Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bottle of Red, Bottle of White


In a previous life, when I was still a fabulous Radio Personality, my job kept me pretty busy.

I had my regular 'drive-time' program during the week, a couple of weekend shows, I 'produced' various sporting events, I was constantly out and about doing remotes, I worked with record companies and concert venues doing promotions, scheduled advertising, and of course, there was production.

I'm deliberately trying not to dwell on all the negatives from those years, so let's just say life at the station could be chaotic.

Long hours, and often...a considerable lack of organization.

This was most obvious when it came to the ads.

The sales staff would hand off a stack of copy, or sometimes, just the bare facts, expecting me to pull some brilliant idea out of my...ehem, head; then they'd say 'oh, this needs to start running tonight. Can you fit it ten times?'.

So, while I'm running a live show, I'd have to cobble together an acceptable ad, dash over to the production room, record the ad to the reel-to-reel, find appropriate public domain (read: really bad) music to set it to, and record it to cart (this is before the station went hi-tech).

All this around the average three and a half minute pop song!

It was a bit stressful, but it was fun. It was a challenge. I had a very small outlet for my language and writing skills, and I do, in fact, do very well under pressure.

One sales 'girl', as we called them, came in much later in the day to get all her work done, which coincided with my shift. As a result, I voiced a lot of her ads. I liked her, and I liked doing them.

Ok, there was that one time when, for some high school play-off event, she handed me the copy for a construction firm.

The ad, as given, talked about 'the erection of' some sort of structure, or other.

I made an executive disc jockey decision, changed it to 'construction'; yeah, I wasn't going to be known as the girl who kept saying 'erection' on the air!

But because of my job, I became aware of all the new, small, businesses opening in the area.

Let's face it: when people listen to the radio, most ignore the ads, or switch stations. I didn't have that luxury; I was there, and responsible for them.

Which was useful, actually.

I got to know the business owners, and their shops. I spent my paltry wages on their goods.

The woman who did the flowers for our wedding? I knew her from my radio days. She did great work (I loved her purple passion roses). The woman who decorated the tables and the hall? You guessed it. We're friends now; I often stop by her shop when I'm in town.

About ten years ago, a new, and somewhat surprising, business opened up outside of my hometown: The Winery at Wilcox.

A winery? In Pennsylvania? I thought it a bit odd, too.

But they kept buying ads, and then I began to hear good things about them.

So when my ex-best friend's bridal shower rolled around, I made the drive to the middle of no where ("...on Mefferts Run Road!"), and found the most charming shop.

A simple, single-story, and wooden building houses a collection of locally-made wines, several of them award-winning.

The first time I stopped in, for the ex-friend's gift, there was a quiet bustle. Makes the kind of sense that doesn't, right?

There were people in the shop, wines were being purchased, and yet...it wasn't crazy busy. I liked it.

Having no idea what to get my ex-friend (I did have one recommendation via her mom), the staff was eager to help. I walked out with a couple bottles of what turned out (according to the ex-friend) to be a darn good wine, as well as a rather attractive wine rack.

I liked the Winery; I only wished I liked wine!

Over the years, since I've moved away, Matt and I have made side trips to the Winery, because even though neither of us drink, wine...here's a shocker...makes a very good gift.

So this last trip home, we left Alex with my step-dad and sister, and headed for Wilcox.

The do a good job, don't they? I can't stand the taste of alcohol, yet I'm compelled to buy.

I loved the look of those bottles on the left.

The poor girl waiting on us was thoroughly confused; she kept trying to give us wine to sample, and couldn't seem to understand that we didn't want to actually drink it!

So, where do I get my hands on wine barrels like that? More to the point, what on earth would I do with them?

We walked out with a few bottles, some I insisted we get simply because I remember rattling the names off during production.

I think if we were, in fact, wine drinkers, we'd have carted a few cases home. So, it's probably good that we're not.

If you ever find yourself in Northern Pennsylvania, a trip to the Winery at Wilcox may be worth the detour...be sure to tell them 'Taylor' sent you!

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6 Thoughts for food:

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to visit wineries.In fact,we have plans to attend a "grape stomping" in September.I can't wait!

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Cate said...

Anytime someone says "grape stomping," I am instantly reminded of that I Love Lucy episode - love that!

Stephanie -- do you know what those red bottles on the left were?

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Depending on what the wine barrells are made of, you can use them to smoke meat.

McIlhenny chopped up the used oak barrells that they used to age the tobasco and sold them in little bags for smoking. I tried it, but found the smoke was too harsh. I prefer a milder smoke, like apple wood or hickory.

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At 10:11 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Emily...sounds like fun! Like Cate, I automatically go to I Love Lucy...are you going to dress up in vintage Italian country clothes, too???!!

Have fun!

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Cate, I'm pretty sure it was the East Branch Sunset; sorry, can't tell you how it tastes!

(The East Branch River/Dam can also be found in that area)

Of course, if you ever find your way in that neck of the woods, they'd be happy to let you sample!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Chris, I think I'd be more likely to decorate with them. Not entirely sure what I'd use them for, but I'm confident I'd figure out something!


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