A Bohemia Mining Days food crawl in Cottage Grove

All the food BMD has to offer

I really like carrots. 

The other day I accidentally ate a pound. I also like salad. And apples. And blueberries. And cheese and crackers, too. These are essentially the staples of my diet. Yet for some reason, none of these foods are around at festivals.

This was very apparent as last weekend at the Bohemia Mining Days (BMD) when I, with the help of my editor, decided that I was going to try all of the food that this celebration has to offer. Festivals and food go hand in hand and so in this American tradition of excess amounts of fried food and meat, I was on a journey to try what BMD has to offer. Here is my journey:

I began this adventure of eating on Thursday night. The first meal came from the BMD board and featured steak and beans. This meal which is made to mirror what the miners ate after a long hard day on the job was less fitting for someone who had been sitting at a computer all day. Regardless of a difference in occupation with the miners, I quickly devoured this meal, and its sides: a cornbread muffin, cookies and lemonade, with reckless abandon. It was a delight and I was ready for everything else that was to come. 

Friday at the festival I scanned through the food items and settled on my favorite option: ribs. 

This meal from H&H Barbeque was the meal of the weekend: a half rack of ribs, a cornbread muffin, fries and mac and cheese. This near perfection on a plate was overwhelming. My taste buds cheered with every bite of the ribs that were doused in BBQ sauce and the fresh cut fries. While the mac and cheese was a little too mushy, everything else on the plate compensated for this one downside. This meal that kept me full deep into the day was a true treasure. 

Saturday was full of food and required assistance from some accomplices. With the help of my friends Hunter and Eric, I was able to try my heart’s content without having to eat everything. And they got fed. A win-win-win. 

We started the day with the Chuckwagon breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage links; a good meal that would be hard to mess up.

After watching the parade we were back to eating. There was the Bohemia Burger that had pulled pork on it that was just fine. Then there was smoked macaroni and cheese with bacon served in a bread bowl which was a strange show of excessive carbohydrates. There was also a deep-fried Twinkie with strawberries and whip cream which seemed like a soggier version of strawberries on a waffle. And then there was the 32nd Annual Chicken BBQ which was an overflowing plate of BBQ chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, a roll and a cookie which was just tasty and reminded me of the joy of a summer picnic. 

Through teamwork and being three 22-year-old males who can generally just eat, we were able to make our way through this food. The journey of food ended Sunday with the Miners Breakfast at Bohemia Saddle Camp with a course of pancakes, ham and fried eggs.  

Ultimately the food wavered from passable to delicious to good. It was exciting to be able to see the joy that the food was prepared with and how food really works to bring people together especially at a festival like this. 

While my stomach has recovered from eating Ron Swanson levels of meat, I just hope that next year there is a booth full of nothing but carrots and apples.