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» Saturday, September 15, 2012Novel Destinations
So this was the plan: we'd go to the Marietta Farmers Market this morning, then drive out to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. And then we thought: well, Buford Highway has vegetables, too! It is a Farmer's Market after all!
So we picked up breakfast at Wendy's—plain oatmeal again, with the apples on the side, and milk—and then skirted construction on I-285. They are repaving and eastbound to Northside Drive is a mess (as is westbound further on (we'd come home a different way). The market was already busy—this is an indoor market, by the way, in an old strip-mall type building—but not terribly crowded. We remembered the insulated bags today, so we bought lean ground pork, lamb steaks, and chicken legs, plus frisee, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and potatoes, plus other little things, and stocked up on Ritter peppermint-filled bars for dessert treats.
I am looking forward to the chicken legs, as when we were at Walmart last night we found that Campbell's has reissued its "harvest tomato with basil" soup in its third iteration. It originally came in cans, then in small cartons, now it's back in cans again. This is the best stuff to use to make chicken cacciatore, and we haven't had any for probably over a year. Now we can have some again!
We went searching around a little more and walked down the Brazilian aisle (which became a general South American aisle as we progressed). They had little "sugarloaves" made out of cane juice, shaped in cones exactly the way sugar came in the 19th century (also in square cakes and shaped like curling stones). At the end of one aisle we found carbolic soap, again, just like they used in 19th century doctor's offices. In fact, when I picked it up, it still brought back faint memories of that antiseptic, "doctor smell" from the old days, like the medicated Band-Aid pads. On one of the Middle Eastern aisles we found real rose water. This was an important ingredient in medieval baking and even back in the 19th century; there's a recipe in the Little House Cookbook that uses rose water.
We also sampled some Russian cookies and discovered the Italian aisle—I bought some vacuum-packed lupini beans since I never finish the little jars—and even discovered Kerrygold in the dairy case, the same Irish butter that they use at the Marlay House.
We loaded all this up in the truck, brought it home (in some cases wedging it into the refrigerator), and then had some lunch. James had a sandwich he could finish, and I had leftover potato soup and some of the lupini beans.
For the afternoon, we went in the opposite direction: first to Sam's for Chex mix and mandarin oranges, then to the hobby shop, where I read the new Shop Smart, and finally to MicroCenter. [rolls eyes upward and whistles innocently]
Well, said James, what shall we do for dinner?
They were having A Taste of Smyrna today...and by evening it wasn't too oppressive outside...and we might find a parking space...
...and we did and we went! We were starving by the time we got there, and we bought a small barbecue pork sandwich each just to be able to walk around and enjoy ourselves. After that I sampled some pork tenderloins on a bed of risotto from Atkins Park (this was exquisitely flavorful!), beef kabobs, and a little plate of sweets from the Melting Pot (the fondue place): two pound cake cubes, two brownie cubes, and two strawberries all drizzled with chocolate. James had some jamabalaya and two kabobs (chicken and beef) and also the plate of sweets, and later he had a cup of sherbet and brought me some chocolate ice cream. They also had a Thai food booth, several Hispanic food places, another barbecue, and several other places I can no longer remember, plus local businesses had booths, like Superior Plumbing, kitchen remodelers, etc. There were musical groups, balloon sellers, and endless small children dashing everywhere with mothers calling after them "Where are you going????"
We discovered both Kayla and Kristen walking around, and the latter told us that Juanita was also attending. After filling up on our food choices and listening to the band a little, we called Juanita's cell phone. She and her daughter Jessie, and her fiance David and David's daughter Jenn and Kristen and a few others had a seat near the flagpoles. We joined them and the young folks (Jessie and Jenn) nicely gave up their seats for us. (Really, we need to keep folding chairs in the truck. We have them in the garage and never use them!) So we sat and people-watched and dog-watched—there were dozens of dogs there, including the bicolor-eyed husky in our group: silky-eared King Charles spaniels, German shepherds, Labradors, and various mixed-breed terriers and "basic brown dogs" and just plain Heinz 57 varieties.
Once it was full dark they had fireworks over the Community Center, a nice solid small fireworks show, with some novelty fireworks shaped like hearts and some lovely rainbow-colored Roman-candle type shots. People ooohed and aaaahed around us and one little boy kept saying "Merry Christmas!" After the thundering finale came in all its multi-color glory, we said really quick goodbyes and beat a hasty retreat to the truck to make our escape before the traffic got really bad. Willow and Schuyler were happy to see us, and we stretched out and cooled off and watched HGTV until we couldn't stand it anymore.