Tag - road trip

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Mmmm … Delightful Nova Scotian Foreskins
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Oreo Cows in New Scotland
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Betty Makes Damn Good Pies

Mmmm … Delightful Nova Scotian Foreskins

While we were in Nova Scotia, we visited Jost Vineyards, the province’s biggest and oldest winery. The main building had walls of bottled wine surrounded by a steampunk décor that reminded me of Restoration Hardware. Ugh, more quaintness. How can the locals take so much quaintness? I would just die.

A staff woman approached and greeted me. A few words of mundane pleasantry ensued. My eyes hopped over to a sign that advertised the wine tasting. Her eyes followed mine. “Would you like to try our foreskins?” she asked.

“Huh?” I stilled. My face flushed, although I had forgotten to slap on sunscreen that day so I might’ve been somewhat burnt anyway. I scanned around to make sure I was still in a winery.

“Foreskins.” She smiled. In a completely innocent way.

I stared at her, still wondering if I heard wrong.

“Foreskins,” she said again, louder and her smile wider. 

I tried my best to muffle giggles from the juvenile boy within me. “Uh, I was actually hoping to try—”

“Our foreskins are really good.”

“I’m sure yours are,” I lied. To be honest, there was no way I’d know whether her foreskins were any good, but I had to be polite. After all, I was a foreigner in her country, her province, her store. “However, I already have—”

Her eyes narrowed. “You have some too?”

I nodded.

“Really?” she asked as if I lied.

“I think so.” 

She frowned a little. “I bet ours are better than what you have.”

That was quite presumptuous. I should’ve been offended, but I really wasn’t. Not a big deal. What makes foreskins better or worse, anyway? Some like them one way, others another. Many, regrettably, don’t like them at all. It’s all subjective. Still, I had to defend my honor, or whatever. I wondered if there was a way to prove myself without violating local laws. “Well,” I said, shrugging, “mine is probably not that bad.”

She waved a hand as if to say, whatever. “I insist. You must try ours before you go. You won’t regret it.” This woman sounded like someone who really knew her foreskins.

“I dunno.”

“Our foreskins are even more exquisite when paired with the local artisanal cheese.”

I wasn’t sure if “cheese” was code for something, but I was afraid to ask.

“The result is a long, smooth buildup to a deeply satisfying finish bursting with fruity flavors amidst a woody subtlety,” she moaned. “It’s sooo good.” Her eyes closed as if to savor a celestial moment.

“Wow. Fruity flavors, eh? I’ve never heard that before.”

“See,” she said smugly. “I told you ours are better than yours.”

“Oh, okay,” I said meekly.

In the end, I did sample some local foreskins. Who knew Nova Scotia would have such fine foreskins?

(The above exchange was very loosely based on what actually happened.)

foreskins - IMG_6925

 

Oreo Cows in New Scotland

‘Tis hard to believe, but it’s been over two (long) months on the road.

We just left Nova Scotia, a Canadian province whose name means New Scotland. Before we left Los Angeles, we didn’t plan on going to Canada, much less Nova Scotia, which is so far away from LA it might as well be the old Scotland. In fact, Nova Scotia is farther away from LA than any contiguous USA location. It’s more northeast than Maine, which is already super far.

The most common comment we’ve been getting from strangers is: “You’re a long way from home.” Yes, we are. And they’re even more shocked that we drove. I had no idea people looked at car license plates so much.

How did we end up so far? When we got to Lake Superior, we wanted to continue east. The two choices were to go via the north shore (Canada) or the south shore (USA). Montreal and Quebec City seemed like nice places to see so we went with the Canadian route. After those cities, Nova Scotia appeared merely a bit further east, so we rolled on. Newfoundland tempted us, but we shut down that idea before it wandered too far. Plus it would’ve required a long ferry ride. It’s easy to keep going forever if you keep on thinking, Oh, it’s just a little further.

Nevertheless, I’m glad we visited Nova Scotia. It is the most beautiful region we’ve seen thus far. Here’s a photo of a pasture we passed by.

bulls charge

Yup. Nova Scotian humor. Hahaha.

You can’t see the cows that well in the photo, but they have broad swathes of white in the middle of their bodies. At first I thought they was shaved or painted, but later I found out they’re actually Galloway cows, a breed originally from Scotland. Sometimes they’re called Oreo cows, as in the cookie. Cute. Friggin’ Nova Scotia, even their cows are quaint.

Upcoming post … slurpin’ on delightful Nova Scotian foreskins.

Betty Makes Damn Good Pies

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I recently watched David Lynch’s TV show Twin Peaks, season one. Disappointed. To be fair, I had high expectations of the cult favorite. It’s rare for a show to live up to high expectations.

Still, my reaction was surprising, given that I love love David Lynch’s movie Mulholland Drive. It’s a spooky mystery wrapped in a surreal atmosphere, a rare art movie with an engaging story.

Back to Twin Peaks. My first reaction was: this is slow. Well, actually it was: wow, does Kyle MacLachlan look young as Agent Cooper. The central mystery is the murder of a young woman, but neither the case nor the characters are all that interesting. And the show isn’t even that weird, as I assumed it’d be. Mostly, it annoyed me that the murder wasn’t solved by the end of the first season. Arrgh. There should be a law that bans season-ending cliffhangers for murder mysteries.

The best part of Twin Peaks is its music, which is probably more recognizable than any image from the show. It’s easy to understand why. The instrumental really sets the mood, a haunting melancholy. And if you know me, you know that melancholy has the same effect on me as flame on moths. However, the music began to sound repetitive after, like, two episodes. I was tired of it. Still, I give much credit to the music for the success of Twin Peaks. The signature melody is the soul of the show, which probably would not have been as memorable without the moody sound.

If you saw the show, you probably know why the title of the post is about pies and yet I’ve gone on to ramble about Twin Peaks.

You see, I’ve been on a cross-country road trip for about six weeks (the genesis of which is detailed here), and one of my hopes is to sample delicious local food everywhere. I got my wish along the North Shore Scenic Drive in Minnesota. The Drive is one of the most beautiful I’ve been on, and I heard it’s even more breathtaking when the fall colors arrive. What was initially intended to be a one-day drive turned into a multi-day affair. And that affair included meeting Grand Marais, definitely the quaintest town on the trip so far and certainly one of the most romantic I’ve ever seen.

One of the highlights of the Drive was my lunch at Betty’s Pies. I had two slices: the Great Lakes baked pie (apple, blueberry, rhubarb, strawberry and raspberry) and the five-layer chocolate cream pie (dark chocolate, cinnamon meringue, whipped cream and chocolate whipped cream). Both pies were excellent, but I preferred the chocolate one. Each layer was delightful; together the whole was even better. It’s no wonder that the five-layer chocolate is the bakery’s most popular pie. I’m not a big sweets person, so I was glad that the pies were not too sugary as many pies tend to be.

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As all pie-lovers know, good pies are not just about the filling. The crust is also important—not as important as the filling but still crucial for support. The pie crust is kinda like the groom in a wedding—he is vital to the event, but everyone knows the bride is where it’s at. Here, the crust was properly flaky and light. Oh yeah, under-baked and doughy tasting crusts should be illegal too.

So there I was. Having a slice of pie heaven while visiting a small town. The whole time I kept thinking about Agent Cooper eating his beloved cherry pie.

Ready for some tasty Betty’s pies? If you can’t make it to Minnesota, you can order it online and have the pies shipped!

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