On our recent trip to Galston, we found amazing fruit and vegetables at roadside stands. This prompted the S.O. to make Cream of Broccoli soup and Pumpkin soup in quantities big enough for the freezer to be stocked with little containers of yummy scrummy soup. I happily labeled said containers of joy with my pink Dymo labeler (yes, I am O.C.D. and proud). This also prompted me to declare I am never eating canned or packet soup again. Perhaps on the part of the chef, this may not have been wise? Anyway, I digress...
So last weekend we finally had a weekend with NOTHING on - what a treat! So my scathingly brilliant idea was another country drive, to get the vegetable compartment stocked to overflowing again. So off we go...
Now, not one for boredom, I decide we need to 'go a different way'. So we head for Windsor. Driving... driving... driving... on these massive three lane divided roads, past mega malls (at Rooty Hill) and housing estate after housing estate. Hmmm... not quite how I remember it. Get to Windsor, but still no country?
Enter 'Plan B' - go to Richmond, take a turn, get on a road built on podiums, above said 'country'. My partner, trying to sooth me, says: 'Look down there - cows!' I say, 'I meant driving through the countryside, not on a fly-over above it. If I wanted to drive on a fly-over I could have done it at Darling Harbour, five minutes from our house!' I may have rocked at this point.
Get to Richmond - you guessed it, still no country. Number of roadside stalls? Still a big fat zero.
Time for 'Plan C' - head for Kurrajong. Start climbing, out of the Sydney basin. Where did the country go? Altitude not quite right for farms, so turn towards Singleton, driving in bush not farmland. Begin to rock in a more pronounced way.
Finally come out on a ridge with country on both sides. Feel marginally better. Nearly two hours from Sydney, finally hit the first roadside stand. It's nothing special. Resume rocking.
S.O. sees a sign for Muscovy Ducks, and offers it up to stop the rocking. I am excited - they're apparently the best for roasting, but the cheapest you can buy them from my butcher is around $75, which is waaaay to rich for my blood. I am also suspicious, as I think they mean alive.
Farmer pulls out, looks a bit frightening. He stops range rover, S.O. alights the vehicle to ask if ducks are alive or dead. Apparently generally alive. I say, 'oh well' and motion to S.O. to resume being inside the safety of the vehicle. Farmer decides to get the city slickers their dead duck. Calls wife. We drive down road, in through huge security fence. Ducks are everywhere. African woman in headscarf comes out, talks to us about ducks. She feels bad charging us $15 (they're only $12 if you take them alive). We are grateful for the surcharge. I am having visions about being trapped and killed behind large security fence. She keeps us talking. The ducks approach closer and closer. They are big ducks.
Soon we leave with a frozen Muscovy duck in our special cold silver bag, for $15. It is a bargain. The security gate doesn't open. She comes running up the road. I imagine a meat axe.
Her remote has run out of batteries. Gate is opened. I muse that watching the evening news fuels my levels of paranoia.
We drive like bats out of hell for the city, back through desolate fringe dwelling estates. Windsor has a market, and we stop - there's super hot chilli sauces, lots of ye olde lolly shoppes, fresh nuts and some interesting potato varieties. I feel slightly vindicated, but still alert and alarmed. Hustle partner into car.
Resolve never to look for country again.