The Pot Luck/Chili & Cornbread Contest

This was the first big community event that has taken place since we moved in six weeks ago.  Anxious to enter the social spectrum here, we signed up, and agreed to bring a side dish AND a dessert.  We made a crock pot of Savoury Rice, as well as TWO desserts:  Apple Pie on Cinnamon Rolls, and Chocolate Caramel Brownies.  It took me all morning to create this spread!  

I debated whether I should make a vegetable course as well, but Glenn felt that I had done more than enough!  Since there were five competitors for the contests, they had plenty of food for one and all.  Several people brought salads:  two green salads, one potato salad, one coleslaw, and a bean salad.  One person brought a plain rice dish, one scalloped potatoes, and a mashed squash dish that would have been lovely if it wasn’t stone cold!  There was also various fruit salads, as well as a large bowl of watermelon chunks.  

The favorite dessert was a cheesecake that was liberally dotted with chocolate chunks, and rested on a carmelized graham cracker crust.  Having tasted one, the crust was defintitely my favorite part.  The flavor reminded me of something from my distant past, but I just couldn’t pin it down.  Nonetheless, it was rubbing my heartstrings.  YUMM!

We had high hopes for this event being our way into the social scene here.  As a result, I sat down with the first smiling face that I encountered in the dining room.  It was a large round table, with several ladies already seated there.  While Glenn went off in search of the beer tasting table, I introduced myself to the ladies.  One of them recognized me from the ‘west end of the park’, even though I haven’t really been out and about during this resumed hot spell.  Perhaps she has seen me driving by, since I have already started my small-town tradition of smiling and waving at anyone I see.  Sadly, other than this one woman who approached us, we felt that familiar awkwardness of being ‘the new folks’.  Other than nods and distracted blank looks, we felt rather invisible.

One of the ladies we sat with at dinner stopped us as we were packing up our dishes to invite us to the next meeting of the social committee to take place next Thursday.  A week after that is the meeting of the  uh, ……  I don’t remember.  She also mentioned that both of these events would be in the newsletter, that would show up in the TUBE under our mailbox.  In about a month there will be a bake sale, donations always gratefully recieved!  The proceeds will go towards any activities that the social committee dreams up.  There is also a Gift Sale taking place in November, where any of the residents that have crafty skills are able to sell their wares, just in time for Christmas!

Perhaps this will be our best way to ease into the social scene.  I have zero skills when it comes to crafting, but I bake some pretty awesome muffins!  My butter tart muffins are pretty popular back in Canada, and my rhubarb coffee cake is legendary!  But WAIT!  WHERE am I going to find rhubarb down here?  I have tried to grow it here, but it is FAR too dry!  Perhaps I might find it at a grocery store…..  but it won’t be cheap.  I think of my backyard in Waterloo, where the rhubarb was so strong and healthy you COULD NOT dig it out!  You would think you were digging down deep enough to remove ALL of it, but within a short while it was peeking through the earth again, laughing at you!  I have also noticed that not everyone knows what a Butter Tart is, especially outside of Canada.  Geez, its not like I’m talking about Poutine!  

So there we have it.  Social acceptance through their stomachs!  We have also been discussing the possibility of inviting our neighbors over for a drink, sometime after we get back from our trip back to Canada.  Hopefully, the weather will still be warm enough to have folks sitting out on our porch, since our living area is still a ‘work in progress’.  

We have two recliners, a leather loveseat, two random chairs, as well as a 55 gallon aquarium and a large TV sitting on our electric fireplace.  An ancient grandfather clock sits in the corner beside an equally aged fireplace bench, and an antique round cherry table sits in the middle of it all.  I know, it sounds like an awful lot of stuff, but it is a HUGE room.  Eighteen wide by twenty, this is awkwardly big and no matter how we move things around, it just isn’t satisfactory.  Yes, there is also lots and lots of clutter, but we figure that this is because we still feel like we haven’t moved in!

For the time being, I’m casually looking for an interior designer, to help me figure this room out.  I put a note on our local Next Door website, so we’ll see what happens there.  I’ll start doing some looking around at furniture stores as well, since I would really like to get a microfiber sofa, to give me a core color with which to decorate.  Right now, the walls here are a buttered chocolate milk color, which I’m NOT fond of, but until I get something more definite in the room, I won’t put the effort in to re painting!


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