Cowtoberfest {Fair Oaks Farms}

Welcome to CowtwoberfestWhen in Indiana, do as the Hoosiers do.

I am visiting my family in Indiana for a little stretch this month. It was a hard decision, because I LOVE the fall and don’t want to miss out on it anywhere, even when I am enjoying it somewhere else. The tastes, sights, smells, and events of autumn make it hands-down my favorite season. The pull of some bonfires and football in the Midwest {not to mention a good dose of my family, of course!} was very strong this year, so I find myself in Indiana. And this past Saturday, I found myself at Cowtoberfest, a fall festival in Fair Oaks, Indiana.

My friend from law school KHJ was game for the opportunity to take a little break from her own fall agenda in Michigan, and came down to rendez-vous at my parents’ with me for the weekend. During law school, we had had a great adventure on “Crazy Virginia Road Trip Day” where we set one destination and then headed toward … whatever we happened upon for the day. It is hard to plan memorable days like that, but we wanted to try! And thus, Crazy Indiana Road Trip Day took shape.

Of most interest for the food blog crew will be our first stop: the dairy at Fair Oaks Farms, in Fair Oaks, Indiana. We had been on the fence until I saw that Saturday was “Cowtoberfest,” a fall festival that had enormous pumpkin carving (by a professional), live music, and a “dance-off” by area high school dance teams – dressed like zombies. AND CHEESE? How anyone could pass that up, I don’t know. We opted out of the full dairy tour – we had a full day’s agenda to complete! – but here are a few shots from the farm:

FO Dairy-2We can neither confirm nor deny whether we had a cooler in the trunk to bring cheese home. All cheeses were available for sampling. Their best-seller is the Sweet Swiss, and I am looking forward to un-shrink-wrapping mine! My wheels are turning on cheese-themed treats!

FO Dairy-6FO Dairy-9We enjoyed lunch at the Farm House – a pub-style restaurant serving great (and filling!) food, featuring Fair Oaks Dairy cheeses. Pictured here, from top: Onion Soup topped with Emmentaler cheese, a Trio of Sliders on pretzel buns {note to self: cute idea!}, Buffalo Chili topped with some sort of cheese that is escaping me {but was delicious}, and Fair Oaks Farm’s Mac & Cheese. {Oooh, grilled cheese sliders on pretzel roll buns sound delicious. AND it’s literally a rainy day. I love when the universe hands me opportunities…}

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And there were vendors selling their wares; most importantly, fresh doughnuts.

FO Dairy-5Um, this was awesome. A climbing wall shaped like a milk carton.

FO Dairy-4Also awesome: a huge pit of dried corn kernels for the kids to play in, as demonstrated by this small child dressed like a cow. Corn, cows, and a kid in a camo hunting jacket: Indiana.

Crazy Indiana Road Trip Day continued with a visit to Wolf Park, soft-serve flurries at the Patio Drive-In (an ice cream shop in a town with a population of less than my work building), watching the cranes land at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area … and maybe a hibachi dinner. I can neither confirm nor deny.

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Happy Fall everyone! {Yes, that is a tiny severed leg you see in the upper left of this shot – Happy Halloween as well!}

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