When he moved here 10 years ago, Dear Husband's first gig was at the Taste of Champaign festival, a food-crafts-music fair held at a local park. It was with the children's community choir he has accompanied ever since, and as I remember it, the group had not yet met for the school year, so he was entirely new to town and the singers. I arrived separately, looking for my new husband among the crowd. I suppose it went well enough. This year, the latest iteration of the garage band he plays with had a Friday evening slot at Taste. They bill themselves as "New Orleans Funk," something completely different than the country group they followed. I thought they rocked pretty hard.
There's a bit of a "Where's Waldo?" vibe to this one. Can you find DH?
This time I brought some mending to occupy my hands: patching the lining of a nice shirt that I had accidentally melted with a too-hot iron. Oops! In the photo above you can see the "scookie" I had purchased for first dessert from a local vegan restaurant. It was dry and fluffy like a scone but had chocolate chips like a cookie. I wished the dough had been a little bit sweeter. (Actually I had wanted some coleslaw as a "vegetable," but the health department wouldn't let them sell it, because it wasn't cold enough.)
Second dessert: a raspberry popsicle flavored with hibiscus tea. It tasted good--and the raspberry seeds attested to its whole-fruit authenticity--but by the end the texture was too...icy for me. I suppose it is artificial polymer fillers that make store-bought popsicles soft.
Not pictured: the two empanadas I downed before thinking about my responsibilities to food photo journalism. One was carne, the other corn and goat cheese, and both were delicious. DH scarfed a piece of second-rate pizza before going on stage. Afterwards, we set to find him some real food. Along the way, we ran into several friends from the adult community choir he accompanies. Two of them were attempting to string rope lights in their booth, and I could tell it was not going well. Since we were easily half their ages, I volunteered us. By the time we were done, it was the best-lit booth at the festival! Our reward: egg rolls.
Also consumed that night: BBW jerk chicken with beans and rice from the very popular Caribbean food truck and (for third dessert) frozen yogurt with gummy worms. Unfortunately, it turns out the gummy worms freeze in fro-yo just like gummy bears, so I essentially had to eat the two components separately, thawing the worms in my mouth so I could chew them.
The weather was unseasonably cool: just over 80 degrees when we arrived, and probably just under 70 degrees when we left. The light breeze had blown the smoke of nearby cigars and cigarettes to my table while I was sewing, but that was a temporary nuisance. We sat in the glow of the lights we had strung and talked, and talked, and talked. We shut the place down at closing time. It was a glorious night full of food and friends, a perfect Friday night of tasting, tasting, 1, 2, 3.