Harvey Earl was a cantankerous old cuss. He had been a bit of a tear-away and badmash in his youth; but now had settled down to be a “respectable,” if a rather im-personal farmer. Each day, he would finish his chores, then sit in the old rocker in front of the pot-bellied stove, and spit tobacco juice into the flames.
After a spell, he would get up and light a candle and head up to his lonely bed in the back. Often he would breakout his well-worn torpedo and puff out a melancholy tune or two, before turning in for the night.
Come morning, he would rise before daybreak and grab an oily cloth to wipe down his tools before heading out into the wild pre-dawn to get his old tractor ready. The fuel gauge had packed in about a year ago, but he didn’t see that as pertinent. He just got out a ruler to check out how much was still in the tank.
And so the day began, a repeat of the one before. He reckoned it would remain so till the day he joined his beloved Martha in the little patch under the oak tree.
Green Writing Room’s photo
It has been a while since I made a farm shop post on my Travel Tuesday. So here is a brief review of the Gog and Magog near Cambridge. I had passed by the G and M on several occasions in the past, and intended to give it a try. So having some errands to run in the area, I swung by the “Gog” as I passed through. TripAdvisor had some good reviews of the place so had high expectations which were largely met.
The cafe is small but has a spacious feel (maybe it’s the clouds on the ceiling) and has really substantial furniture. The staff were friendly, if slightly rushed, but very professional. The cafe was very busy, and orders were being delivered to the dining area, outside tables, and even to some families sitting in the grass enjoying the afternoon sun (This was an early Autumn visit which I am just now getting around to reviewing).
I had a nice latte and a scone. The scone was large and had a good quantity of fruit. While a little on the crumbly side, it was still a quality item, and was delicious with clotted cream and jam.
The dining area also has a central book case which divides the tables. This is stocked with cookery books, and other materials which can allow customers make the most of their “Farm Shop” experience, and to work out how they will use the fresh meats and veg when they get home.
The adjacent farm shop had really wonderful looking produce and meats, and some super tempting pie combinations (Lamb and Mint, for example). The facility is set up in separate buildings with cheese-monger/deli , butchers, green grocers, and the aforementioned pies, in their own sections. We picked up some chilled pies for home, as well as some hard cheeses and fresh fruit.
All in all this is a first rate place for an afternoon visit.
*I was camera-less on this occasion so have used the G and M’s own pic and one from TripAdvisor.
Farm Shop Link
Is it as it is in Auz –
Where it all begins in dreaming?
Where a varihued snake –
Rakes a path
To make for new beginning?
Is what we know as real –
An illusion of our making?
Where the adventures held in our beds,
Are truer than those of our waking?
Each day we walk paths mundane,
In search of wealth and fame,
While in our hearts and when we dream,
Its fun and love that gleam.
Shall we then continue,
To seek wealth that is an illusion?
Or change our paths for spirit ones,
Where true joy is seen in allusion?
It shall be as it is in Auz –
Where dreams are the beginning,
Where a rainbow snake –
Prepares a path
So we can start truly living.
Photo Credit Susan Spaulding
It had been quite a storm three days ago. The small schooner had been tossed almost to breaking point. No one knew exactly how it happened, but during the chaos the compass glass had shattered, leaving its readings questionable.
Two more days of black skies didn’t help any, and even if they had been clear, who really knew how to navigate by the stars anymore?
Today however was clear, and hopes were up that the course they had set by the damaged compass had been the correct one.
Time would tell.
Then at three in the morning, there was a glimmer on the horizon.
They had found their beacon of hope, and they would be safely ashore by breakfast.
Sunday Photo Fiction
Beyond Paper Doors
Chocolate hidden behind paper doors,
One opened every day –
All leading our expectations to –
More gift’s on X-mas Day.
What lies beyond those paper doors?
Not greed that leads astray –
But rather sacrifice to us does call,
To prepare, and wait, and pray.
Advent is an expectation,
Of God’s true gift to come,
And the One who was born just to die,
So victory could be won.
Let us then remember,
Advent’s true nature and call –
Each paper door brings us near –
To the Babe in the stable stall.
This is the second of my Advent poems, and I hope the theme is clear. Please note that “X-mas” is purposely used to indicate the diminishing of the reverence of the season.
Another winter closing in,
Dark evenings growing colder.
Violet candles will soon be lit.
Each one preparing for
Throne of hay.
The Advent season is now here. This time of preparation and anticipation of the coming of Emmanuel is one of contemplation and focus on the spiritual rather than the material. We so often get caught up in the X-mas hype, that we loose focus on the Christ.
Let us keep our eyes on the manger.
See also: Beyond Paper Doors
Mosha Weiss found that competition for harness-makers and wagon-wrights was keener than he had anticipated. He had quit the train at Fort Laramie, and set up business on the Flats near the fort. He soon found that his “American” competitor was capitalising on his foreignness. To his credit, Weiss countered by putting out a shingle that read “Moses White – Harness Maker.” He started picking up business, but it seemed that more custom came from his coffee than from his artisan skills.
The fourteen dollars and three pounds of coffee he had won on the trail proved to be a godsend for Mosha. Soon word was out and outriders from most every train, plus folks from the fort, were making it a point to get a Flats White.
Linked to Fandango’s One Word Challenge – “Credit”
Other Oregon Trail Tales include – Gladiators
Boss Little tilted his hat back and scratched his head. He had tried this shortcut through the valley two years before, but now he couldn’t recollect whether the river ran on the left of the posts or the right. It had been September then, but this time round it was late November, and there had been an early snow.
The snow was an untrodden blanket which disguised which was the trail and which was ice. Was he on the trail, or was he about the venture into danger?
He couldn’t risk the train, so he would just have to try his luck on his own. He dismounted, and slowly headed for the level white sheet before him on the right.
Sue Vincent Prompt: “untrodden”
Other Oregon Trail Tales include Gladiators and Gravy
Salt meat and biscuit was starting to become monotonous for most of the folks on the “Little Train.” Water had been abundant enough on this portion of the trail, but rations were a different story. Boss Little really needed to pick morale up so called Buck and Mason, the outriders, for a bit of a talk.
He couldn’t much afford to dally, but fresh meat would be treat enough to stop the minor grumbling that was starting to be heard in the camp at night. He was going to send these two up towards a lake he knew of to see if they could remedy the situation.
They would ride out at dawn when the train began to hitch up for the day, and if all went well they would catch up with the party by Wednesday.
George Mason was a freedman from Virginia, an adept horseman and a crack shot. His companion, Francis Buck was the son of a Missouri trader, and an Osage mother. He was a good scout, and an even better tracker.
They made the lake by noon, and luck and a couple blessings were with them, as right before their eyes there was a majestic elk wading into the waters. There would be gravy tonight!
I Challenge You prompt.
See other Oregon Trail Tales – Gladiators, Awaiting Discovery, and The Rest
I have recently taken to drinking Chai Tea rather than lattes when out for hot drinks. I find the richness of flavour and aroma really satisfying, and I also benefit from the reduction in the caffeine (especially in the afternoons and evenings). This led me to consider how I might take this wonderful spicy drink and expand it into a bigger dessert.
The result was Chai Pie. It provides much of the spicy tea experience (though without the tea element). The ginger of the base enhances this and makes for a pleasant after dinner treat (especially when served with a dollop of whipped or extra thick double cream).
- Ground Almonds 300 g
- Butter 150 g
- Ground Ginger 1/2 tsp
- Cream Cheese 350 -375 g
- Eggs 2
- Stevia 3 Tbs
- Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
- Turmeric 1 tsp ground
- Cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground plus extra as topping
- Ginger 1/2 tsp ground
- Nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground
- Cloves 1/8 tsp ground
- Cardamom 1/8 tsp ground
- Salt pinch
- Black Pepper pinch ground
Blitz the nuts in a food processor. Melt butter and stir in the crumbled nuts. Spoon into a standard 8 inch pie pan and press into into side and bottom to form a pie base. Bake for 10 minutes at 160 C/ 350 F in a preheated oven and then set aside.
Increase oven to 200C/400 F. Whip the eggs for about 3 minutes, and then add the sweetener, vanilla, and spices. Mix for an additional 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and blend for 2 minutes.
Pour mixture into prepared base and place back into 200 C oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon. Return to oven and bake for 10 – 15 more minutes. Check the centre with a skewer or tooth pick. If clean, allow to cool thoroughly and then refrigerate, This will insure that it has set well.