Notes from Windward: #66
Virgil's update -- June 3rd
To arrive at Windward was in itself a journey. For reasons that seemed a little fuzzy in the hinterlands of Wyoming I drove myself and all that i deemed necessary across the country.
After making it to Omaha and spending two nights sleeping fairly uncomfortably in my vehicle I picked up a friend who had agreed to help drive across the second half of this fine country with me. We spent the next few nights in hotels as we passed through 90 degree heat, then snow as we hit the Rockies. But we made it to the coast of California alive and had a pleasant enough trip up north.
The trip was at times a long manic ordeal and at others you could not help but stare out the windows in wonder. Wonder that such landscapes existed and that nobody seemed to notice them or live anywhere within a few hundred miles of them. All very strange to a New England mind. We came to the conclusion that the sheer scale of the western landscape challenged our minds, making us a little paranoid.
But as I said we made it to Portland, where she flew home and I drove to my new home in Windward. Even though this is being written on Sunday, just a few short days since I arrived on Wednesday I feel I have accomplished more than any month back in college.
Virgil settling concrete in the retaining wall form
I have been helping pour concrete for Vermidise by creating a level floor where before there was slope, setting up and breaking down the molds, and setting up rebar sections. It is amazing how fast these challenges were set before me and then how quickly I learned the steps to accomplishing them.
In addition to this work I have been putting in time at the kitchen. One of the features I love about Windward's kitchen is the community computer which resides there (and which I am currently using). This machine which is often used to check email and myspace instantly becomes the omnicookbook. A quick search on google and items such as turnip or beet greens no longer are a mystery.
Thus far I have had great fun helping Gina with the resounding success that was turnip green and potato salad and have cooked a fine lunch of home made tortilla quesadillas with Sarah's fine Guac and refried beans, and a batch of bran muffins to which I added some of the fine Vermont maple syrup I had brought with me from home.
My latest adventure in Windward's kitchen is a batch of IPA which I started Friday night and is now bubbling away in a corner. Brewing is a skill I started developing about a year ago. To me the interest in brewing is as much about learning all of the science and process as it is about the end product, although that is a fine thing in and of itself.
So on Friday surrounded by those onlookers both young and not so young I toasted barley, boiled the wort, and added the hops to what I would call the first Windward ale (at least that I know of), and we should be drinking this fine creation in three or four weeks.
Now it is time to start helping in the kitchen and find out what new adventures I shall partake in today.