Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gobsmacked and Knackered

Favorite phrases in fashion right now: When you are rendered speechless and completely shocked you are gobsmacked. When you are exhausted you are knackered (sp?)

Thursday, September 14, 2006
Nick brought in a beautiful cookbook by his friend Jean Christophe Novelli called "Your Place or Mine." Beautiful photos and some nice looking recipes. I can't read for long because it makes me hungry.

I accompanied Ben to Button Farm to fetch the goat milk this morning. I felt like going for a drive and seeing the girls who provide the milk for our cheese. Ben and I zipped along the A385 towards Buckfast and Buckfastleigh. We pull into the farmyard and I see Susie herding a bunch of does into the milking parlor. Will shows up and starts pumping the milk into our milk tanks. Ben and Will talk about contractors and building techniques. I wander over and stare at some of the does. Goats are very curious animals. They stare at you and you can see them thinking. I'm sure they're wondering if I have food for them. No food, but I do have a camera. My flash spooks them and a few of them jump away from me. Will says if I want to play with the does and kids, let 'em know in advance and I can spend some time on the farm. That might be fun. I like goats. I love goat cheese. I just don't to care to keep any of them. I have enough problems with dogs and cats. We drive back to Ticklemore and I hop out of the truck while Ben deals with unloading the milk.

It's 11:15 and I need to drive into town. Shopping on Fore street was a painful experience as usual. New Mojo magazine should be out this week. I love English newsstands. The British publish a magazine for every age group and every interest. There are hundreds of magazines at every newsagent, and there are several newsagents on Fore Street. No Mojo yet, but they did have the latest Pokemon World. My niece will be happy. The gardening magazine section takes up an entire wall, I swear. Cooking magazines offer more temptations. I resist. But the free totebag giveaway that comes with this month's copy of Devon Today is hard to turn down. I manage to escape, somehow.

I had a disappointing lunch at a place (Wood's) in the Narrows. I had to wait 30 minutes for a bowl of veggie soup with a cheese scone. Good thing tipping is optional here. When I go to cafes or pubs in the area, I am always amazed at the large number of waitresses and waiters that always seem to be just standing around doing nothing. They just stand around and gab. They don't have to even take orders. When you walk in, you grab a table and look at the menu. Once you've decided, you go up to the counter and order. You pay for your meal at that time. Then you wait. The food comes from a mysterious kitchen that's hidden away. You never smell, see, or hear the kitchen staff. Often the kitchen is on another floor and your food is delivered via dumb waiter. When your food is ready, the bored waitresses debate over who will actually take your rapidly cooling meal to your table. Why this should involve five people behind the counter is anyone's guess. Like I said, they don't expect a tip, so I happily don't leave one.

I returned to Ticklemore so they guys could talk the van to Sharpham and pick up cheese. I spend the afternoon cleaning and getting rid of pamphlets that I've picked up during my stay. Robin and Sarie will be here on Sunday.

This is the airing cabinet. The heat from the water heater helps dry clothes. I prefer drying on the clothesline outside, but this works amazingly well. It is only problematic when I have sheets and towels to dry. It has space limitations.

Snacked on an odd flavor of Burt's Chips, a Devon potato chip manufacturer. Firecracker Lobster flavor. I don’t pick up on the lobster, but they use a nice spicy paprika. An hour later my palms and feet start to itch. Dammit. I must be allergic to one of the seasonings. Powdered lobster, perhaps? Fortunately I have some Benedryl, so I took one. Forty-five minutes later, I'm feeling pretty sluggish, but I don't itch. Can't drive now. Guess I'm eating leftover chicken for dinner. Gotta clean out the fridge before Sarie and Robin arrive. They won't eat anything except my peanut butter.

My trip is winding down and I'm feeling the end rapidly approaching. It's like the last few days of summer camp. I've made new friends that I probably won't see for a long time if ever again, and I don't want it to end. In the world of my dreams, I'd convince Jim that we should move here and I'd continue working at Ticklemore. I like it here. I know that I must return home and follow my dreams in the land of my birth. Perhaps not in the Bay Area, but somewhere there's a place eager for me to set up shop and make my own cheese. Now I just have to find it.

Nick and Ben ask me the same question every week: "Do you know what kind of cheese you want to make?" With their help I'm getting a pretty good idea now. Got goat and sheep milk? I've got some nice ideas for a few tasty sheep and goats milk cheeses ready in four weeks and four months. Want some?


Urthwerm said...

Yes, dear, you spelled 'knackered" correctly. Can't wait for you to come home!!! Your copy-editing sweetie, over and out.

Ollie Brown said...

Do you sell goat's meat and for what price.