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So the 'rents and I went out to Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival this past weekend, and that was actually kind of fun. We went Sunday afternoon, because Sunday dinner--for those of you not keeping track of the minutiae in my family, my maternal grandmother used to always handle Sunday dinner for us, and now it's my mom's job as only girl of four, now three with my oldest uncle deceased--was in the slow cooker, and the weather was gorgeous. Didn't buy much, but I bought some wooden spoons (and oddly enough none of the three is actually a spoon) from one of the guys that frequents the festival.

Which is good, because they're all hardwoods and made from recent deadfalls in his/our area and are well-made and hand-turned and all that stuff. I got one really long-handled spatula made of oak, and an avocado spoon made out of what I think is light cherry, but it doesn't have the wood type burned into the handle like his stuff usually does. The other thing is mostly for my mom, and it's called a roux spoon, though it's not technically a spoon nor do we make a lot of stuff that calls for roux. It's really a spatula with a very sharply cut angle on the flat end, good for scraping the fond off the bottoms of pans--something which is deliciously conducive to all the flavors in pan sauces and gravy and stuff, as well as actually getting the pan cleaned up before washing it. That one is a very pretty cherrywood and the best thing about all of them is that they only need to be cleaned with soap and hot water and very lightly oiled once or twice a year. Among the other things I saw at the festival were a wonderful local soap company that does light scents which do wash off in the shower, which is a delightful thing since I like smelling pretty but also don't want to upset all the allergies of the household; they had a muscadine-scented soap which I almost bought but didn't. There was a lady who did handmade lace-weight yarn and had her own custom-made spinning wheel there, and it looked so cool that I had to stop and talk about it, and take a picture. I take a lot of cell phone pictures, and at fairs and festivals and conventions and things I try to ask first, but still a lot of people say it's A-okay. The rest were a whole lot of business cards and a guy knapping flint who let me take a picture of a pretty red knife. (It's a bad angle, but the blade was about half again as long as my middle finger, so...five inches maybe?)

I've been making dinner for the past couple nights, and will be making for the next couple more; Sunday night was slow-cooker pork ragout, which was amazing, and last night was mini cheeseburger pies that you make in a muffin pan, both served with green salad. Tonight I'm getting adventurous and doing chicken Florentine in a way that doesn't really have a recipe. I'm hopeful for how it turns out since the idea seems easy enough, but we all know how things that start like that go. My basic idea is to lightly panko-coat chicken breast strips, and bake them until crispy, then top with spinach and artichoke dip and cheese and broil them to make it hot and bubbly, and serve with roasted tomatoes and orzo with some light kind of oil/vinegar dressing, or maybe a very light red sauce. I dunno yet. That with a green salad seems like a pretty excellent dinner on a Tuesday to me, and it should be pretty easy since I have all day to do the pre-assembly and cleaning of the kitchen. Since I cook I usually don't handle cleanup but the parents neglected it last night and I hate walking through there with stuff all over hell and creation.

I'm also taking a bit of a break from the candymaking since it kind of wore me out and there's only so much sweet stuff I can subject my family to in good conscience. I've tried giving stuff to my neighbors before, but I thought in light of it almost being Halloween I'd wait until like...November or December when it's more traditionally acceptable to just leave stuff on someone else's doorstep; and it's also more feasible temperature-wise here in Georgia.

The outfit on Sunday did work pretty well; I looked really cute, according to the guy who sits behind me in the choir loft and sings bass and might play stuff with me when or if I get to do instrumentals. Ryan is kind of a doll and I adore him and his sense of humor, so it was great validation to hear him say I looked really pretty. I'm still missing a particular friend of mine who's still at boot camp and will be for the next eight weeks; he's going to have a spectacular christmas party when he comes home, but I'm kind of worried that he won't be the same guy, because boot camp changes you in ways nobody expects. But that's a worry for another day, I suppose.

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