Fall, a time when trees are filled with bountiful colors, and the air has a crisp autumn smell.
Fall is also the season for pumpkin-flavored everything.
If you are a fall lover, you are probably looking forward to the upcoming holidays, the much needed weather change, and of course, football season!
So, as the leaves are about to change, here are 5 things to LOVE about fall.
- Cooler Weather. Let’s face it, the 100-degree days have overstayed their welcome in Oklahoma. It is finally time to bring out sweaters again and enjoy a fresh, cool breeze. Also, the bugs are starting to dwindle, and the nice autumn days allow you to enjoy the outdoors again, rather than dreading the heat.
- Football. Football is like no other sport! Whether you enjoy the Friday Night Lights, the Saturday College GameDay or Sunday’s primetime games, we can all cheer for our favorite football teams again! And also, let’s not forget the delicious tailgate food.
- Fall Festivities. Whether it is Fall Festivals, pumpkin patches, hayrides or a corn maze, tis’ the season for all the outdoor activities. If you are looking for a great local activity, look no further, here is an updated list of local pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hayrides, plus much more: https://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/OKpumpkins.php.
- Halloween. Halloween is full of spooky decorations, fun costumes and an endless supply of candy. A favorite time for many children.
- Thanksgiving. What better way to spend a holiday than stuffing your face with turkey and pumpkin pie? This is also the time of year for fellowship with family and friends, and of course, taking infinite naps.
By: Landee Kieschnick, Communication Coordinator
Summer is officially coming to an end, which means Oklahoma fair season is upon us!
In the next few months, many county and state fairs are kicking off across rural Oklahoma.
The smell of freshly groomed shavings and the echoing noise of cattle mooing in the background are just a few sights, smells and sounds that reminds us just how great county fairs are.
Fairs are a time to spend with family and friends, and a time for locals to connect with rural Oklahoma’s finest agriculture.
So, as county and state fair season is gearing up, and I sit here and think about my previous county fair experiences as a young 4-H and FFA member, here are the top five best things about fair season:
- Livestock Shows
The show ring is the start of many great memories. 4-H and FFA students have worked countless hours to prepare their show animals for this big moment. The life lessons gained throughout the months leading up to the fair, and the confidence developed while in the show ring, are skills only a “stock show” kid can truly apprehend.
- The AMAZING Food
Calories do not necessarily count during fair season! (Or so they say.) County fair season allows you to loosen your belt and truly appreciate all the deep-fried-goodness available during the fair. From deep-fried Oreos, to funnel cakes and corn dogs a mile long, there is no telling what this year’s food trucks will bring.
- Community Support
You can always tell when it is fair season because the community support is incredible. Local businesses support 4-H and FFA members at the premium auctions and will also start to close early to allow employees the opportunity to take their children to the fair. Not to mention the community support of local 4-H clubs and FFA chapters that encourage and mentor each student as they prepare their livestock projects.
- Agriculture Exhibits
Apart from livestock shows, Oklahoma agriculture is widely displayed during each fair. From tractor exhibits, to petting zoos, and heaps of locally grown produce in the exhibit halls, each county fair allows fairgoers to truly connect with rural Oklahoma’s agricultural roots.
- Fair Vacation
OK, county fairs may not be the most ideal vacation, but it is a time to spend with family and friends and just enjoy a week of no school! 4-H and FFA students are able to forget about their math homework for a few days and enjoy all the activities available at the fair. This year, exhibitors at the Tulsa State Fair have the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the barns and relax in the AFR Exhibitor Lounge, which will be in the Ford Truck Exhibit Hall throughout the duration of the fair.
So, if you are looking for an activity to do with the family, head to the county or state fair! Just to name a few upcoming county fairs: The Canadian County Fair is happening now and will go until August 24th. Other fairs coming up are the McClain County Fair, September 3rd through the 7th; the Cleveland County Fair, September 4th through the 8th; and the Rogers County Fair, September 12th through the 15th. Tulsa State Fair kicks off September 26th and will go until October 6th; and the Oklahoma State Fair, in Oklahoma City, will start September 12th and will go until September 22nd.
Brown Sugar Honey Ham
Recipe by: Vanessa Wiebe
Fall is quickly approaching! It’s time for a new school year and new recipes. A ham in the oven is always a great dinner choice for Sunday evenings or a weekend of hosting company.
Also, even though it is months away, this recipe would be a sure success for Thanksgiving dinner.
For Brown Sugar Honey Ham, you will need:
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 c. honey
2 c. apple juice
2 tbsp. apricot jelly
Apple juice is of course a childhood favorite of mine, and once you let it soak into the ham, it elevates the flavors to a new level of deliciousness.
Equally as amazing is the fact that apricot jelly helps bring a sweetness to the savory element of this dish.
Here are the steps to making Brown Sugar Honey Ham:
Start by turning the oven to 350.
Place the ham in an oven safe dish. Pour 2 cups of apple juice over it and place the ham in the oven for 30 minutes.
Place ½ cup of brown sugar over the top of the ham and press into the top and sides as best as possible. Place into the oven for another 30 minutes.
While the ham is in the oven, mix together the remaining brown sugar, honey and apricot jelly in a medium saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture directly over the ham and cook for another hour. Ever 15-20 minutes, pour liquid from the bottom of the pan over the ham.
Once the hour is finished, take the ham out of the oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Enjoy with your favorite starchy side and veggie dish!
If you have a recipe you would like to share, please email the recipe’s ingredients and instructions, with step-by-step photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.