i composed this post on monday, before finding out about poppa. thought i'd post it anyway.
R&R acres was blissful as always. such warmth! we drove up on thursday night in the middle of a rainstorm that broke just as we were about a half hour away from the farm to this:
that's either a sign of the apocalypse or the hand of god welcoming us to farm country. as soon as we got off the 401 onto trafalgar to head up north, i could just feel all the dirt, soot, and stress get tornadoed out of the way by the gusts of clean air filling our lungs and our un-air conditioned car.
before we left we stopped for a quickie road dinner at this place, the burger's priest, yet another participant in toronto's gourmet/specialty burger shoppes (it's a scene that's reaching, if not has reached, critical mass). the burger's priest is a worthy contender. much better than great burger kitchen (which i've pretty much renounced now for their inconsistency), the burger shoppe, and a lot of the other choices out there.
the burger's priest is a tiny little place, with counter seating for about 4 and a bench or two outside. it also has a very limited menu, consisting of a burger, cheeseburger, double patty burger, or the veggie option, which is two portobello mushrooms sandwiched together with a filling of cheese, then breaded and fried. you can also get the regular meat burger with the portobello fried patty on top. there are also fries, and chili cheese fries. the chief hook here is that the meat is freshly ground, an hour before being griddled and oh, what a difference this makes!
the patty is loose, very very very juicy, and while i'd still have to say that five guys burgers and fries is still the best burger i've ever had, this one is similar. the five guys burger is a bit brawnier, on account of the american tendency to fear e. coli and cook the meat all the way through. the burger's priest patty is tender bordering on tartare, a little small, but very tender and flavourful. the toppings are minimal, which i like, and my only suggestion is that the patties could use a touch of salt. i'm realizing that i much prefer griddled patties than grilled ones. something about that crust you get on a griddled burger is magic.
the chili cheese fries were also good - the fries are a little limp and potato-y:
most of the weekend was spent napping and reading lazily on the porch swing, letting dogs lick our plates clean, eating grilled meat cooked over an open fire on their argentinian barbecue, gobbling pies heaped with fresh cream, starting our day with big bowls of saugeen country organic yoghurt, eating vegetables picked from the garden, playing endless games of fetch with the dogs, watching bob the cat act crazy, cooling our feet in the stream, herding the sheep back into the barn, and small visits into town to check out the gun club. we did a bit of work, too - we weeded the veggie garden for about an hour, but that was probably the only time my muscles were called upon to do anything other than sit and bask in the hospitality of our hosts.
this is violet, she stinks and eats poo, but has
very cute eyes:
our lunch on friday - cheese & pates i had brought:
cooling my piggies in the stream:
R built an argentinian style bbq - i'm so jealous:
this is roxy, she's got the crazy eyes:
this is bob the cat, he's a character. a total joker:
on sunday we emerged onto the lawn after dinner to find
the sheep had broken out of the pen and had invaded:
the presence of the fatburger meant that this time there was no shooting guns or riding ATVs, but next time, i'm so there! there's a big part of yours truly that's a bit of a country redneck - i like doing farm chores and being around animals and i want to go hunting and shoot a deer and mount its skull on my wall - my only problem is i like talking too much. i'd be the loudest, and consequently the most unsuccessful hunter, ever.
being in farm country means that you're exposed to a radically different view point and you realize just how wide the urban-rural divide can be. the night we arrived, our host R was hanging with his helper, a young kid (like, 19) from the next concession over. farm country has different schooling levels - for kids like this one, whose goal in life is to continue his family's farm, they do a very basic secondary school education. this kid was barely literate. the other week when R drove him into toronto, he'd never driven under an overpass before and was suitably wowed. he's a bit thick, but sweet. the conversation was pretty hilarious. i went to bed early but was filled in by the dotytron after.
i did catch an intriguing snippet of conversation and made a note to ask the dotytron about it later, as i was nodding off to sleep in our room in the bunkie. the windows were open to let the night air in and i heard the kid and the dotytron walking out to do some drinking in the barn. i heard the kid ask the dotytron, "are you racist?" the dotytron's reply was a little too muffled for me to hear so i suppressed a giggle and asked the dotytron later, as he stumbled into bed smelling like a distillery.
apparently his response was a slow, "noooooooo...are you?" lol! apparently the kid wasn't racist but he hasn't been around many other cultures. the kid was totally baffled by city folk and our motivations. and he's a bit thick. that's what a lifetime of being understimulated will do for you, i suppose. R and the dotytron spent most of their drunken night sipping tequila and trying to get the kid to understand certain basic concepts, culminating in R saying, "these are city folk! why, sometimes they even vote liberal!" which completely flummoxed the kid. it was pretty funny.
R&R are a good mix - people from the city who've traveled and then embraced farm life. the male R loves to hunt, so he's for gun registration and gun control, but against the nanny state and bans on certain types of guns, which i can understand. it's totally different living out there, where raccoons and weasels will sneak into the barn and kill all your ducklings and eat the eggs. kind of libertarian, i suppose. he's rough around the edges and has some views i don't necessarily agree with, but at the end of the day, it takes all kinds, and he has always welcomed us with a warmth and hospitality that's seldom seen in the city. they're good peoples.
friday dinner: maple-mustard pork grilled on the argentinian bbq
friday dessert: raspberry cardamom frangipane tart
saturday morning breakfast: apple cinnamon fat baby
saturday night's dinner on the bbq
saturday night dinner: venison kebabs, pork kebabs,
kohlrabi & beet salad w/ sour cream and dill, scarlet runner beans &
grape tomato warm salad, sweet potato fries w/ basil mayo
saturday's dessert: sour cherry pie
sunday breakfast: steak, eggs, bacon, chimichurri
as you can tell, we ate a LOT of meat this weekend.
for dinner tonight i wanted to swing the pendulum back so we ate a nicoise salad with bagna cauda and the last of my jarred italian tuna. nom nom. we're going to the cottage for a week on saturday, which means that my diet will again degrade into a non-stop parade of chips and grilled protein - so i'm trying to stockpile veggies whilst i can.