Friday, January 25, 2013

These tools which keep me warm and watered

Hark ye Stihl small chainsaw and Northern Tools loggus splitter, I hail thee for thy firewood services that thouest bestowest upon me. I denounce mine Neo-luddite tendencies to ingulge in the glory of thine capacities. May thou always remainst well-lubed and rust free and well favored by thine users.

I commend you, beloved ram pump, for your tireless hoisting of water up 130 vertical feet into mine water tank. Your heartbeat echos mine, and your magic is marvelled day and night. May you never airlock again and may leaks be few and far bewteen, if at all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Marf -n- Da Boyz

Dearest Meglet (aka: Marf),
I am such a lucky lucky lady to have had you for a BFF these past 30 years! Thank you for riding it out for the long haul. In honor of your recent visit to Western NC, I would hereby like to note to the public domain a few of your glorious attributes (as one of my most favorite humans on the planet):

1. You are beautifully honest and fo real, caring and compassionate to boot.
2. You make beautiful children.
3. You shake it like nobody's business, all over the kitchen, the hallway, the bathroom, the room, the
    out-of-doors and the discotec. I have no doubt in my mind that you will twerk by your 40th.
4. Your culinary skills are as good as both of our mom's.
5. You ain't scared to declare when you are having fun. I like that. A lot.
6. You make good faces, and you let me make my faces.
7. You make me laugh until I feel pain in my smiling mouth. A lot.

Suffice it to say that, even though you have had a lot of gas lately, I love you dearly and always will. If you will send me a picture or two from our visit, I will put another one of you on here. Until then, enjoy these. And thank you so much for bringing your family to my home.

Yours, Dana

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Appalachian Oyster Association

Let me brag on my neighborhood one time. Where to start... Let's just sum it up and leave it at this: my neighborhood rocks the free world, so to speak. Yesterday late morning, we convened at Greg and Kristen's house for an oyster brunch. Greg and Kristen just returned from a holiday trip to Mexico Beach/ Apalachicola, Florida, and, true to form, brought a cooler of fresh oysters with them. Do not mind that it was a Monday morning. You see, none of us in the holler had to go to work yesterday morning. We were 8 adults and a halfling (sorry, hun- you're almost an adult!), and none of us had a job to go to. So we feasted.

The menu:
pan fried oysters
eggs benedict with english muffins and hollandaise sauce
bacon- regular and "canadian"
lightly steamed asparagus
cheese grits
bloody marys with tequila
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with crysallized ginger

The men in our neighborhood tend to rock steady, and neighbor Greg is no exception. From the vats of hefty 300 ft strands of rope that he keeps on hand for things like, say, rock climbing or building a ropes course or creatively hoisting a certain neighbor's car out of a muddy ditch (with some pulleys and awesome knot tying as well)- to his creative problem solving skills (hoisting a cast iron bathtub up to the second story balcony with previously mentioned ropes and other "gear" equipment, or hoisting an injured cow to her feet with a frame, a heavy duty belly strap and a come-along)- to his delighfully witty command of the modern English language, complete with hilarious usage of abbreviations and new twists on old favorite words- to his undying generosity and sweetness he exhibits to those around him--- Greg is a modern man with a timeless charm. As much as I adore and benefit from his many virtues and ingenuities, I dare say that possibly my favorite quality about Greg is his love and passion for good food.

Tha man loves good food. And of all the delicious worldy morsels that we moderns have at our fingertips, there seems to be nothing that tickles Greg's fancy more than oysters. His affection for oysters is absolute, unrelenting, supersonic and highly contageous. It is a passion that is pure and complete- and an awesome thing to behold. When I moved into this lovely holler five years ago, I had never eaten an oyster. Greg and Kristen served me my first one- probably roasted and with sauce, and they have since midwifed me into the world of full appreciation. I have graduated into the raw zone, eagerly slurping down the cold, juicy, salty portions of mother ocean herself, still full of vital life force and fortified with immune enhancing zinc. I will eat them any way- steamed, roasted, fried, baked- with or without condiments.

For yesterday's feast, Greg shucked the oysters, dipped them in beaten eggs, rolled them in a batter of flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and fried them up in bacon grease. He also fried some in olive oil for the non- bacon eaters in the crowd. The wind down in Apalachicola was blowing in from the sea, so the oysters started out good and salty. They lost some of their saltiness en route, but the fried morsels were perfect- mild flavored and wonderfully textured goodness from the sea straight to this mountain holler. Poached eggs and hollandaise sauce with the bacon and asparagus were the icing on the cake, and Rosemoon's cheese grits provided a perfect complimentary flavor and texture to the feast. Bloody marys caused relaxation and loitering, and the sun shone beautifully on our ultimate departure.

There was some talk of a potential Appalachian Oyster Association, to which membership would only be granted if one's answer to the question "Do you like oysters?" is immediate and enthusiastic enough.