What I Discovered In August

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Meeting house at Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill, KY

Meeting house at Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill, KY

I discover new things.  I think.  I hope.  But, I don’t always remember the little interesting things that I pick up here and there.  Which means most months, it is time to share over at Emily’s and I realize I don’t have a list.  I do try to write things down as I go, but I usually forget, or think that I will remember later.  You know how that goes. Right?  So, I wanted to share this month and I did write a couple or three things down on the back of an envelope so that I would be able to wow you with my knowledge.  Whatever!

1.  I took a trip recently and on the way discovered a new to me restaurant in Lexington, KY.  Shakespeare and Company.  It was a great atmosphere and the food was wonderful.

shakespeareadcompanycollage

2.  I discovered a new vegetable that I had never heard of.  SALSIFY.  Truly.  Salsify is a root vegetable somewhat similar to a parsnip.  I had it served to me on a trip to Shaker Village.  It was in a cream based casserole that involved cheese and a crumb topping.  It was wonderful.  When the waitress was telling us the vegetables we would be served with our dinner I kept thinking she was talking about some kind of salsa dish.  She finally spelled it for me.  I googled it.  Here is a link to a Washington Post article that talks about Salsify as well as other obscure veggies.

3.  I discovered Salsify at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill near Lexington, KY where I went with a friend on a much needed girls getaway.  I think I may have been there once as a young girl with my family for a brief visit.  But that was so many years ago, that this was like going for the first time.  It’s only about an hour and a half from where I live.  While there, I learned a few things about Shaker history that I did not know before.  Like the fact that they wrote over 20,000 songs.  They also had “dance” moves in their songs, such as a sweeping motion when they sang about sweeping, which was a metaphor for keeping your heart clean.  Of course, the turning around for one of their most famous songs, Simple Gifts, was one of their “dance” moves as well.  They were known for shaking and moving, or as others call it “ecstatic dancing”,  thus they became known by the name “Shaker”.  If you want more history you can go here.

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Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, KY The far house in the picture is the East Family House where we stayed.

4.  Ok, this next thing I discovered is just a little creepy, but I just couldn’t not share.  Did you know that there is a Home For Wayward Baby Dolls.  I kid you not.  And even more astonishing, it is practically in my back door.  The next county over.  Deep in Rowan County, Kentucky.  While at aforementioned Shaker Village, I was reading a magazine called STORY, which is full of stories about Kentucky folks and what they are up to.  It seems they focus on the quirky or unusual stories.  In this particular issue there was a story about a couple in Rowan County that have quite the “display” of dolls, doll parts, mannequins etc., scattered around their farm. They even have doll heads on tobacco stakes.  Cecil and Bet Ison, the creators of this bizarre state of misshapen, wayward dolls, refer to it as “research”. Whatever. There is a Facebook page and a Flicker page, if you need to know more about these shenanigans. Or, you could check out this article written by a student of Folk Studies at Western Ky University.   Did I mention that this is really creepy?  My friend thinks this would be a good October trip.  I’ll keep you posted on the developments.  If I dare to venture into the land of wayward dolls.

waywardbabydolls

This picture came from the Facebook page of Home For Wayward Baby Dolls.

5. Finally,  I discovered that you can need a last minute dish to take to a family gathering and just start throwing things together and come up with a pretty good bean dip that everybody raves over (unless they were just being nice). This is my adaptation of similar recipes I’ve seen here and there.  Disclaimer: due to the use of processed cheese this is probably not the healthiest dish to eat.  I wouldn’t call it gourmet either.  But it was a big hit, so here you go.  Makes a great game day snack.

TERESA’S YUMMY BEAN DIP

INGREDIENTS: butter, refried beans, salsa, taco seasoning, velveeta cheese, mayo.

DIRECTIONS:

In a large, heavy pan, melt about 2T BUTTER on Med heat
Add 2 cans (approx 15 oz ea) REFRIED BEANS ( I used El Paso)
Add 1 Jar WHITE CORN / BEAN SALSA (I used the Sam’s/Great Value brand)
Add 1 packet TACO SEASONING (I used El Paso)
Mix to incorporate taco seasoning, then:
Add approx 1/2 box of VELVEETA CHEESE, cut into cubes. (You could do more cheese if you like it really cheesy and I loosely call this cheese )
Stir cheese into bean mixture, let melt, then:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of MAYO (I used our local store brand) (start with the smaller amount and then add more if you think it’s needed – shhh, this is my secret ingredient!)
Continue cooking on med to low heat until all cheese is melted, stir often to keep from sticking.
Serve with your favorite TORTILLA CHIPS and enjoy! Makes a great game day snack. Although I haven’t tried this, I’m sure it would probably work well in a crockpot too – just grease the crockpot with a little butter to prevent sticking.
My husband suggested that this would also be good with taco seasoned ground beef added – he’s probably right, so I may try this the next time I make it.

6. I guess this is technically the finally, but  I didn’t discover this in August, more like April-ish, and I felt the need to share the info with you now.  You may or may not remember that I shared back in March (#7) about how it’s ok to eat GMO foods.  I’m not sure I agree with that, and in the spirit of telling both sides of the story, I wanted to point you to a documentary that I found interesting.  It is called David Vs. Monsanto. It is well worth watching and gives you food for thought.

Ok, thanks for bearing with me as I share my August discoveries.  At least the one’s I remembered.  Please pop on over to Chatting at the Sky and read what other people discovered in August.

Discovering in Grace,

Teresa

 

Note:  All pictures used in this post were taken by me, with the exception of the baby dolls, it came from the Facebook page of Home for Wayward Baby Dolls.

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