Sunday, August 19, 2018

Louisiana

Remember that gaggle of geese from a few posts back?

Here's what's become of them.

They've turned into 16 nice twelve-inch Louisiana blocks.

This project needs lattice and cornerstones.  I'm thinking white-on-white for the lattices, like the background on the geese. And a nice variety of brights for the cornerstones.  And maybe a border, we'll see.

But it's going to be set aside for a bit before I can finish it.

These big blocks are much less likely to get lost than those wandering geese.

Feeling good about getting to this stage.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Quest

So the first year, Maggie and I happened to run into each other right in front of the Entenmann's display at our local grocery store. I was holding a box of apple cider doughnuts, something I'd never seen before. Maggie hadn't either. So we agreed to buy a box and split them, four for her and Frank, four for me and Joe. Later on, we agreed that while they were nice, they really weren't anything particularly special.

An August or so later, she showed up with a different brand of the same thing: Apple Cider Doughnuts. Except these were Donuts rather than Doughnuts. They looked a lot like the Entenmann's from the previous year, a lot like this picture.

Again, they made a cuppa coffee a little more special, but in and of themselves, not so much. We decided that in the future, we'd save our calories for something else.

But that third year rolled around, and one of us found yet another source, and for some reason believed they would be more authentic, whatever that might mean.

Nope.

This year's version came from a local farm stand. That would have to make a difference, I thought, and snuck a box in with the sweet corn and peaches that Himself was carrying.

Same story.

So, here's the thing: All of the ACDs that we've tried over the years look like the photo at the start of this post. And all tasted pretty much the same. Good, but not phenomenal. We give up.

This morning I decided to write about the Quest for the Definitive Apple Cider Doughnut (or Donut if you insist) and how this year is really the last year. And I Googled for images of the same, and found the ones on the square white plate (a lot like my square white plate, as it happens).

I also found this image, which is of a completely different specimen. Doesn't it look fabulous? It's gotta be different, mouth-watering, truly delicious, doesn't it?

The Quest continues.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Lancaster County Day

I set out this morning for a special annual event, one of my favorite days of the year: The day I connect with my niece and give her the backpack that I have filled to share with a student from a family of diminished financial means. There's a structure to the visit: We meet at The Old Country Store, perhaps shop a little, cross the street for a chicken salad sandwich at Kling House, back to TOCS for a bit more retail therapy, moving of the backpack from one car to the other, hugs and kisses and off to home.

The drive out was uneventful. The traffic on the turnpike portion wasn't terrible, and soon enough I was heading South on 10 to be followed by West on 340. When I started out, I was thinking of some of the unsettling things about this summer: Disruption in routine at the little school where I work, a couple of important friendships in a bit of disarray, reminders of mortality much closer than one would like. I was looking forward to the visit with Susan, but feeling as though my world wasn't particularly rosy.

That all changed.

Once I got into the Amish countryside, the farms, cows, flowers were all so beautiful. I felt myself changing and settling down inside. I'm a sucker for a good clothesline full of Amish wash and apparently today was laundry day, for I passed several wonderful specimens. When I met up with dear Susan, I was pleasantly surprised that she'd brought along her granddaughter, age 1. Emmy is a gorgeous and personable baby, with a pleasant and amiable disposition. She's recently learned to (1) wave and (2) point, and did both with delight as her grandma and I consumed our chicken salad and she her cut-up chicken nuggets.

Susan was happy to receive the backpack. She told me that Brittany, the recipient of the first backpack I'd filled, is now a college student and showed up at her home the other day with a new, filled backpack. My gift had meant that much to her that she knew to pass it on.

I bought a little Kona Snow and a magazine. On the way home I stopped at a fine farm stand where I bought a big basket of Red Haven peaches, something my husband remembers from long, long ago.

I came home content and at peace. What caused the change? Was it the Amish wash (still hanging and blowing a bit on the way home)? Checking off another year of tradition with Susan? Lunching with the very newest generation? That big basket of peaches (and some sweet corn, too)? All of those things were wonderful. But the story of Brittany's generosity, I think, was the finishing touch.