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Fun with the Folks. part 1: Food, food, and more food

August 18th, 2008

Fun with the Folks. Part 1:Food, food, and more food

Before we headed to Karst-O-Rama, yet after our time in Gatlinburg, we spent a good deal of time hanging out at my parents place in Tennessee. We had only planned on spending a few days there, but those few days turned into a month. I was having such a great time that the days were passing as quickly as hours. If it had not been for Wormfest, Johnny would probably still be trying to think of a gentle way to coax me out of my parent’s yard.

Its been a long time since I have been able to spend more than a couple days with my parents. We have lived pretty far apart for the last 10 years. The first part of that was because I was getting my career together in a far away city, then they semi-retired and started traveling around. They did end up settling down and getting a home base, but they can’t seem to stay there for more than 2 months at a time. So, the majority of the time we saw each other was a quick 3 day weekend once or twice a year and Christmas every other year. That’s just not enough!

So what did I do in that month since I wasn’t writing weblog posts? Well my mom and I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen. We made jam from the fresh picked blackberries (yummy!). We (mostly she) made desserts like keylime pie, cheesecake (David helped), (fresh picked) blackberry pies, peach pies, chocolate pies, rhubarb pies, and decadent chocolate cake. My Aunt Joyce made some excellent desserts as well.

My mom and I also tried our hands at granola bars. While they tasted very good and disappeared , they were a failure. We aren’t sure if it was us or the recipe, but the stuff ended up with a cake texture. Good stuff, but not quite the pack for the trail bars that we were looking for. We will have to try again.

I guess this whole post is going to be about food.

While there, I tried to make beef jerky. The first batch turned out pretty well but disappeared almost instantly. Most of the second batch evaded my hungry nephew’s bottomless tummy and became cave snacks for us and our new found friends at Karst-O-Rama. I still have most of the third and fourth batches. My experiments with the fourth batch didn’t go well. I tried to use a lot of liquid flavoring and it turned out kinda spongy looking.

I also caught my first catfish. My dear uncle let us come over and fish from his pond.
Thanks Uncle Mike! After I wacked it 1346523 times to kill it, my father taught me how
to clean it. I don’t really like catfish, but I did want to know how to clean and prepare
them. Its always great to have another skill. So, then I cut the fillets into little pieces and
soaked them in milk for about 30 hrs. The next day, my uncle helped me cook them. I know,
its just battering and frying and everyone from the south knows how to fry food, but I never
fry anything. Even though I don’t like catfish, I did have to try some. Most of it was
pretty good but parts of it still tasted like mud.

I have lots more to say, but we are about to lose Internet access again, so I will cut it
here. That way I atleast get part of it up.

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2 Responses to “Fun with the Folks. part 1: Food, food, and more food”

  1. Rene says:

    That is so cool. I can’t wait to see my parents during the holidays and catching up with all of the food and recipes and such. Missed the season with them last year, and we were sad. As stressful as the holidays are, I’m looking forward to it, as they aren’t getting any younger. Good for you for spending time with them.

  2. Claire says:

    Hi Jen

    How long do you think your trip will last?

    Is it a trip or a change of lifestyle? If it is a trip how do you plan to make the transition back to the 9
    – 5 grind if ever? Do you worry about the future? Do you worry about being homless?

    How do you manage for money? Do you live off savings or do you work along the way?

    I am really intersted in your blog and your plans for the future. I am having another life crisis and I
    need to do something to change my life.



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