I just got back from visiting my cousin's family in Augusta. Mostly it was just going around running errands with his wife and the girls, but I was happy - the important thing is that I got to spend some time with them. Much of what we ate was in house, so not a lot of eating out. But my cousin's wife discovered by accident a very good way of making your pork loin extremely tender (we're talkin' cut-with-a-fork tender): cook on about 250°F for 30 minutes before cooking at normal temperature. I didn't catch the normal temperature (note to self: call or email her and ask her what it was). It was about two pounds, enough to feed five people and then some. That, and her neighbor just dropped by and gave us some homemade manicotti. It was a nice appetizer.
One thing I am kicking myself over not having done was stopping by the various produce stands in Augusta and on the extremely scenic drive back to the Savannah area. One thing that I really wanted to peruse was a stand of fresh strawberries and peaches (they don't call it "the Peach State" for nothin'). Yeah, I know we have fresh produce stands in Maryland, too. But here's the thing: you're going to find what is locally grown. Our peaches probably won't be as good as Georgia's, though you can still find them locally grown in Maryland. The same goes the other way for our blue crabs. What bums me out is that I rarely get the chance to support locally grown produce away from my own home. So before I leave Hinesville (near Fort Stewart, where my brother-in-law is stationed) in a few days, I must root out the local produce. I am determined to bring some locally-grown Georgia peaches home with me (easier since I drove instead of flew).
Oh, in case you decide to make the 3 hour drive between Augusta and Savannah (especially if you have made that drive before), be prepared for the following: Unlike the drive between most of Georgia's major cities, the drive between Augusta and Savannah is not connected by any major interstates. But at least it's mostly 55 mph. To wit, some photos of life along Hwy 196 and US 25:
A kudzu-encoated silo along US 25. Kudzu: the scourge of the South
Along the way, I got to see where golf carts are born.
Um, where am I again?
I didn't get to visit Augusta's Salsa's Bar & Grill, but it is one of many Mexican restaurants in the area. In fact, it was perhaps the most common cuisine I've seen in either Augusta or Hinesville.