Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Greensboro Grasshoppers

This post somehow got sucked up by my computer. I mentioned some of the content in a previous entry, but this is how I orginally wrote it. Here it is, even though it might be two weeks old....

Go Grasshoppers!

North Carolina has a long tradition of baseball. They don't have a major league team, but many players have spent their minor league careers playing for the numerous teams scattered all over the state. There is even a summer league for college kids. The Carolina Mudcats, the Winston-Salem Warthogs, and the Durham Bulls all captivate baseball fans most nights. Greensboro has a team and a shiny new stadium to host them. The Grasshoppers call it home. They are a single A team affiliated with the Florida Marlins, The players are college age or slightly older. The night we went they were playing the Lexington Legends. There were several young men from the Bay Area on the teams. Novato, San Ramon, San Pablo, were well represented. The Legends have Cody Clemmons swinging the bat as a designated hitter. He's one of Roger Clemmons' sons.

The game was full of action. We saw a few double plays as well as some good hitting. The kid from San Ramon hit a home run. In between innings there were wacky games played on the field, like hamburger building race and guess the state bug (honeybee). We had seats right behind home plate. Ticket price: $9.00! The cheap seats are $6.00. Thanks Jim!

The team has a baseball dog, a black lab named Babe Ruth. The team owner has trained his dog to retrieve bats after at-bats. She runs out, picks up the bat in her teeth and runs back to the dugout. She then gets a treat. Babe also delivers baseballs in a bucket to the homeplate umpire when needed. Everyone must have lots of treats in their pockets. At the end of the game, Babe runs the bases. Well, Babe actually runs from base to base eating treats that have been left there for her. We had a blast watching baseball, eating hot dogs, and talking to Steve who decided to join us. I like the atmosphere at the Grasshoppers game. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. It is cheaper than going to the movies.

Another strange observation: Locals like coleslaw on their hot dogs. Coleslaw on a barbecue sandwich make sense when you eat it – sweet and savory go well together. But on a hot dog? I dunno. I'll have to try it and then render an opinion. I can't say it really intrigues me but if I happen to be at a hot dog stand and it is offered, I might try it.

Jim and I stayed close to the farm for the duration of his visit. We put him to work in the cheese room. The entire week was geared towards getting ready for the Spring Open House on Sunday. We made many batches of truffles and fromage. We also scooped many curds into camembert moulds, gouda moulds, feta moulds, and Sandy Creet moulds. Steve said it was the busiest week of the year.

GLD TV or Yet another moment in the spotlight:

We had a morning news crew here on Monday. They wanted to do a feature about a local farm so they contacted Steve. He asked if they could come out and help promote the Open House. They were happy to send the remote truck out on Monday morning to do segments all morning long. Steve recruited me to come up to the Barn early in order to make chocolate goat cheese truffles on camera. I don't mind having a camera stuck in my face so long as I know what I'm talking about. I got the chocolate ready and had the truffles going at 7:15am. I had an earpiece on and could talk to the anchors in the studio. They seemed to be quite fascinated with the little lumps of chocolate that I was cranking out. I explained how we make them and said that folks could buy them at the farmer's market on Saturday. I worked and talked while the camera went in for close-ups of the truffles being scooped with a melon-baller. Steve took the camera guy out to the feeding area and they got some good shots of Lee and Jessie feeding milk to the baby goats. Happy baby goats make good morning TV.

That afternoon, we had folks drop by who saw us on TV. Sammy brought his ex-uncle (divorced his aunt, but he's still family.) Our Avon lady had to stop buy and get some truffles. We got lots of phone calls from people wanting to buy our stuff. This is going to be a crazy weekend at the farmers market as well as the Open House.

Jim flew home on Wednesday. I'm sad and miss him. One more month apart and then we'll be ready to take our next step towards starting our cheese business. I'm extremely lucky to have such a supportive partner in life. We're ready for more.

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