Saturday, June 14, 2008

Local Stores

I was thinking about how things have changed here since I was a child growing up on the farm.

There was a time when we were so far out in the country that if we wanted anything we had to go a ways to get it. If we wanted something fixed then we had to do it ourselves or take the "fixee" to the "fixor" (I love legal terms).

Bailing wire was probably the most important part of our fix-it-yourself toolkit. Aside from imagination and stubbornness anyway.

We did have a veterinarian who would come out though and that was certainly a good thing.

Now within a mile of my house there are so many stores it is unbelievable. There will soon be more, too. Now some of them aren't exactly "walkable" because there is an Interstate Highway between us. Those things are like the rivers of the old frontier except you darn sure can't drink from them. Still, trying to cross one on foot is about like jumping into the wild Colorado with no life vest.

One interesting store to me is this place called "Learn To Brew." It is exactly what it sounds like. They have everything you need including lessons and books to brew your own wine and beer.

The image I "borrowed" from their web site via print screen. It lists interesting facts:

  • Before prohibition over 4500 independent brewers produced beer for their local markets.
  • Germany had a prohibition law that limited a drinker to no more than seven beers in one session and no more than two sessions a day.
In a way that's kind of funny because in the prohibition days there were plenty of folks around here that could run a "still" and they didn't stop at wine or beer.

Now you can go over to this place and buy kits and books and sit in on actual lessons with demonstrations.

My dad told about one time when he was a kid that he and his brother (probably more his brother - you know how they are) decided to make some wine from grape juice. They put the jars in the cellar. Something must have been a little off because the jars exploded. They had a pretty good mess and an upset mother. But they definitely had some fermenting going on.

A coworker once made home brew beer. He had to go to the library and read and buy a bunch of stuff from here and there. He made beer though. I don't remember tasting it so I don't know what it was like.

A lady of Polish descent lived in a house near our business and she made her version of "white lightening" every year. I did taste it and it was awful and strong. But every year the guys that worked there would all go down to try it out.

We have liquor stores here. They are also called package stores. Not sure why that is. The one over west of us has these free tasting events every month. It is kind of interesting and a lot of people show up. There will be several tables and distributor representatives will be standing behind each one with a few bottles of their products. They have these little bitty plastic cups - maybe an ounce or two - and if you see something you think you might want to try then you ask for a taste and the person pours you a little in the plastic cup - nowhere near full either. Good thing, too, because some of it is really stout. Or maybe that's because I don't drink and am unaccustomed to it.

Some people stand around and talk about how this one is smoky tasting or that one has a hint of spring or something. I never really can tell any of that but I usually stand there and shake my head up and down like I am not a complete hick.

Anyway we're definitely not in the country anymore.


~Betsy said...

The little community where I grew up has changed a lot, too. It was a bitter pill for me to swallow when I was selling my childhood home. Fortunately, it actually helped with the sale. I haven't been back since we closed over a year ago. I prefer to remember it as it was.

I remember my grandfather making wine once. It was strong. He gave all of us kids a taste one Thanksgiving. It tasted like cough medicine to me and I couldn't understand how adults liked sipping cough medicine with their Thanksgiving dinner. LOL.

Interesting the tasting event you have there. If folks aren't careful, you could have a lot of drunk tasters running around!

Annie said...

My dad made wine. He even won some ribbons with it at the state fair. I think he tried his hand at brewing beer, but he ended up a winemaker instead.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

I don't think I ever really thought much about the different types of beer until we visited my daughter in WI during Easter. They showed us all their hangouts and we sampled many different kinds. Kinda funny for a bartender to say this but to me, beer was beer before that experience.

We have a couple of package stores here too. Basically they call it package liquor because it is "carry out" as opposed to staying and drinking it on the premises.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Hey Terry, I hope you have a nice Father's day. I know this one will be a tough one and I will keep you close in prayer. Take care.

flintysooner said...

Thank you Chris. I thought about you this morning, too. I took my blood pressure as well. Hang in there.