 cup plus 1/4 cup of cornmeal/ 315 ml of your prepared corn stuff

1Tablespoon (Big Spoon) granulated sugar / 1 Esslöffel fein krystal Zucker

1 Teaspoon Baking powder / 1 Teelöffel Backpulver

*Note about Backpulver – Backpulver is single acting – Baking powder is double acting. – for this recipe this measurement still works.*

1/2 Teaspoon table salt / 1/2 Teelöffel Tafelsalz

1 cup milk / 250 ml milch

1 American large egg/ 2 European medium eir

12 American Hotdogs (I occasionally have seen Radatz brand at Merkur) / 2 packs Kinder Frankfurter or any Franks with thin skin

1/4 cup cornstarch / Maizena

the frying oil of your choice (Olive oil burns at a low temperature, do not use it for deep frying

Either a Fryer /Fritteuse or a large heavy cooking pot

Now then, lets get started.

Flour and cornmeal, sugar, baking powder (backpulver) and salt in a mixing bowl.

Whisk it to mix it together well

Add your milk and eggs , mix well and set aside.

Take your wieners (Hotdogs, thin skin Frankfurters) and dry them with paper towel.

Sprinkle your corn starch on a plate and dip them in it one at a time and smear it all over them with your hands. You want to completely coat them with a very thin layer.

Set aside.

Pour your frying oil of choice into your heavy pot, as deep as your second knuckle. (see picture)

Let it come to frying temperature (everyone has their own way of measuring that.) If you are using a thermometer it is F°350/ C° 175

Pour your batter into something long enough for your franks to lay down in ( I used a bread loaf pan)Dip your coated Franks into the batter and transfer to the oil. Let it float to the top and fry, rolling it over to get it evenly browned on each side.

You can do a couple at a time, depending on the size of your pot. Don’t crowd them or they will not color up and get a crispy crust.

As they finish, put them on paper towel to blot the oil and then to a baking pan in a warm over to stay warm. (see the fat gloppy one? That’s mine! I double dipped.)

When they are all done, shove the skewers or sticks in one end being careful to push it straight or you will have a wonky corndog. (which is cool too, it will still taste good)

Serve with Mustard of your choice. I did Heinz American Mustard and Kremsa Austrian Mustard (kind of sweet and PERFECT for a corndog)

Sniff some dead leaves, watch a horror movie, eat your corndogs, and have your own State Fair experience!

  • Disclaimer – I am not a cook or baker – there are many professionals who know precise formulas for getting exact results.  However, I am just figuring out ways to make things that are close enough for me. I don’t have the time or money to be precise and exacting. I shop at Austrian grocery stores and I use ingredients from them, to make food that tastes like what I miss from home.

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