The humble sandwich and other musings in Georgia….

I’m all packed, the little cat is home in Australia and all is right with the world.  I have just received word too that F.B. has just picked Zoe up from the quarantine station in Melbourne, Victoria after her ten day stay and they are on their way back home to Newcastle in New South Wales.  This really is wonderful news.  It has been a somewhat bitter sweet journey but there has been a very happy ending and sometimes, you can’t ask for more than that.  I also completed my last road trip in America just the other day but here are a few more snippets of how I spent my last couple of weeks in America.

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Italian:  I am happy to report that my Italian is still going very well or as I like to call it ‘learning Italian in my underwear’.  I’m picking up some  phrases and expressions now which I am hoping I will get to try out in Rome and Sardinia.  Since picking up this little book of knowledge, I have taken a bit of an interest in languages and here is something fascinating.  In Mandarin the shoe and the vagina are the same word!  I’m guessing I will need to be very careful what I ask for if ever shopping for Converse in China.

Toast:  Zoe’s flight left Atlanta mid morning headed to LA.  Next stop was Melbourne Australia.   I drove Zoe up to Atlanta which is about a 90 minute drive from where I am  based…….when the traffic is good.  It was a very early start and as I operate best on a full stomach, I popped a couple of pieces of sourdough in the toaster to have with a cuppa.  Amazingly, while buttering it, I thought this piece resembled a map of Australia.  This I believed, was a wonderful omen x.

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The humble sandwich:  The toast has given me a segue to the toasted sandwich I made myself for dinner the other night.  I named it ‘Pear Grylls’ in honor of my camping trip.  It consisted of thickly sliced pear and French Blue cheese smack bang in the middle of two slices of amply buttered sourdough then pan fried golden brown.  Pretty darn good and it hit the spot nicely paired with a Pennsylvania Pinot Gris.

I read somewhere once that when travelling, and if you really want to appreciate and understand how the locals eat, then you need to head off and find their version of ‘stuff that is stuffed into any bread like stuff’!  And I guess there is something to be said for jamming delicious fillings between a couple of slices of bread.  Of course being an Aussie girl, I love a jaffle.  I’ll give you the low down on the jaffle because you just never know when you are going to need this knowledge.  A jaffle to the uninitiated is basically a toasted sandwich but not really….if that makes sense.  It is usually made with any left overs or great imagination.  Place buttered bread and filling on to your ‘metal  compartmented precision scissor action (cuts your jaffle perfectly) jaffle iron’.  And every home in Australia pretty much has a jaffle iron as it is considered un-Australian not to love a jaffle.  What comes out of your jaffle iron are perfectly sealed edged triangles with a magical golden crust filled with something mouth blisteringly HOT!!  They are dangerous and treacherous snack perfection.  With a jaffle iron you can create culinary masterpieces and you don’t even have to know how to cook.  I am so having a jaffle when I get home……and a chiko roll!

Yoder’s of Perry, Georgia:  In a town, not far from where I am based, I discovered a fabulous little sandwich store called Yoder’s Sandwich Shoppe and let me just say – they really have upped the ante on the humble sandwich.

From the moment you walk in you feel at home.  The staff are so warm and incredibly  friendly.  This really is a lovely place to eat and all of the food and sandwiches are fresh, home-made and created with much love, heart and soul.  This little place gets really busy with the locals so that’s always a good sign and, it is as cheap as chips.

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I had the Cajun Roast Beef with Pepper Jack cheese and Bleu cheese dressing on a French sub.  The hot roast beef was melt in the mouth and a perfect match with the cheese and dressing.  Served with chips and a pickle (which F.B. loves) and a fresh lemonade.

Before going home I am heading to Yoder’s for the Club Sandwich.  A multi-layered creation of ham, turkey, bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato on Texas toast with mayo and mustard.  Yoder’s really is home town goodness at its very best and luckily for me, I don’t need to travel far for a little sandwich excellence.

Mason jars and moonshine:  Now, have a look at this which is also just down the road from where I live.  Don’t you just love it.  Somehow, I always expect to drive by and see a couple of overall-clad, bearded men sipping moon shine from Mason jars and tinkering away under the hood of this dear old car.  This is what the beautiful South is all about.

