Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 23- nov. 26 day on the farm

Once again, welcome to "Small Town USA." This is Mineral Bluff, GA, a one-intersection town with no stop light, just a 4-way stop. What you see in this picture is the fire station and post office. There are shops on two of the other corners and a church behind me and that's about it.

This is the type of place where the people know the true meaning of life and they live it!! Many have never graduated high school and will never see a college but they can fix a car better than any mechanic that went to a 4-year school. They will never have as much stuff as city people, but when you get down to it, they actually have more in life. Their lives are rich with friendships, family, and neighbors.

Country music is what you find on the radio here. While in the past, I would listen to music and enjoy the tune, I started listening to the words in the songs and came to realize how many songs in country music are singing about these neighborhoods, highways, and people.

Farm fun!!! I spent most of today hanging out at the farm and relaxing so here are some pictures and stories of my fun day!!!

I decided to go for an afternoon walk and headed straight out from the farmhouse through the pastures. There are 7 horses that roam these pastures, and in past years, the horses have just stayed away at a distance and have never come near.

But today, as I was walking through one of the fields, I looked up and saw all 7 horses in a full run towards me. They were still about 20 acres away, but they were coming fast. I had visions of them all trampling me and you have never seen a girl run so fast for the exit. It was about an eighth of a mile to the fence, and I covered a lot of ground in no time flat!!!
When I got about 20 feet away from the exit, I looked up to see a white truck pulling over next to the gate. I could read the writing on the side of the truck just enough to realize it was the owner of the horses. (He is one of the locals and keeps his horses in the field in trade for maintaining them.) OH YEA!!! My mad dash became a nice stroll to the fence. Once he was out of the truck, I felt safe and we chatted for a while. I stayed on the side of the fence where the horses were, and he stayed on the street side and this is where I had an experience that totally changed my opinion of horses.

I have always been scared of them, but while I talked to Charlie, one of the horses really took to me. He came up to me and rested his head on my shoulder and would rub his face on my arm. At first, I was a bit uncomfortable but the more I relaxed the the closer the horse got. When I sat down on the ground because I was out of breath, he came up to me and stood by my side with his head down at the level of my face. These horses are fairly wild but this one let me pet him.

We definitely had a connection!!! Charlie told me I should take him. I could just see me calling my landlords. "Yeah, I know I can't have dogs, but I fell in love with this horse!!"
He's going to have to wait a while for me to get out in the country.

This is the other brown horse that is really really old. I didn't hear Charlie when he said what age, but he referred to him as the old guy.

This one was curious about me and followed me but always stayed at a distance.

Here are just a few of the farm pets. Cats and dogs are dumped like garbage around here so those who like animals don't have just one.

After my fun out on the farm, it was time to head into town for my much anticipated massage. My aunt SO KINDLY got me this as a special surprise gift, since my body is quite tight and sore from all the traveling. This picture of the sunset was taken just outside the massage gal's house!! AHHH... A massage and a sunset, now that makes for a good close to the day!!!

On the way home, I passed this house. They light up about 5 acres but I could only get a small portion of it in this picture. I can't imagine what their electric bill is.

Here is a fun little story for you of my baking experience-
It is my aunt's birthday tomorrow and she refuses to eat my style of dessert- box mix. So, it was time for me to dig deep down within and figure out how to cook a dessert for her from scratch. I have only attempted this one other time in my life and it was a total disaster so my track record isn't stunning. Not to add to it that she is a master baker and can bake anything with her eyes closed.

I dug through her many cook books in search for the perfect recipe. When you don't cook, it is like reading German. Just a note to those who write cook books- put a picture with every recipe so I can get some clue what I am attempting to make. All a list of ingredients does is make it easy when you go to the grocery store; it does nothing for bringing clarity of what it will taste or look like.

As I flipped through the many pages with no pictures, I came across a recipe that read "no stress souffle'." Oooooo... that sounds perfect for me. Read no further!!

I had no clue what a souffle' was, but it started with "no stress" so I must be able to make it.

I started checking the list of ingredients and comparing them with what was in my aunt's cupboards. The recipe called for unsweetened chocolate and orange liquor. I found neither, but I did find milk chocolate candy bars. It's all chocolate, right? Can't be much of a difference.

(You might ask why I didn't go to the store and get the right stuff- the store is 20 minutes one way and that would use valuable time since I had a very important massage appointment in the afternoon and couldn't miss that.)

It was now time to make this masterpiece.

I started with the chocolate and this is where I discovered my first "Hmmm..." moment.

The chocolate bars had nuts. "Hmmm..." the recipe didn't call for nuts and I don't want to ruin this thing. The nuts have got to go, but how do you pick out all the nuts from a candy bar? I dug through the cupboards in search of an idea. Ahh haa!! The strainer. I knew they weren't just for noodles!!

So I melted the chocolate and put it all through a strainer.

Now, for the rest of the souffle'. It says you have to split the eggs up so put yolks in one bowl and whites in another. This is where I ran into my second "Hmmm..." moment.

You see, the recipe called for 9 eggs. I only had 6. Well, if I split the recipe in half, that means I only have to use 4 and a half eggs. Have you ever tried to crack open an egg and only use half the yolk and half the whites and put them in separate bowls?

That takes talent!!

I can now be known as a fine arts instructor in using half an egg!!

The recipe used such specialty language like beat the eggs until they form a semi soft castle. What does that mean? They are already soft and I'm not cooking them while beating so how can they be semi soft?

I just beat the crap out of them until I could form what I thought was a nice peak sticking up. Much like I just whipped some whip cream.

I then followed their baking terms and "folded" the chocolate and whites into the yolks, dumped it all in the pan, and stuck it in the oven.

The most important part of the process is me squatting in front of the oven with the cat on my lap, chanting... cook right, cook right!!

The recipe said to cook until the edges were puffy. This was my third "hmmm..." moment because the middle got puffy but not the edges. So when do I take it out of the oven? It said it should happen in 20-30 minutes. Don't you think that's a big spread of time? Do I go for 20, 25 or 30?

I think at about 27 minutes I decided it was time and pulled my masterpiece out of the oven. It looked puffy and beautiful.

I so proudly set it in the microwave, so the cats wouldn't eat it, and headed for my massage.

When I got back, I practically ran from the car into the house to see my masterpiece again. BUT this time when I looked at it, I was crushed. It was all sunken in and had totally collapsed down to about 1 inch tall. OH NO!!!!

With my shoulders now low, I put the cute balloon candles in it and presented it to my aunt as soon as she came home from work. I explained that I attempted to make her this dessert but it collapsed.

She said with a grin and a giggle, "it's supposed to do that?"


"Yeah, it's a souffle'. That's what they do."

"WOW... no kidding!!!"

Well, great news- it was incredible!! Guess what I will be bringing to every dinner party I attend!!!

1 comment: