Monday, September 20, 2010
This weekend was pretty much a whirlwind of adventure.
An awesome dinner with friends, a crazy birthday party and I get to visit a historical site?
Count me in.
Jason and I went to Hagood Mill, a still-working cornmeal mill and historical site. They do a kind of little festival on the third Saturday of every month. Jason and I went to see Griz, who Jason apprenticed with when he was first really getting into metalworking.
While it was hot, the humidity wasn't that sweltering and it was an absolutely gorgeous day.
They have these old cabins everywhere; in one, a lady shows freshly churned butter, dressed in a gown, apron and sunbonnet. Great looms and spinning wheels are situated near windows. People were everywhere, most of them in modern clothes but you'd just as often see a lone fiddler in a loose 19th century shirt and pants.
Of course, there was a Fiddlin' Convention going on while we were there, which meant I not only got to see historical cabins, I got to listen to fiddling.
This is the point at which I must remind my family and those who know me well, or inform for the first time those who do not, that I am a fiend for stuff like this. Setting me loose on a site like this is the proverbial kid in a candy shop.
Of course, I also react this way to candy shops. Also toy shops, videogames, and really good used bookstores.
Maybe I am enthusiastic about too many things.
In any case, there is a working water-mill at this site. They still make stone-ground cornmeal, white and yellow. Bags of it are sold there, and of course I bought one. There was never any question as to whether or not I was leaving with stone-ground cornmeal.
I also react like a kid in a candyshop when you show me really good cornmeal.
I am just an excitable person.
We were able to walk around the inside of the mill and see all the parts at work.
We watched the various parts of the machinery work, and there at the end was a boy and his father watching the ground cornmeal come out into small buckets, which they would replace when they got too full and pour the meal into the bags. This is food-grade cornmeal; good stuff.
While in there, I bought a small bag of yellow cornmeal and a Hagood Mill cookbook; in it are recipes that use the cornmeal, which range from Hush Puppies, basic cornbread and Corn Pone to Tamale Pie and Chili Pie to Spiced Nut Cornbread and Coconut Custard.
I will be testing the recipes I am most interested in out on Jason and his best friend Justin, and they are going to like it darn it.
And once we'd had our fill of that, we went back outside. Jason talked to Griz for a long time; on these Saturdays, Griz comes out and does blacksmithing demo's. He had small axes, a dinner-triangle, horseshoes, and other fun stuff he'd made for sale and when we walked up, he was working on nails.
We talked for a while about what Griz has been up, Jason talked about what we've been up to. Hagood Mill is actually building a much bigger metalsmithing shop for Griz to do his shows in, which is exciting.
I should add that Hagood Mill also has a working cotton gin...
a moonshine distillery...
and two discreetly placed outhouses.
No, you're not supposed to actually use the outhouses.
I just liked that they're still there. Historical accuracy and all that.
People were there from all around, some for the Fiddlin' Convention (I swear, the sign for it had no g and the little apostrophe, I am not just doing that), some just for the fun of a Saturday out there, to be spent in the sunlight. Some enterprising folks had shown up with four huge coolers of pop on ice (er, soda, I am reminded by a certain husband) and were doing a brisk business selling them.
This man showed up with a truck so old the plaque on the side still read "Dodge Brothers", a truck made in 1935.
This strutting fellow showed up with a fellow rooster and one very confused hen in the back of someone's truck. Children were, of course, deeply fascinated. There was also a pig sleeping so soundly in the shade that at first I thought it was dead and the kids would be learning an entirely different and more depressing lesson about where hot dogs and bacon come from.
Then it snuffled in its sleep.
In short, I declare this visit a rollicking success and we assured Griz we'll be coming to see this again. I am told it is an especially gorgeous visit in the fall when the leaves change and yet it's still warm enough to spend lots of time outside.
We both had a lot of fun this weekend; Friday we went into Clemson and had dinner with Jessi, James, their roommates Ted and Sarah, and Justin. Saturday this trip to Hagood Mill started us off right let me tell you. Then Saturday night the much larger party happened. No, I will not be going into a lot of detail here. Suffice to say, it was also awesome even if at some point we broke out the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block once they gave some of us 90's kids control of the computer for five seconds.
Sunday Jason and I hung out in Clemson for a bit and then came back and had a fun little date night, just the two of us, got in some quality time. I own more shirts which coordinate now.
The tomboy inside of me is deeply ashamed and reminds me often that I could have spent that money on books or toy horses or something.
The tomboy inside of me is, uh, not entirely aware of time's passage.
Also, we bought new flavors of tea, which helped soothe her.
I am now 80% of the way into my planned wardrobe shift. I started thinking about this in Spring but now am at a place where we can actually implement this plot of mine. And this week Jason and I are going to go talk to the bank about how much money we will need to save before we buy our first rental house.
All in all, this is a pretty contented Monday morning for me.
Well, except for one thing I need to make my morning... er, noon now I guess... absolutely complete.
And speak of the devil, I think the coffee is done.