Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grape Day: Sweet Potato Salad

I love the idea of food festivals.  They celebrate local flavor in the best way possible.  Garlic festivals, chili festivals, cheese festivals - what's not to love?  I've been trying to get to the Vista Strawberry Festival for years, but it never quite works out.  But this year we were able to hit up the Escondido Grape Day Festival.

Grape Day started in 1908 as a way to celebrate the grape harvest.  I knew Temecula, home of our "wine county" was known for grapes, but I didn't realize that Escondido was a grape haven too.  Although 1908 was long before vineyards were a thing in California.  I do have to say, that Escondido grapes are some of the best I've ever had, so maybe they're on to something?

The Festival started with a race- just a little 5k.  There'll be a review forthcoming this weekend.  The whole family attended, even Thatdog.  After the race we walked over to grab some breakfast and a seat for the upcoming parade.

This was Thatbaby's first parade, and his favorite part of the weekend.  He loved the horses, the bands, the cheerleaders and the classic cars.

 After the parade, it was time to head over to Grape Day Park, which is where the actual festival was taking place. 

There were vendor booths and carnival rides.  Thatbaby is at the age where he loves rides and wanted to ride them all.

Grape Day Park is also the location of the original train station in Escondido, which has been restored to its former glory and houses a little train-station museum inside.  

 Outside is a restored mail car.  The interior holds a miniature train which retraces the route from Oceanside to Escondido.

Grape Day Park is also home to a grape-themed playground.  Which Thatbaby was thrilled to explore.

And of course, it wouldn't be a grape festival without grapes!

The Grape Day Festival was a lot of fun, but it was really hot out!  Like swelteringly hot. We are experiencing the hottest part of our summer right now.  Which is funny, because it's September.  Which is when it usually starts cooling down. We're in a weird place between summer and fall.  Like this potato salad.  Potato salads are a quintessential summer food, perfect for picnics and barbecues.  But sweet potatoes?  Sweet potatoes are for fall.  Does anything seem more autumnal than roasted sweet potatoes? So combine the two and you have a dish that's perfect for late summer/early fall.  It's perfect for bridging the gap between the two seasons.

Sweet Potato Salad
 2 sweet potatoes, diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cup finely diced celery
2 tsps freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  1. Place potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Soak the raisins in hot water for 15 minutes and then drain. 
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, raisins, and remaining ingredients.  Mix gently.  Refrigerate overnight.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like fun that's for sure. I love festivals as well and was at a Tomato festival on Sunday.