Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend adventures

I awoke Friday morning with the first symptoms of what I'll call the Flying Pig Flu. So named because I never get often as pigs fly...and reminiscent of the recent health scares they've been warning you about: the bird flu and then the swine flu. In spite of a sore throat, I finished a new project for a new client (woo-hoo!) then got out and did a very pleasant trail ride from near the house.These first three pix are a semi-panorama from above and behind (about 700 yards) mi casa. Click for enlargement.

The leaf colors are just beginning to change, and should really be popping into all their fall glory in the next 3-4 weeks.

Our ride was to Barrett's Mountain, which is about 90 degrees clockwise from this view. My grandfather used to take his family, which included my Dad's family of six and my aunt's family of six for a tractor ride (pulling a flatbed sled for all of us to ride on) every summer...before there was any pavement on the mountian. Actually, I'm not sure the youngest of my siblings and cousins ever got to make this ride, since Pa passed away when I was about 9. I barely remember it, myself.

I'm pretty sure we took a watermelon or three. I definitely remember Pa, though, and how much he loved it. I can see his big smile now, like it was yesterday.
Speaking of family, on Saturday we got to spend the day helping to make molasses. On the trailer there, you'll see some very juicy sugar-cane. So juicy, in fact, that we had a hefty surplus after getting the boiler full. See if you can identify the "Cane Boss" in the above photo.

The molasses as it begins cooking.

Cane Boss-in-training studies the nuances of cane-steam...mesmorized by their hypnotic dance. Photographer mesmorized by cane-boss-in-training.

Dont' ask when it's ready. The cane will tell you when it's ready.

The dinner-bell rang for some venison-shoulder stew. Best ever. The cook is an absolute master.

It's been said that unless you spill some (over-heat and boil it over the top), that it won't be any good. Well, we had a tiny amount of spillage, but no over-boil. Gas heat is the way to go. Used to be, cooking with a wood fire below the vat, if you got it too hot and it boiled over, you'd have to "pull the fire out", and in a by-god hurry. Many a caner got scorched by the overflowing lava of molasses.

One-quart jar of the finished about a cure for what ails ya...

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