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» Sunday, October 09, 2011Food'n'Festivals
We swapped sleep-in days.
Yep, yesterday we slept in, and I do mean that: got up at 10:30 and took so much time over breakfast we didn't go out until 11:30. Since we both had prescriptions to drop off at Kroger, we did so, then went to Publix for twofers (except they only had two boxes of oatmeal left, but that was enough for work—we did get Hallowe'en candy, though), then came back to get the rest of the Kroger things and our meds. We were home just in time for James to go to his IPMS meeting while I worked on a few things including wrapping two gifts, as we were off to dinner later at Longhorn to celebrate two birthdays: Jessie, who just turned 18 and John, who is [mumblety]. Special guests were: the Lawsons! We hadn't seen them in ages: they've been remodeling parts of their house and have been on a cruise. (While we were looking at Sue's Facebook posts of the cruise, suddenly we also had messages from Juanita, who was on a different cruise—since Rodney took a cruise earlier this year, it appears it's going around. Jen and Mike even spent some time on the water during their honeymoon, but they were in a canoe, not a ship. Please note: this is not contagious. We don't intend to be on the water when we go on vacation. <g> )
So we came home from dinner and rested up—even got off chat early, which is a miracle—since this morning's alarm was set for 7 a.m.
Well, okay, I set it for 7 a.m., but it reverted to the original setting of 7:30...I was awakened by James at 7:24, saying it was 7:30. !@#%!@!$%! alarms! You would not believe how quickly we got out of the house. Even with walking the dog we were on the road by eight.
We usually go to the Georgia Apple Festival on the second weekend, but James has to work next Sunday and next weekend is so busy it will make my head spin, so today was our chosen expeditionary day. We lucked out as in two years ago and got a nice day for it; it never got over 70°F and there was a nice breeze, plus it was cloudy (of course, since we remembered our hats!). We made it up to Ellijay in 70 minutes (and that included stopping for gasoline and eats at the QuikTrip—no oatmeal, but I found a container of Mandarin oranges, a piece of sharp cheddar cheese, and a Lunchables package; James just had a couple of burritos).
We parked at a new place, "Huckleberry Holler," which is a country play park mostly for the kids: petting zoo, little pumpkin patch, recumbent bikes in place of go-karts around a perimeter walled by hay bales, hay rides, a corn maze, and shooting corn cobs with some type of air bazooka at a target. From there you walked over a new little bridge dedicated to service veterans that crossed the creek and led right into the back of the Lions' Club fairgrounds where they hold the Apple Festival. We walked among the craft exhibits for about ninety minutes, buying the last of our Ginny's fudge for the year, something called "Christmas Chocolate" (hot chocolate mix, very dark chocolate with a hint of mint), and jelly from the folks at A Screw Loose: the basalmic jelly with garlic they told us about last year, which is great as a finishing sauce on meat (their regular balsamic is super on lamb) and coffee jelly! Woohoo! Let's declare these folks honorary Rhode Islanders!
(And I was thinking...if you bought some Nutella, and then used it on sandwich bread along with the coffee jelly...[insert George Takei's voice here: "Oh, myyyyyy..."])
Instead of buying our apples at the festival and tote a peck of them across the fairgrounds, we just decamped and went to the apple store, Panorama Orchards. A bag of fresh onions, a peck of Granny Smith apples, a homemade apple pie, three jars of fruit only spread (cranberry, blackberry, and strawberry), a carob-and-peanut butter treat for Willow, and a little packet of sugar-free peanut brittle (peanuts predominate!) later...
Had to have one of those apples the moment we got in the truck. Don't know what those waxy things are that they sell in the supermarket are, but they're certainly not fresh apples. This thing crunched with a satisfying snap when you bit into it and it was just sour enough, a yummy sour with no trace of bitterness. Oh, yum!
We brought the produce home, then took Twilight out for a run out to Betsy's Hallmark, where the next in the series of "ornament premieres" was taking place. I had ten dollars worth of coupons, so we got the new "Nautilus" ornament (from Disney's version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and the first segment of their new wireless "Peanuts" musical ornaments. This is Schroeder playing piano; the rest of the quartet is Lucy and Charlie Brown playing other instruments, and Snoopy playing sax (of course) being released about every two-three weeks until December 1. They each play several songs, then when linked together play all the songs, in a neat cool-jazz style. I wasn't interested in buying them until I heard the jazz music.
Then we made the mistake of stopping at the new Whole Foods across the parking lot and fell into the world of bulk foods. They have bulk grains, spices, nuts, dried fruits, some candies, flours, etc. We got more steel-cut oats, some nuts to go on the oats, some bulger wheat James wants to try, salad dressings that can double as marinades, and various other small things, including some soup and some "sweet-and-sour" chicken for dinner.
So we spent the whole day with nice open windows, enjoying the day and listening to a combination of backlogged episodes of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and episodes of The Splendid Table, and were ravenous come suppertime. The chicken tasted more like chicken cacciatore than sweet-and-sour, but it was quite good, even for chicken breast, and the soup was delicious. Now off to watch last week's PanAm before this week's airs...