I just got back from Franklin, PA - home of my boyfriend's parents. [insert ominous music HERE]
It was actually a really good time. His parents are both very, very nice and didn't even ask me if I wanted to go to church with them. His dad is a retired electrician who has gotten into selling antiques. He has a garage full of stuff he's picked up at auctions, yard sales and flea markets and he pretty much just let me go shopping in it. I picked up two, working antique cameras (picture of those and from them forthcoming) and a gorgeous library desk with serpentine legs probably circa 1925 for my television. B and I are going to refinish the table which is covered in horrific paint to make it look like zebra wood. We think the table is made of walnut and poplar which should stain up really nicely when we are finished with it. B's mom wanted to feed us the entire time, and food from Easten Pennsylvania is very midwestern. Mmmm, mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak (chicken fried chicken for me) and their "secret family receipe" which involves boiled eagle brand milk, canned pineapple, whipped cream, and about two pieces of iceberg lettuce, which is what I guess makes it a "salad". I also met two of his three sisters, his grandmother and his aunt, as well as some assorted neighbors and friends from high school. Growing up in a small town is very different than where I am from.
This was also applefest weekend. The air was crisp and cool, but not too rainy. Sadly the leaves haven't really started to turn yet, but I came home with a peck and a half of fresh picked apples from one of the orchards over the hill. I got a half peck of Macoun, a half peck of honey crisps and a half peck of empire apples. I probably won't eat them all before they start to go soft, but when that happens B and I are just going to make applesauce of them and jar the rest. I also got a gallon of fresh pressed apple cider (like, pressed two days before I got it) which is DELICIOUS. Unpasteurized. Awesome. The best apple cider ever. B got five gallons of it to make hard cider; mine is destined for mulling spices and some Meyers dark. His mom also gave us a bucket full of fresh peppers from the garden, and some frozen deer steaks and sausage (not in a casing, frozen flat somehow). Since his dad is going on a hunting trip in Colorado next week, I think they figured they might as well clear some space for the deer and elk that are coming back with him. I have never eaten venison, but I am game to try it. (Get it, game? game?!)