Cool Stuff – Adventures
“Ain’t That a Peach”

Meet Farmer Al. That is his full name. Like Madonna, or Bono. In most parts, all you have to do is say Farmer Al and people know who you are talking about. That’s because… …he grows these: Word on the street is that they are the best in the country, and all organic too. When no one thought it could be done, he did it — organic peaches. And they have […]

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“I Made These! (sort of)”

One evening, not long ago, I went to visit Charles and his chocolate factory. It does exist! Except it doesn’t have green elves running around and misbehaved children drowning in vats of chocolate. This is a much more classy place, (and it doesn’t give me nightmares). Chuck taught me how to make a bourbon pecan tart as well as these bourbon truffles. My first official chocolate making venture, we piped little dollops of […]

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“The Pie Whisperer”

I recently listened to the cadence of five pies consecutively – my ear against the heavy thwump of throbbing apple, the crackling of a blueberry, the bubbling of two flawless blackberry confections, and the soft gurgle of perfectly sweetened huckleberry. It was a morning of passionate pie baking interrupted only by a blackberry picking interlude. Kate McDermott, (www.artofthepie.com), a pianist by trade, gave me an elegant lesson on pie making. […]

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“Scenes from Tulipwood”

At Tulipwood, everyone since my great-grandfather has left their mark. This is the summer of birds — wild Guinea hens with their keets, domesticated keets a day old that we picked up from a lady in Pennsylvania, so small and fuzzy, they fit into the palm of your hand… rapidly growing chicks, turkeys that loiter outside the kitchen door, a rooster named Buster and a white hen named Lucy who […]

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“Chicken in a Basket”

They patiently (sort of) waited in a basket while their paper was changed. It’s amazing how quickly they can cover the entire surface of their living quarters with bird droppings…. Meet Loretta, the Buff Laced Polish chicken… She’s tired after her bath. One of her favorite pastimes is to roll around in bird droppings.

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“Meet My Chicks”

The post office was highly amused. There is nothing like a box of fuzzy chicks to ring in the Spring. There are a few rare breeds here. We ordered them for our neighbor who wants hens that lay green eggs. Maybe she wants green eggs and ham in the mornings? I can’t blame her. I would like green eggs and ham most mornings.

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“A Cross-Country Book Writing Journey”

The highlights: Picking blueberries with a Kentucky farmer for a few hours and chatting about life…Eating tomato sandwiches in his kitchen… Watching the crowds swarm around his tomatoes at the Berea farmer’s market… Seeing hundreds of windmills spinning on the Kansas planes… Seeing the Kansas planes, especially during sunset… Eating Beer-Can Chicken in Denver… Strolling through the farmer’s markets there… Seeing the vineyards in the Colorado Rockies transition to the […]

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“Bzzzzzz”

There’s nothing like a bee swarm to get the day started. Here in Skejberg, Norway I’m with Hans-Otto at one of his hundreds of honey hives. He was a day late in visiting them and his bees swarmed. Swarming is what happens when the hives get too full of honey and eggs — the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees and they start building […]

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“The Hog Smoker”

In 1973 Alan Benton realized he’d made the wrong career choice as a college guidance counselor. He heard that his neighbor was selling his ham curing business, so he sat with him under a maple tree to see if he could take it over. Today he produces the best ham and bacon in the United States, an intoxicating combination of pork, salt, smoke, brown sugar, and time. He never intended […]

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