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There's No Place Like Home

It's no secret that I have one of the best spots in the market each week. I've been asked what did I do to deserve 50 yard line seats. Not much really--just faithful, that's all. I'm ready to go back home for sure. I like being one of a family, not just filler for an art show. These last two weeks have shown me that slow and steady is the way to go. Regular readers know all too well that there are some months when it is crazy miserable, but at least it is close to home!

Before we delve into the weekend, let's go back to Friday shall we? When last we met I was preparing to do some very satisfying work in the kitchen. Naturally I had my camera close by. I believe I first cut up the okra for soaking in buttermilk. Some may not share my appreciation for the beauty of fruits and vegetables, if so, indulge me just the same:
How cute are they? I mean just look at the inside shape--just like a little flower. As a child I never once tried okra, mainly because both of my parents were Mid-Westerners and okra is more of a Southern dish. Bruce convinced me to try fried okra and I've been hooked ever since. Although I soaked it in buttermilk, apparently cold water works just fine. Then a quick roll over in a mixture of corn meal, flour and spices if you like.  Sometimes I put hot sauce in the soak and if so, I add some cayenne pepper to the breading material.
It can get pretty slimey so be prepared for frequent hand washings! Frying takes no time, wait for them to bob to the surface, drain on paper towels and you are in for a delicious treat.

While the okra was getting good and goopy, I made the pie crust.
For years and years I had this great Tupperware baking sheet that I used for rolling pie crust and cookies. Not sure what happened to it really. Anyway, this time I wet the counter top a bit, putting plastic wrap on it next. Flour well and get ready to rock and roll. While cleaning out Bruce's mom's belongings I came across this fantastic rolling pin which I've put to good use. It is very nice and solid. The plastic wrap peeled off the crust like a dream:
This is when I quit taking pictures because by now I was watching the clock. Apples peeled and seasoned, top crust rolled and crimped and into the oven in went. Meanwhile I was chopping green peppers and onions for the beans. Turning on the burner to heat up the oil I began the breading process for the okra as pictured above. The one thing about fried okra is it takes a bit of time because the pieces are so small. Totally worth it.

Once all the food was done I made lunch and soon thereafter we loaded up the truck and took off for Winter Springs, a 22 mile trip. Because the truck is packed to the top, he drove my truck and I followed in his car. You've heard it all before, set up is hot and hard. Unlike the previous week, there was not a cloud in the sky which allowed the sun's full force to keep us nice and toasty. Never one to complain, even Bruce remarked on how hot he was! We managed to get everything done fairly quickly, heading home to our guests. The meal went great; Barb was thrilled with both the fried okra and potato salad, and Steve couldn't get enough of the beans. It was such a thrill to see Steve almost back to form!

During the Saturday evening award presentation and dinner, the mayor mentioned that Winter Springs was on Money Magazine's Top 100 best places to live. The town center is quite nice, however, now that I've seen the population it is no wonder the show is so sparsely attended. Sunday afternoon as I looked to my left this was my view:
to my right here's what I saw:
The folks I did talk to were quite nice I'll say that. I managed 46 sales, all paper. With the inventory I now have, it should be months before I need more!

Mr. Bruce made the trek out to come to the dinner with me which was super nice. As well, my friend Brandy was directly across from me which was also super good; she and Bruce stood in the line for food, while I held our spots. On my drive home the sky was so darn amazing I had to stop for a picture, or two, or three....

Downtown Orlando is on the horizon in this view across Lake Baron off SR 436:
Simply stunning. As I drove it kept getting even more thrilling. I pulled into a little park adjacent to Lake Underhill. Getting out of the truck I saw I wasn't the only one who was pulling off to take a photograph:
Sunday morning Brandy and I amused ourselves with the Sunday crossword puzzle as we waited for some sort of crowd to materialize. Later on while walking down to the tent to get some money for a patron award, I overheard another artist say that it was like a party that people forgot to attend. Standing in line, another artist said the only way they continued to get quality artists was because they have good prize money. I say spend some of that on advertising!

The weather was milder than it's been, but not really as pretty as I'd hoped for. Serious humidity. Bruce arrived around 4 Sunday afternoon and soon thereafter we took down. After we got home, leftovers were dinner. Another weekend, another show.

This morning I sent Dana an email--I can't wait to come home!

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