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 A few more random photographs, all taken within a stone’s throw of where I live:

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 Not long now until jaffles, chiko rolls, Ice Break coffee and my beautiful and very wonderful Australia…..xx

Off the beaten track

Happy new year to all xx

New years is that small window in time that speaks potential.  Its the start of something new and fresh.   It has been a good start to the new year for us.  In the second week of this brand new year we move into our new home, our small shipment of chattels arrives from Australia and life starts to get back to some form of normality (as normal as possible anyway).  We have been keeping quite busy too.  We have been out and about in the state of Georgia and given America is the country of the road trip, that’s exactly what we have been doing.

There are millions and millions of miles (1 mile is equivalent to about 1.60 kilometres) of highways and roads in America.  Given those statistics, the road trip has become one of the great American pastimes and there really is no better way to see and experience the country.  The tip with a road trip is to get off the interstates.  The interstates are congested and very busy large three to five lane highways that link each state.  Get off the interstates and venture onto the back roads because that way you will find the true little gems of an area.  If you don’t get off the interstates you will miss wonderful things like coconut and peanut butter pies, cotton fields, rattlesnake round-ups, fried green tomatoes, mayhaws, hickory trees, swamp gravy and sweetened iced teas served in old mason jars.

Steve has had time off work.  Time off being just over two weeks during Christmas and new years.   This time was not taken voluntarily.  The section of the US military base Steve now works at ‘closes down’ for a short length of time over the festive season.  As a rule, and because we don’t have children, we never ever travel or take time off during the ‘holidays’.  This time however, the decision was out of our hands so we decided to make the most of it by doing a few road trips around the state of Georgia.  And I am happy to report that after traversing some of Georgia’s lesser known byways, there is still plenty more out there to see.

Road trips are great and one of the best thing about a road trip is the adventure.  The expectation, the discovery, the exploration and the surprises be they good or bad are what really make up any great adventure and I have a few tips for a really good road trip:

1)  Buy and then use a Navman (or equivalent) and also carry a map.  I happen to like maps a lot but beware:  some roads in the USA were decommissioned in the 60’s and no longer exist although they may still show up.

2)  Take CD’s.  The music stations in the south are VERY limited.  Its country/gospel/religion/gospel/religion/country and one ‘rock’ station who play Nickleback.  Of all the bands in the world (and that’s a big call), I dislike (immensely) Nickelback the most!  And, if you are the driver on the said road trip then you get to choose the music being played.  That is actually an unwritten driving rule!  And yes, you absolutely can listen to Neil Diamond singing ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’ and ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ as many times as you like.

3)  I’m afraid I have to be blunt with the next one.  Flatulence!  Even though you may be suffering great physical discomfort do not fart continually!  And under no circumstances should you ever eat flatulent inducing foods the night before a road trip washed down with yeasty carbonated ales.  It all makes for a very unpleasant environment in the car.

4)  Do not comment on the other drivers driving style.  This surely tests a relationship AND not in a good way!

5)  Don’t eat at any ‘fast-food’ chain stores.  I know, its always the easy option but come on, this is an adventure!  Oh, and don’t order the grits (trust me) but definitely try the fried chicken, okra and green beans, boiled peanuts, the crab stew, sloppy joes, the frog stew (which ironically does not contain any frog), the pork chops, biscuits, hush puppies and the cobblers at the quirky little old diners dotted around the landscape of small towns in the south.

6)  If you want to take photos take them.  You may not pass that way again.

7)  Accept that things may not always go to plan.  It is also okay to admit you are wrong and it is also perfectly okay to change your mind.

8)  Pack more underwear than you will ever consider wearing especially for overnight stays and longer.

9)  Never ask a local man for directions or information.  Even if he doesn’t know the correct answer he will tell you something anyway in order to have polite conversation……… and the information will probably be wrong.

10)  And the last and most important tip.  Enjoy the journey xx

 

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A beautiful little church (still in use every Sunday)

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This really is someone’s lovely little house (which they actually live in)

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These are biscuits.  I love southern biscuits.

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These are biscuits with gravy.  I don’t love southern biscuits with gravy.  I like my gravy a little different to southern gravy.  I like it brown and tasting of meat juices!

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I have never seen a pecan described as ‘desirable’- what a wonderful narrative for such an unassuming little nut

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Cheese (American style)

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I’m really going to need some bigger pants soon!

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I just love that there is a ‘cookie’ (not to be confused with a biscuit) called a ‘snickerdoodle’

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Rows and rows and rows of perfectly preserved peaches 

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