Friday, July 31, 2009

Who's That Baby?

Strange how the human psyche works.

This past weekend “Poeksie” was rummaging around and pulled out a photo of her we took last year.

“Who’s that baby?” I asked

Without batting an eye she replied: “Oupaaa, I not baby. I big girl now.”

It seems our brains are genetically programmed to want to turn the clock forward faster when we are little. Aspiring to be teens or adults!

But by the time we get to 40-45 we drastically wish we could turn the clock back again to the time that we can remember as the best time in our distant youth.

Since I haven’t posted a picture of Poeksie lately here are a few.

All eyes on the birthday present.

In her favorite push car. "Come on Oupa...Push"

Clowning around.

Oh, but this is nice.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sunday Brunch Run

I will be the first to acknowledge we don’t go often enough on Sunday brunch runs, a favorite past time in the American summer. One often sees large groups of Harleys or convertibles take to the road on Sundays. There is something about the wind through one’s hair (or what’s left of it), the sun on one’s skin and the feeling that nature is a little closer than usual. Last Sunday we did one of those runs.

Before we left M prepared the dough for a bread. One of those typically South African home baked breads "soos Ouma dit gebak het" (no cake bread here), where you feel satisfied after the first slice, but you eat the second one because dis so damn lekker - it is so nice.

We left the city limits of Danville via the US 33 north, drove through the town of Burgin until we reached the junction with the US 68 at the entrance of Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Been there, done that, and certainly a worth while trip to take. There we turned right onto the US 68 north and drove through the beautiful rolling hills of the Bluegrass, while famous rock fences, build from ancient limestone by Irish immigrant in the nineteenth century, flashed by.

Barrels of hay on the rolling hills of the Bluegrass.

Soon however, as we got closer to the Kentucky River, the landscape changed to a forest-like environment where huge old trees blocked out the sun and low hanging branches closed in on the road as it twist and turn all along the river. On our right we could sense but not always see the river. Glimpses through the trees revealed tall grey limestone cliffs across the river gorge as if they guard the entrance to the river like a medieval castle wall.

M: “It feels like we driving through the Knysna area.”

The open road and rock fences of the Bluegrass.

About a half a mile or so after we cross the Brooklyn Bridge and the Kentucky River we turned left on to Pekin Pike as the US 33 split off from US 68. The landscape cleared and farmsteads lined the road on both sides. More rock fences partition the pastures. We turned right onto Troy Pike as the US 33 continues its crooked way over green meadows and rolling hills to the town of Versailles. We drove through town (we came back later in the day to stop and take photos of the many churches in town) and then turned onto US 62, a designated Kentucky Scenic Road. US 62 snake through true Bluegrass country and is lined by expensive horse farms among other Lane’s End and Stonewall Farm where they breed thoroughbred racing horses for which Kentucky and the Bluegrass are so famous for.

The historic town of Midway, Kentucky.

At the end of US 62 is the historic town of Midway, the first railroad town in Kentucky, where the railway line runs through the center of town, where the Porterhouse steak originated in the Porter House, which still stands on Winter Street, and where Zeralda Cole James, mother of infamous bank robbers of the late nineteenth century Jesse & Frank James, was born in the Black Horse Inn. Our destination was the charming restaurant Holly Hill Inn, nestled in the shade of several decades old trees on Winter Street, reportedly one of the finest providers of brunch on Sundays (and food in general) and one of only a handful of restaurants in Kentucky that can boast to have received the Wine Spectator magazine’s Award of Excellence on a regular basis for its outstanding wine list.

Horses through a fence.

Brunch was very good. Starters consisted of melon fruits with lime for me and a carrot bisque with croutons for M (excellent). Entrees were Poached Eggs Benedict on English muffins and Canadian bacon for me (it was a long time since I last ate that) and M had pan fried salmon on greens and glazed vegetables. I ended of with a dessert of Ella’s lemon pound cake while M had an apple and loganberry crisp. At $15 a head that was good quality for the money.

I stopped in the entrance of one of the horse farms along US 62 to take some pictures of horses on the other side of the road. M patiently waiting.

It was early afternoon when we returned to the car, took a swing through Midway for a few photos and head back on the US 62 to Versailles. There we stopped and I snapped a few pictures of the many churches before we climbed on the Bluegrass Parkway west and then on to the US 127 south towards home.

Churches of Versailles, KY.

At home M put the bread in the oven while I made a quick raspberry, garlic and red wine marinade for a few lamb chops to be grilled later, and I also put together a salad of Swiss chard and tomato from our vegetable garden and added cucumber, strawberries and blue cheese, all of which will become a simple, but quick dinner much later.

Dinner was washed down with a glass or two of Ch√Ęteau Sainte Colombe 2005 from one of Gerard Perse’s Cotes de Castillon estates in Bordeaux, France. Dark ruby red in color, it has lots of black current and spicy flavors, soft on the palette initially, but ends with a slightly dry after taste. It is standard blended Bordeaux for drinking right now, not something to put away for the grand kids.

With the temperatures cooling down by late afternoon we spent the rest of a perfect day in the rocking chairs on the back porch dreaming of more days like this.

View from my rocking chair on the porch.

Thoroughbred race horses lazying around on a Sunday afternoon. We all have to take a day off once a week.