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» Sunday, October 21, 2007Cacciatore, Country and More Country
Yesterday was "Hair Day" and it was our turn to provide the main dish.
About a month ago, knowing our turn was due, we came up with a "scathingly brilliant idea, " to quote Mary Clancy, which we promptly forgot in the morass of weekend work, end-of-fiscal-year, and assorted chores. Last Saturday we decided to make crock-pot chicken cacciatore and bought boneless skinless chicken thighs at Costco. Every night we would cook as much of the chicken as would fit into our crock pot in tomato-and-basil, no-sugar-added tomato sauce with an onion, a couple of small slices of green pepper, and a sprinkling of granulated garlic, and then put it up in plastic containers, so that yesterday at lunch all we had to do was decant it and warm it up. Someone else brought bread to "zoop" and we had the most delicious crab dip and a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato cheese ball provided by our hosts.
Afterwards we took our weekly trip to the hobby shop and also stopped at Book Nook. James got two books about aviation and I found a copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. This book was very popular in the wake of the success of the series Upstairs, Downstairs in the mid-1970s. The author was an English countrywoman who lived on a large estate. She taught nature studies to girlsone of the few "ladylike" sciences acceptable to teach to women back thenand the Country Diary was originally written in 1906 as an example of the type of nature diary that she wanted her students to keep. The journal was "discovered" as the popularity of the British series brought a demand for Edwardian-themed programming and books, and printed in an exact facsimile in Edith Holden's own handwriting, with her meticulous watercolors of birds, birds' eggs, plants, leaves, and even paintings of the countryside. In the 70s there were Country Diary notebooks, journals, flower albums, diaries, photo albums, cookbooks, etc. until the craze ran itself out.
The book itself is a precious snapshot of times and flora and fauna gone by, with lovely watercolor portraits of different birds.
We were up early this morning to attend the Apple Festival in Ellijay, about sixty miles northeast of us. I had read about it in a flyer given out at one of the craft shows earlier this year. It is held for two weekends and because James had to work last weekend, we actually got the better of the two weekends to go: it was in the high forties this morning when we left at 8:30, but despite the fact that it got into the high seventies, it never got unbearable, except for the sun being relentlessly bright; even though there were mostly cool temperatures and we remembering our hats, we still were slightly sunburned. (James takes medication that makes him sensitive to sun and I've burned easily ever since the radioactive iodine treatments.)
We arrived promptly enough to get parking next to the Lions Club field where the festival was being held rather than having to take shuttle buses and spent an enjoyable three hours wandering over a hundred different craft booths. This one was a very nice mixture of crafts, clothing and other odds and ends; I got a few country-themed Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations, but the coolest thing I found were removable appliques. I have a lovely fall sweatshirt and a cute Hallowe'en sweatshirt, but I don't get to wear them very often because it's usually warm straight into November. These appliquesI got the fall pack with leaves, pumpkins, a turkey, a black cat, and a purple batwill stick to any shirt, long or short sleeved, then come off and stick to a different shirt. When the adhesive eventually starts to weaken, you can buy the glue to renew it at any craft shop.
We contributed to the Lions Club by purchasing lunch from them and to the Boy Scouts who were taking parking donations as well.
We also found another Christmas gift...yay!...and bought a bag of farm-fresh apples, Granny Smiths of course, before we left at one, just as the crowds were getting thick. There was one huge apple the size of a softball that we munched on all the way home.