After a long hiatus, work on the Scotty has resumed. Plans were made, friends from Auburn came to lend a hand in the sweltering heat. My first break from weeks of 12 hour work days, 7 days a week... I was hardly bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm.
Actually, I think I spent most of my time looking for my misplaced tools and making coffee. Left to my own devices, I don't think I would've even touched the camper, preferring to crawl under the deck and curling up in a fetal position along side my posse.
Thankfully, the troops, Deli and Lisa, pulled the team through and got the job done.
The job being to remove the J rail and peel the skin off the camper. Lisa, demonstrating her demolition skills:
Deli battled the gallons of silicone a previous owner slathered on all the joints.
We marveled at the sheer amount of rot.
Working on the fender, wood dust was snowing down on me.
Dax wasn't looking convinced that this will ever be our Escape Pod.
Fear not, my little man.
Ok, maybe a bit of skepticism is warranted!
Trying to salvage some of the windows after the roof partially collapsed. This repair work challenges the notion that 'more is better':
Last week, a fine specimen from the ranks of my favorite snake species stopped by to say hi.
An Eastern Coachwhip snake, Masticophis flagellum flagellum, the long, sinewy tail resembling the end of a braided whip. "The Coachwhip is lithe and graceful, its speed and maneuverability are unmatched". R. Mount, 'Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama'. Let's test that statement:
A few times a year I get to put a chef's hat on. I didn't grow up learning to cook, I grew up playing sports and tinkering with tools. Although, when 12, I declared myself a vegetarian and took up doing my own grocery shopping. I had a charge account at an organic food co-op in Ottawa, I'd take the city bus after school to go do my shopping there and my Dad, who never has realized the role he played in my lifelong passion for sustainable, ethically grown foods, paid my charge account every month. Therefore, when events arise here at the farm, I plot and plan menus far in advance and start trying to source local and organic fare to create.
Never having done this kind of thing before, I've been smacked by a hefty learning curve. Never, ever believe a recipe's claim that it requires 3 hours start to finish, make it 4, and you'll still be flying out the door, clutching a hot dish with oven mitts, late for serving time. Never think that including bacon in every meal, for three days, including some desserts, is a clever thing to do... unless you've planned to serve chocolate dipped Lipitor tablets on the side. For this catering event, Todd offered to make his signature sandwich wreath.
I never would've thought to do something like this in a million years.
Truly delicious: two types of cheeses and four meats.
Plus he made gumbo, that's the kind of diversity in menu I needed! Then, I did the 100 mile roundtrip to the newly discovered Pit BBQ jewel in Smuteye.
Wiley's BBQ, award winning ribs -- worth the drive. Others who contributed to this year's marathon event:
Moral support and trip hazard. One must always think of desserts first:
Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing.
Key Lime Pie in a Skillet -- looked interesting!
Mine looked dull without the lime slices.
Frank Stitt's Pimiento Cheese Spread with Fresh Roasted Red Peppers.
Never trust a professional chef who claims roasting and skinning 4 peppers is something a newbie can do in a snap.
Smoked Chicken Salad was easier than my first attempt...
because I didn't have to smoke my own chickens. I used smoked chickens from Wiley's BBQ Pit! Now, that's using my brain. Back to desserts, Malted Milk Tart:
There had to be bacon in some things. Such as the Bacon Pecan Tassies:
And Bacon Gruyere Cheese Twists for Breakfast:
Breakfast are my nemesis because I lack creativity. But, it's a work in progress. The new recipe for Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole was a success!
Not so grand a success, but fun to try was the Mint Cake:
There was a lot of healthy foods prepared, but I neglected to take many pictures of those--boring...
Desserts are were the action is at!
5 hour Chocolate Caramel Nut Tart. When you have to begin by freshly roasting 4 varieties of nuts, making your own ganache and caramel, you know you're in deep!
Frank Stitt's Oatmeal Butter Cookies disappeared nicely.
The base for the homemade sauce for the lasagna. Boring... Back to desserts.
Blackberries from my garden used to make Blackberry Poundcake.
Bacon (again) and Cheese Egg Boats. I wish I had the drive to make these for myself for my breakfasts, they're delicious. Alas, too time consuming for a workday morning. I won't bore you with more food pictures, plus it's made me hungry for my breakfast. My friend Helene has sent me more recipes to study. I'm looking forward to the next event on the farm!