I thought of naming this post A Tale of Three Cities, since it’s about what I did yesterday, but that had a familiar ring. Then I thought of calling it Yesterday, but that sounded familiar, too. The Post With No Name made me think of Clint Eastwood, for some reason, and then of a song I detest and which has haunted my life since it first came out and is now STUCK IN MY HEAD because I thought of it for a second. Urgh. Meh.
Anyway, Mom and I had a nice day yesterday, though I had to miss the Southern Indiana Writers meeting because I was tahrd–rill tahrd–by the time I would have needed to leave.
First, we went to Louisville to visit Mom’s school chum and my cousin, Jean Ann. Jean Ann insisted on making lunch for us, even though we went to celebrate her birthday. Mmmm, what a feast! She made toast with spinach pesto for starters. Then she gave us corn chowder and sandwiches. She said the sandwiches were from a Rachel Ray cookbook: prosciutto, turkey, provolone and tomato (she also suggested a schmeer of the spinach pesto, which was divine), dipped in flour then in egg/cream, then fried in olive oil. No calories in THAT, nuh-uh! For dessert, she made creme brulee and madeleines. I was stuffed, and couldn’t eat a bite, but she gave us some madeleines to take home. I dipped some in my coffee that evening and took a bite and claimed to remember a house in a village in France. Nobody believed me.
After we left Jean Ann’s, we went to Jeffersonville to Schimpff’s. Oh, man. Talk about heaven. Best candy on earth, and it smells SO GOOD. They were making hard-candy fish yesterday, so we got to see that process. They mix up two kinds of sugar–said two kinds are necessary to make candy that stays clear–and coloring in a big vat. When it’s hot, they put it on a big metal table with a rim and with hot and cold water sprays on the bottom to warm or cool the liquified sugar. The table is left from 1891, when they first started production. They don’t make all their candy on antique equipment, but some they do. After the sugar cools a little, Warren Schimpff started folding it and pressing it and more-or-less kneading it. He added a sprinkle of citric acid and a splash of orange oil and worked that in. They add the flavor after the stuff is a little cool so the flavor won’t evaporate. Because they do it this way, then work it in, some of the pieces of candy end up being mild and some are intense. That’s why I never eat their cinnamon candy–don’t want my head to aspload.
Then they just CARRY the candy lump–about 30 pounds–over to a canvas hammock/conveyor that sags with the weight of the candy and rolls in front of a gas flame, which keeps the candy turning over and over in a long roll, staying just the right heat. They cut off a piece and feed it through this set of rollers that presses the pieces into long strips of fish, which are pulled out of the rollers and over a sugared table. When they’re cool enough to be brittle, they just lift a strip a few inches up and drop it, and the fish all break apart.
They gave us samples, still warm and delicious.
We bought treats for each other and Mom bought a box of nut chocolates for #1 daughter’s husband.
If we had gone home then, I still could have made the meeting, but we had to stop in New Albany to pick up a few things. I have to go to the Kroger there to get extra-firm tofu for my scrumptious Actually Good Baked Tofu. And we went to Target. Mom bought my birthday present–a pizza stone, for baking bread. Yay!! I’ll have to take a picture of the stoneware I’m currently using, but I have enough pictures in this post already.
So we got home after five, and Charlie and I had tomato sandwiches for supper and I was too pooped to pop, so I stayed home–rather, I went to Mom’s for a couple of hours and watched a tape of the last half of America’s Got Talent and read to her.
Nice day. Tahrd.
writing prompt: Is there a food that brings back memories for one of your characters?