Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday ~Texas Ren Fest

I'm feeling a little bit nostalgic this weekend because much of my family and many of my friends are gathered at my brother's house for a weekend long get together focusing around the Texas Renaissance Festival which is held near Plantersville, Texas. This weekend also happens to be my brother's birthday and my grandniece's 2nd birthday all the more reason for missing them. A couple of years ago we were in town around the same time, so I'm flashing back to part of that visit to show you some of the Ren Fest. The grounds of the Ren Fest are huge and there a lot of permanent buildings and plenty of beautiful plants and flowers, including this open air vine covered chapel where weddings are held year round.

Vines cover many of the structures

And Trees!

This Coral Vine is my favorite

More lush plantings

People watching is my favorite thing about the Ren Fest

And there are plenty of fancy people traipsing about to watch....

Even a few pirates

And even my brother was in costume

The day was gorgeous

Blue blue sky and something a little unexpected

Plenty of fun for everyone

As fun as the festival was, what made the trip special was getting to be there when my brother blew out the candles for his 50th birthday

And being there the day my sweet grandniece was born

2 years later she's not a baby any more....but she's still just as beautiful and special.

I don't have pictures of these yummy treats but they are something I always try to get when I visit the Ren Fest. They are supposed to be the recipe from the lady that actually makes them there, Ligia Giles. I found the recipe on Recipe Link.

Banana Empanadas

Makes 15 large or 30 small empanadas

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup solid all-vegetable shortening
Lukewarm water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Peanut or vegetable oil

In medium bowl, lightly stir together flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water, a little at a time. Shape dough into a large ball; divide into equal pieces (15 large or 30 small) and carefully shape into balls. Roll each ball into a thin circle.

In a clean medium bowl, mix remaining 3 /4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Add bananas and toss to coat. Place 1 tablespoon filling mixture (for small empanadas) or 2 tablespoons filling (for large) in the center of each circle to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Moisten the edge with water. Fold empanada in half to form a crescent; press edges together with a fork.

Deep-fry in 350-degree oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, then sift powdered sugar on top. Serve hot.

If you have anything you'd like to flashback too, please join me by putting your link below.

I am also making this my contribution to Foodie Friday at Design's by Gollum.


Mimi said...

Suzy, what a darling little girl your niece is...I remember hope excited you were when she was born.
Great shots of the Ren Festival.

Foley said...

It's tough when the family gets together and you can't be year maybe!
Your niece is such a cutie...just like her auntie!!
Great photos!

A Grain of Salt said...

Hi Suzy, I had hoped to join you this week, but it didn't happen. What a fun Fest that looks like. But the best is your little grand-niece...she is SO CUTE!

Kathleen said...

I remember this Suzy! I am sorry you can't be with them!
I didn't do a Friday post this week...hope to join in next week!

Marsha said...

I remember this too and your excitement about your niece's birth. She is really growing into a beauty with those expressive eyes and beautiful dark eyes.

Those banana empanadas sound wonderful, I copied and pasted :) With the cold weather coming on I'll be inside more and hope to join in more flashback Fridays!

Cynthia said...

What a wonderful but bittersweet flashback. I can "hear" from your post how much you miss everyone. I remember when your adorable niece was born ... I love the picture of her round little foot ... and what what an adorable, beautiful, little girl she is now. I think she has your smile. :)

Taste Buddies said...

What a fantastic recipe!

Dishesdone said...

I didn't get to do a flashback this past week, but I'm in again this Friday! The Ren Fest looks great! Your niece is adorable. I remember your excitement when she was born and the excitement when you go visit!

Ren Fest, LOL, I keep thinking Hen Fest, Larry always called a group of three or more ladies! Remind me to smack Larry!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

It must be a wonderful event but being with family would be even more special! I'm sorry you missed it this year, Suzy. At least you had lots of great family time this past summer.

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