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Published on October 12, 2021

Fair parade followed by parade of life

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin\

Not so long ago, farming and family life was the norm in Brazoria County. October was always County Fair month, and the hard work of early morning feeding and grooming of the show animals, or handicrafts and treasures from the kitchen were displayed.

One of the most exciting parts has always been the opening day and the parade. Finding the right spot along the parade’s route was crucial. The site was staked out and claimed hours before the start time.

Floats were elaborately decorated, and anyone who was (or wanted to be) somebody in the county waved to the crowds from polished automobiles, preferably convertibles. Now, if it happened to be a red and white 1957 Chevy, extra points were warranted!

Everyone along the route anxiously waited for their city’s school band, me included. I would cautiously step into the road as each band approached to see if it was my long-awaited one. Finally, in the distance, I recognized our school colors.

A chorus would begin to swell, “they’re coming, they’re coming!” As the band approached, the drums began their rhythmic beat, and my heart seemed to join in unison. Suddenly, the horns exploded with exuberant sounds, and my breath quickened and seemed to explode as the air was filled with the pulsating melody.

Such was the life at the annual County Fair parade - pretty much the way it has remained over the years.
But there is another parade going on, the parade of life looking for the One who is bringing healing in His wings.

He is the real official and notable One. When I finally saw Him, I shouted and waved with abandon to get His attention. Slowly, He turned His face in my direction.

My heart was beating wildly. He searched the crowd for my face. He knows me! He knows me! He smiled at me, and my heart leaped in my chest. I shouted, “I know Him. I know Him!”

He came to put me back together again and to teach me the simple truth of life: “because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s the will of God. Neither does the fact that something is hard…isn’t.” He is my trophy to show in the County Fair of my life. He is my Blue Ribbon.

This is a favored recipe of mine. It’s simple to make but looks impressive and tastes wonderful. I entered it in the Brazoria County Fair in the 1980s. Imperial Sugar was sponsoring the pie section, and alas, mine was savory and sugar-free. It didn’t win a Blue Ribbon.

French Potato Pie

Pastry

2 ¼ Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Sticks Butter
4 Tablespoons Cold Water
Cut the butter into the flour until pea size. Gradually add the water. Shape into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Filling

¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
¼ Cup Onions, finely chopped
6 Medium Russet Potatoes
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Fill a large bowl with cold water and drop each potato in as they are peeled.
Egg Wash
1 Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Water
Combine and whisk to mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Assemble: Divide the pastry dough in half. Roll one half into the bottom crust and place in a large pie pan. Roll the other crust and set aside for the top. Drain the potatoes and dry with paper towels. Thinly slice the potatoes and mix with the onion and parsley. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Pour the potato mixture into the pastry lined pie pan. Dot with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Place the remaining crust on top, crimp and flute the edges. With a glass or biscuit cutter, make an impression in the center of the top crust. Cut four slashes from the center to the edge. Brush the top with the egg wash.

Bake for 1 hour. If the crust begins to brown early, cover with foil. Turn the oven off and remove the pie. Carefully cut out the circle indention in the center. Very slowly, pour the heavy cream through the opening. Replace the cutout circle and return the pie to the oven for 15 minutes.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)