And I Can Cook, Too

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April 14, 2007


It was Tanunda Town Day at the Barossa Food & Wine Festival and Leena, Adam, Andrew, Mel and I were off for a day of festivities including, but not limited to, the Tanunda Town Day Grape Stomping Competition. We arrived before the crowds, and easily found parking near the festival entrance. Food was the first order of the day. Andrew, the only Aussie among us, determined that we would start our day with “snag in a dag.” Entendre aside, I was naturally curious. Turns out, I’ve enjoyed a variation of snag in a dag in a previous life. “Snag” is the Australian slang for sausage, and “dag” is the bread it rests in. Top it with grilled onions and a little mustard, and you’re ready to go. Not necessarily as good as my previous life but that’s another story. After a few wine samplings and a couple of Barossa plates of cured meats, local pickles, cheeses, and phenomanally good beetroot chutney, it was time for the grape stomping. We changed from our reasonably nice festival clothes into our reasonably nice grape stomping clothes, checked in, and waited for our heat. The grapes were mounded in 3’X3’ boxes, which were set atop 3’ high platforms designed with a drainage system to catch the juice. The heats were of three groups of stompers at a time. Leena and Adam (team Vanilla Coke) took box number one, Andrew and I (team Bruce!) were in box number two, and who cares (Who Cares) who was in box number three. The whistle blew, and the stomping began. The first thing Andrew and I noticed as we clung together and stomped was that the floor of the box was slippery. Very very slippery. Then we noted (while stomping of course), that if one of us slipped too much, there wasn’t much to break our fall to the street below. Ah, well, we reasoned (stomp stomp), we’re young (Andrew is young stomp stomp), we’ll heal (stomp stomp). We had crushed all the grapes in our box when we noticed we were ankle deep in juice. Quickly we developed a new “sweeping of the feet” technique to shove the mushy mess into the drainage grid, through the pipe, and down to the waiting bucket below. Crush crush! Sweep sweep! We moved as much mush as we good until at last the whistle blew again, and we were done. As we climbed down the ladder to the ground and the waiting wash bucket, the MC made an announcement. Team Bruce! had set a new record! Team Bruce! had successfully stomped the least amount of juice ever recorded at the Tanunda Town Day Grape Stomping Competition!

It is so good to be known for something.


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