Hello from Fairhope, Alabama

The city of Fairhope seems to have lost their bid to keep Wal*Mart out. However, there was already a Wal*Mart a few miles up the road in Daphne, and the nannies, housekeepers, gardeners, and assorted servants of this rich community have to buy clothing somewhere. Perhaps the good citizens of Fairhope will simply boycott the store they claim to hate.

We arrived here last night, later than we expected, because I overslept (woke up at 2am, turned off the alarm, went back and changed the alarm to 3am by common consent, and then failed to turn the alarm back on). We had a fairly uneventful trip with about 15 minutes of traffic at the end due to construction workers taking up the cones that had been blocking the right lane.

Without air conditioning, however, it was uncomfortable at best. I drank much more water than usual because my legs kept sweating, despite my light cotton mid-thigh shorts, and so I had to stop more often than usual, much to Jodi’s disapproval. On the way back, I will be more in the shade on the north side of the car, and Jodi will be more in the sun. But since a cold front has swept in, I fear she will find this quite pleasant.

Today has been a foodie’s paradise.

This morning we went to Pensacola to pick up , who told us that we ought to try McGuire’s Irish Pub (my photo here). I had the plate of steamed vegetables, plus cheddar; the thing was huge. Even if I hadn’t had some of the boxty (scoops of mashed potatoes rolled rather un-Irishly but deliciously in panko, then fried), I doubt I’d have been able to eat even half of it. And it was good-quality stuff. I even ate an 18¢ bowl of Senate bean soup, despite the “bruschetta” the waiter said it contained (he meant prosciutto but said bruh-SHET-uh).

Once we arrived back in Fairhope (and I finished mixing the dough for pain méteil), I also trekked out to Point Clear on a pilgrimage to Punta Clara Kitchen, a large Victorian home which is now part museum and part confectionery paradise. I tasted garlic jelly and various nut treats; Jodi tried watermelon jelly and margarita jelly. We also got a few candies to take back with us, some of which have even stayed uneaten lo these several hours later. The cutest treat was a fortune cookie decorated to look like a cat, and in Mardi Gras colors no less.

While everyone else was taking a nap, I put the maslin dough onto pieces of parchment paper and let them rise on a sheet pan in the audio cabinet above the amplifier and tape deck. Those things tend to warm things up a little bit, especially when the cabinet is closed, which is (with patience) all that’s needed to get these things ready to be flour-stenciled with a froggy design. I also read an interesting blog entry on moral expertise and the extent to which expert judgements from moral philosophers can be depended upon. The whole Left2Right blog is pretty interesting, actually. I’ll have to add it to my list of blogs to read…

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