That was yesterday. I was too pooped to log in last night. What a
day. The adrenaline is pumping.
First thing in the morning I got the tie dyed items into the wash, so
the campers could wear them if they desired. Mich and Gray sported
theirs. They came out great. The baby’s onesie is rockin. Julia
write “Future CAB Camper” on the front. Kid’s got great handwriting.
All the campers could be professional tie dyers by now, which is
actually a marketable skill here in Sonoma county. The stuffed animal
that Mich won also went through the laundry, so that we could give it
to the baby without fair germs on it. Then I prepped the kitchen for
the arrival of celebrity chef, JZ. Kitchen prep is a big part of my
role here at CAB! James made the pie himself, though. He had to sign
his name to that statement on the entry form, so he was on his honor.
He had made the pastry the night before, using the food processor,
which I figured would ensure that he didn’t overwork the dough. He
used Nonna Rose’s rolling pin to roll everything out. The crust was
flaky, and so tricky to roll. He stayed cool and worked swiftly but
carefully. I have one of those old timey apple gizmos that peels,
cores and slices all in one step. You spear the apple onto the thing
and then crank. James would have done that all day. Side note – at
the fair we saw an industrial one from 1900. James and that guy had
stuff to talk about.
He and I headed off the get his pie entered by 11. The girls were
still at the breakfast table (french toast), but planned to go to the
movie “The Help.” At the pie entry table James had his first taste of
small town fair life. His was entry 7 in the teen division. There
were 8 entries in that division in all. All the pies were on the
table, so you could size up the competition. Other fair goers did the
same (really. lots of people are interested in pie), so James got to
discuss the various pies with people and tell them his story. The
contestants and their people became a sort of band of brothers.
James’ pie was clearly one of the best. His lattice was a work of
art. Judging started at noon, so he and I looked around a little.
That’s when we checked out the old apple peeler. There were lots of
old tools and machines there. We also got the best fire truck tour
ever from 2 local firemen. Did you know that, under ideal conditions,
a fire will double itself every minute? True. Food is always part of
a fair, so we indulged in some Thai kebabs, funnel cake, and the
mandatory bucket of lemonade (more like a bong, only $8, free refills
all day!). James tossed some darts at apples, but didn’t hit one.
That was weird. Back to the judging stand, where James kept an eagle
eye on the judges as they ate. When his pie was under consideration,
we could lip read one judge saying, “that’s a good pie” and another
saying, “such a delicious crust.” James was pretty happy and feeling
good about his chances. Between the anticipation and the lemonade, I
had a stomach ache. One of the “brothers” was an Italian guy who had
an entry in the adult division. He described his recipe, and it was
SO hard for me to point out the obvious – not a pie. The guy entered
a cake. He also had a eagle eye on the judges, and I knew he didn’t
have a chance. Mental anguish at CAB. More waiting; the judges had a
lot of pies to eat; there were over 20 entries in the adult division.
We looked around some more and met some very enthusiastic people; one
was a woodworker and the other a German guy. We tore ourselves away
and hoofed it back to our HQ. Finally the judges made their way to
the stage, but the band played on. We found a spot in the shade and
parked it. I could see the italian guy waiting right in front.
Argh! Once the judges took the stage we were able to get a seat. All
the pie people were there. When James was announced as the second
place winner everyone cheered and he got some high fives as he headed
up to claim his prize. Pictures and brief interviews from 2 local
newspapers followed. Then James hovercrafted out of there. I told
everyone we passed that he had won. He wasn’t embarrassed. it was
The girls texted that they were out of the movie. They gave it 5
stars. We all rendezvoused at the supermarket. So much excitement
about James’ victory. Rather than having an excited crowd scare
shoppers at the market, they piled in my car and headed home while I
re-provisioned. Dinner would be make your own pizza. Then I rented
some movies. I will force them to watch Moonstruck some time today.
The Antinori kids are 100% italian and the Dales 50%. Moonstruck is
part of their heritage. Parents, I’m slightly disappointed. I can’t
lie. Everyone helped unload when I got home, and the kids hit the
pool. Kate was dj’ing and I could hear happy voices and laughter
above the bass. Once the mosquitoes forced them in, we prepped and
ate dinner. The World Cup song by Shakira has been a big fave here
and, for some reason, was being sung at the dinner table. Then a
spontaneous dance party erupted. Only Julia stayed seated, calmly
eating her pizza. Uncle Paul wasn’t at the table yet, otherwise she
would have had company. Although I will tell you a secret – the guy
You haven’t heard much about Gray in my reports. Let me assure you,
she is a full participant in everything. She has a way of staying
under the radar, but sneaking in some astute, and usually funny,
comments. You all know how emphatic Kate can be about things. She
gave us to understand that we didn’t know much about conditions in
Africa (Kenya in particular) one night at dinner, and at the Mexican
restaurant she told us firmly that we would not be discussing the
Kardashians, because it’s idiotic. She’s right, just a little scary.
Last night, for some reason, Gray busts out with, “Hey Kate, did you
hear the Kardashians are going to Kenya?” Hilarity.
The movie was Unlimited with Bradley Cooper. I asked James to brush
his teeth beforehand. Mich mentions that he’s been using her
toothbrush , shaking her head in a big sister understanding way. I’m
confused because I remember that we bought him a brush on Day 1. He
says, “oh yeah, here it is.” Still, he has been brushing his teeth.
I am pretty sure he hasn’t been in the shower. Star camper.
Today (Sunday) is our final day here in Bodega (We’re heading south
tomorrow and the campers leave on Tuesday). James is up watching the
end of the movie. I am heading into the kitchen to make a plum
galette for a certain camper. Sand candles on the agenda. Also,
survival bracelets with Uncle Paul and a tour of the woods with Paul Jr.
I love these kids.
P.S. Correction: Re the Italian guy with the cake/pie entry. It was hard for me to NOT
point out the obvious. I didn’t say a word, just smiled (inwardly
sadly, like the sad clown – Sopranos reference). AB
Kate: Another correction: the movie is called limitless. I (very emphatically)
corrected my mom.