Road Trip – Stuck in the Kitchen, Out in the Country

As promised, it got better for my daughter, mainly because she pretty much stayed inside all week.

And with this view, I was happy on my Country Vacation, even if I was inside because of bugs…

Country Vacation

The first morning in my beautiful country paradise found me stressed out over technology. Internet service and cell phones can be tricky and I forgot about those limitations. My cell phone service was spotty and I could only get enough bars to receive texts and make calls if I stood on one leg on the last board of the deck, clucked like a chicken and swayed back and forth. That got old.

But hey, it was the wonderful country so I enjoyed it and just gave out the home phone number…it took me a while to remember that that is how life worked in the “old days”. Oh yeah….clever…

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Probably my most favorite kitchen accessory is my “shoulder towel”, so we buddied up and I planned to play in the kitchen if I couldn’t play outside. I busied myself with all of the gadgets when I could and had a lovely time entertaining family and friends. I made a delicious tomato salad pizza that the Pioneer Woman makes, but I did not have the recipe and getting online was a chore so I “just made do” with my memory. It tasted delicious!

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I made a Peach Crumb Cake, but that came with issues.

After a while I noticed that my cake was just not cooking fast enough in the oven. This was some sort of convection oven and I have had no exposure to those. I turned the temperature up but nothing happened and eventually the oven gave me a message…”Call Customer Support”.

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If that is not an advancement in technology, I don’t know what is.

I wasn’t sure if I was to contact customer support because my cake wasn’t going to win any awards, but I guessed it must be due to the in-operation of the oven. Of course, this is not my house, so I jotted down the information to share with the home owner. In the meantime, I channeled my Country Girl powers and divided the cake into two smaller pans then baked them in the toaster oven one after the other.

I had it covered.

They baked and I had two Peach Crumb Cakes, which was my original plan to begin with, for a family gathering that needed this dessert. The homeowner resolved the oven issues. Crisis averted.

Well, that crisis any ways.

On one of the afternoons I had plans to meet up with some friends and needed to get “cleaned up” to make a good showing but I was not operating in a fashionable mode being that I was on Country Vacation and all.

Yikes! Look at those hairy eyebrows! Whose overgrown shaggy hair was that? Had I even done any exercise in the past month? Did I even remember to pack anything cute to wear when I left our hosts house for my Country Vacation since I was leaving from that spot?

Nope.

Sigh.

Luckily, they know me and love me so there are no surprises. It was hotter than hot and we would be meeting outside. I donned my trademark signature cutoff jeans (I know, “old school”) and then tried a few different shirts and earrings until I settled on a fresh minty colored tank top. It would have to do.

Wow, I really go to “hell in a handbag” on these Road Trips.

People think I am crazy and they might be on to something.

That I even make the pilgrimage Road Trip across half the country with young children gives them cause to wonder about my sanity, but adding a few mini-trips within the big trip, really makes them shake their head. I have always had a tendency to go to the beat of my own drummer, but I do periodically wonder if something is wrong with my drumsticks.

Our last full day on our Country Vacation found us hosting an impromptu informal family gathering. We love gatherings.

I chose the theme of “Farmer’s Market” for the menu items so that we could eat up as much as possible and I would not have to pack it when we left the next day. There were various grilled meats, fresh vegetables and pasta salads, Peach Crumb Cake (of course), chocolate covered strawberries, crackers and chips and dips, sauteed peppers and onions, parmesan crusted summer squash, Raspberry Puree Brownies, and any other delicious party food I could put out. It was not a bad spread for being a hodge-podge.

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One of the big mysteries of the country house was revealed by a visiting family member. We could not figure out where the kitchen exhaust was. There HAD to be one, even though the ceilings were high and the rooms were airy and open, there just had to be an exhaust system. I remembered seeing a label somewhere mentioning something that seemed exhaust related but my mental fog prevented me from remembering where I had seen it.

Us ladies spent the afternoon discussing it and prowling around. It was a mystery.

All of a sudden a loud whooshing sound filled the kitchen. I turned to see the exhaust system working like a charm. It was soooo cool! A family member found it and we all cheered…mystery solved!

That’s the kind of fun we have in the country…

Keep your eyes on the back of the stove as you scroll through the pictures.

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My country upbringing has been revived and my juices are flowing. Country life has its inconveniences for sure, but apparently it is in my soul. Now I just need to convince my husband that we need to be country people and find some kind of farm life that fits who we are. Gardening? Small animals and cheeses? Eggs? Orchards? Berries? Ahhh…what a dream it is.

Good-bye Country Vacation, it was wonderful!

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