Monday, October 05, 2015

Random travels

Because I was in my autumn doldrums last week, and already missing the little girl we watch who was due to be gone for almost two weeks, I started planning some activities Cliff and I could do to get our minds focused on the outside world.  Thursday we went to Olathe, Kansas, and visited an automotive museum that's only been open for a year.  Now I'll be the first to tell you that Cliff has a lot more interest in classic cars than I do, but I found the place very much worth the time we spent there.  The antique and classic cars were pristine.  With the exception of one vehicle, everything in the place is on loan, and the cars are rotated through the place often.  So we could probably return in a few months and see a whole different group.  I enjoyed the history of car sales and manufacturing in Kansas City most of all.  There are plans in the works to move the place and expand it to quadruple its present size, but even now it's worth the trip.  

I had planned this whole visit around the fact that there is a Joe's Kansas City Barbecue in Olathe, and imagine my surprise when we found it only two or three blocks west of the Automotive Museum!  By chance there was a Baskin/Robbins in the same little shopping mall as Joe's, so we had dessert too. 

With our bellies full, we went to the Mehaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.  We both like museums, and even though there weren't a lot of activities going on that day, we enjoyed it and learned a lot.  It was a day when we hardly missed the Little Princess at all, so the travel did us good.

The next day, Friday, we went to visit the Amish community at Jamesport.  I love visiting the little Amish stores, finding things you never see in Walmart.  I guess I must have thought of the toddler at least once, because I purchased a book for her at one store.  

I always buy some orange slice candy at Jamesport, not only because I like it, but because it reminds me of the fact that my dad liked it when I was a kid... at that time I really wasn't so crazy about it.  Then I saw the lemon drops, which took me back to childhood visits to my mom's sister's house:  Her husband, my Uncle Lloyd, had a sweet tooth; Aunt Ruby always had lemon drop candy in a jar for him.  When I was there, the candy was depleted quite a bit, because I kept after it all day long.  By the time I left Aunt Ruby's, the roof of my mouth was sore from the coarse sugar coating on the outside of the candies.

I'm sure I had seen a heat diffuser before at some time in my life; it looked very familiar to me when I picked it up in a tiny Amish market.  But I had never personally used one.  Supposedly if you set it on a burner under a pan, it will keep puddings and such from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and also prevent boilovers.  It was cheap, so I bought one.  I'm using it this morning for the first time, and I will tell you that it doesn't entirely prevent boilovers, because I put it under a pan of kidney beans I'm cooking to use in chili and had to cock the lid to prevent them boiling over.  Maybe it will do better with the pan-sticking problem.  
*Added later:  Yes, the beans did boil over at first, then stopped.  I left the diffuser beneath the pan for an hour or so, then removed it, and the beans immediately started boiling over again, even though the burner was on low.  So I take it back!  The diffuser works for MOST boilovers.

We hadn't had any sorghum in the house for ages, so we bought a pint of that, which led to this story I shared on Facebook:     

"Here's a funny little incident: when Cliff and I were shopping in one of the Amish stores yesterday, I told him to grab a pint jar of sorghum. A young lady nearby asked, "Is that the same as molasses?"
"Not really," I answered, "if you are talking about Brer Rabbit and that sort of stuff, that's bitter, more for cooking. Sorghum is thicker and sweeter, you use it like syrup."
"Oh good," she said as she put a jar of it in her basket.

"Now here's what you do," I told her. "You make some biscuits. You put equal amounts of butter and sorghum on your plate, and you mix it all together with your fork..."
Three gray-haired shoppers nearby smiled and enthusiastically nodded, saying. "That's right!" And "Yes!"
I had my own little amen corner of sorghum-loving old folks.
Guess what we"re having for breakfast? Biscuits, home-churned butter, and sorghum."
So we had run around for the better part of two days straight.  On the way home I told Cliff, "OK, I'm ready to stay home for a couple of days now.  I've had my dose of travel."
At the house, when I checked my email, there was a reminder of a tractor cruise our club was having the next day, Saturday.  It had totally slipped our minds, but we like the club activities, so Cliff got the big Oliver out of storage where he had prepped it for winter (this drive was close to home, and we only take the big tractor to activities close to home).
Yep.  Three straight days of fun!  And in the middle of all that, I sold Penny-the-Jersey-cow.  But that's another blog entry.


Sister--Three said...

I am not a Facebook person. One of the weird ones--that's me!!

Black strap molasses? Talk about that. I take a tablespoon a day!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sounds like you got a good dose of just what was needed there. Your breakfast sounds wonderful too.