Thursday, July 31, 2008
Show, Produce and Mennonite Farms
Thoroughly enjoyed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It started off a bit slow after the opening number, Comedy Tonight; you can't go wrong with that. It gradually got funnier and funnier. I am very glad I went to see it. My friends picked me up and we had a pretty good run to Drayton although when they dropped me at the theatre, they had a bit of trouble parking. We weren't sitting together as I had booked way after their tickets were bought. I could see them, so I wasn't that far away. Once again I bought 50/50 draw tickets and didn't win. Nothing unusual about that. They have made a few changes to the Drayton Festival Theatre since last I was there. Not sure where the orchestra actually is any more, but you can see them on a TV screen at the base of the balcony, not that I bothered to look. On the way back, we stopped at a farm produce stall and I bought some cherries, blueberries, tomatoes and a couple of stalks of corn (Matt doesn't eat it). The corn were rather small and when I ate them later they turned out to be a lot smaller than I realised. Oh well, they tasted good. Will get some more when we are out shopping. I have always wanted to eat corn until I got sick of it, unfortunately, unlike asparagus, it isn't a slimming food. I have probably mentioned that some of the best corn I ever ate was on a visit to North Carolina about 6 years ago. The corn was called "How Sweet it Is" and was absolutely delicious. I wish I could get some more, but I have never found it since, either there or up here. I only got to eat two pieces of that because Matt was rushing me off somewhere else. Probably just as well, it was soooooo good. Blueberries are really good for you as well as tasting good. Matt likes them on his cereal, but I would rather eat them loose. The cherries I bought are pretty good too, haven't yet tried the tomatoes. One thing that really impressed me on our way to Drayton today was how well cared for the farm buildings were. You frequently see somewhat dilapidated barns, but not today. I am assuming they are mostly Mennonite farms, but they were a delight to look at. My assumption came from the fact that we saw Mennonite buggies all over the place and the farm where we shopped was definitely Mennonite. Farming is not supposed to be a profitable endeavour any more, but these farms certainly looked prosperous. Maybe because, as I understand it, Mennonites don't spend their money on all the gadgets and fripperies the rest of us buy. Just not having to buy gasoline must help a bundle in this day and age. I don't know how much it costs to keep horses of course, but I bet its not as much as keeping a car. To me they are a fascinating people and I have a lot of admiration for their way of life. This morning there was a report on the huge profits made by gasoline companies, way up in the billions. We poor souls are being stiffed at the pumps with gas prices rising higher and higher followed, of course, by food prices and anything else you want to buy. One expert assured us, when explaining all the figures, that gas companies make less per dollar than companies such as MacDonalds???? The main focus of the report this morning was how much gas companies are spending on alternate fuels, Exxon spends the most being a little more than 2% of their profits. 2% ain't too darned much and the other companies spend even less. It was pointed out that even a small percentage of the profits is quite a lot of money, maybe, but more would help. A price cut at the pumps would be nice too. I know they have a responsibility to their share holders, but presumably their shareholders buy gas and food etc. too. I guess I should produce a Mennonite recipe, but I don't have any that I know areauthentic. However, I have seen a reference to Dirt Cake a few times lately and thought I would share my recipe for it. I have made this several times for families with kids having a special party, I used to buy a plastic truck or something similar in which to serve it. This recipe makes a heck of a lot of cake. I actually got it from a neighbour in North Carolina so I have no idea where it originally came from. As for any Europeans, I don't know if you even have Oreo cookies - they are a chocolate cookie with cream in the middle and one of the most popular cookies you can think of over here. You can serve the cake in a (clean) flower pot with edible flowers planted in it, or the gummy worms (same consistency as jelly babies) all over it. Be creative. Dirtcake 1/2 stick butter, softened 8 oz pkg cream cheese 1 c confectioner's sugar 3-1/2 c milk 2 pkg (7 oz total) instant vanilla or chocolate pudding 12 oz whipped topping - thawed 2 pkg (40 oz total) Oreo cookies crushed to dirt consistency in processer Cream butter, cheese and sugar. In separate bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping. Combine mixtures. Put 1/3 of crushed cookies in bottom of plastic sand pail, flower pot or kid's wheelbarrow (about 2 qt capacity). Add half of pudding mixture, top with layer of cookies then remaining pudding cover with final layer of cookies on top. Decorate with gummie worms, plastic greens or flowers. Serve with a plastic shovel or spade. Have a great day.