Lee: Fair is all 'about our kids'
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:30 AM
Richard Lee knows something about food, and he is equally as knowledgeable about the Neshoba County Fair.
Richard, Robyn, Kyndall and Karoline Lee
As the owner of Lee's Steakhouse in Sebastopol for the last six years, Richard has cooked more than a few meals. He has perfected the art of grilling and shares that tasty skill with the many visitors to his restaurant, as well as, his family's Fair cabin.
Richard and his wife, Robbyn, equates their success at Lee's to high quality meats and excellent customer service.
"I take care of the cooking, and Robbyn handles the front. I can grill anything," he said.
At 30 years of age, Richard proudly boasts that he has never missed a Fair.
"I've only missed the opening weekend of the Fair one time in my life. This will be my 31st Fair. The Fair is about food, fun and family...all of which I love!" Richard said.
While the aroma of grilled meats may lead one to his family cabin, the sounds of children's laughter and memories being retold on the porch also draws in the occasional passerby.
The Fair experience has changed for Richard over the years. Now married, Richard and Robbyn, who also grew up attending the Fair and whose family also has a cabin, have been married eight years. Robbyn's family spends their time at the Gilmore cabin. Richard and Robbyn have two daughters, Kyndall, 6, and Karoline, 3.
"The Fair is all about our kids now. We enjoy watching the kids have fun on the midway and getting to play with their cousins who come to visit," Richard said.
His favorite activity at the Fair is the horse races. He never misses a horse race.
Richard is quick to exclaim that while the horse races are fun, the Fair is really just about the family time.
"It's the one time of the year our entire family gets together. Each family chooses a night to cook. There's never a shortage of great food and good conversation," he said.
"My dad and I usually cook steak and chicken kabobs on the grill on our night to cook."
Richard's family's cabin, known as the Bates cabin, was originally two cabins. It was joined together and can sleep over 56 people. With four generations of family and plenty of friends, there is rarely an empty bed at their cabin.
While family is certainly his Fair highlight, Richard was quick to add that spending time with their Fair neighbors is fun, too.
"I've spent the last 30 years with our Fair neighbors," he said. "They might as well be family, too. It's fun getting to see how their families have grown and changed over the years."
Strategically planning his route during the infamous chair races, Richard says that is also one of the activities he looks forward to during the Fair. However, Richard said he might sit out this year's chair races due to an injury he received during one of last year's races.
"We try to get as close to the stage as possible," he said. "The kids love the concerts and watching the kids dance along to the music."
While many Fairgoers might complain about all of the noise at the Fair keeping their kids awake at night, Richard proudly boasts that his oldest child slept through the night for the first time during the week of the Fair when she was six weeks old.
With family plentiful and memories to be made, this year's Fair will certainly prove to be another fun-filled, good time!
NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE
4 blocks cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup crushed graham crackers
Melt margarine and mix with graham crackers, then spread evenly in springform pan for crust. Mix softened cream cheese with sugar. Then add milk, eggs and vanilla to mix. Last mix in sour cream and flour. Pour into 9" springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes. Cut off oven, but do not open oven for 4-5 hours. Then refrigerate overnight.
PEANUT BUTTER PIE
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
8 ounces whipped topping
1 graham cracker crust (9 inch)
Salted chopped pecans (optional)
In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping; pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate and serve.
2 pounds shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1 can cream of chicken
8 ounces shredded cheese (more or less to your liking)
Stick of margarine
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup milk
Saute diced onion in margarine. Then mix all ingredients together. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50-60 minutes.
2 pans cooked cornbread
3 stalks celery
2 sticks margarine (more or less)
Pound of chicken (more or less to your liking)
2 can cream of chicken
3 eggs, boiled and diced
1 bundle green onions
Boil chicken, then shred. Keep in broth. Saute onions and celery in margarine. Mix all ingredients together. Use plenty of broth so it won't dry out. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or so.
2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
Spicy ranch dressing
Soak chicken overnight in spicy ranch dressing. Cut onion and bell pepper into 1-2 inch pieces. Put chicken, bell pepper and onion on skewers. Grill until chicken is no longer pink. Sprinkle with Tony's seasoning while cooking.