Saturday, August 9, 2008

Red Lodge & Bozeman Montana

We have arrived in Montana, after 10 long days on the road. This road trip has been as amazing as it has been exhausting. Who would think that sitting in a car driving on the open road could require so much energy? Today I have been taking it easy in Bozeman, after spending the morning in Red Lodge, Montana. Red Lodge is an adorable little town. Its main street is lined with original brick buildings, complete with attractive, large loft windows on the second stories. The first place we visited in town was the bakery. I have NEVER seen so many delicious baked goods in my life. As soon as I walked in, my eyes roved immediately to the showcase of pastries, including a 10-inch high flaky cream puff, cut in half and filled with about 3 inches of cream. The donuts were so fresh they were the only thing I could smell. Luckily my husband bought one so I could take it in my hands and smell it to death before he ate it. I joked that if he didn't tell, I wouldn't tell--that I would eat a donut, too. Of course he looked at me mortified in case I wasn't joking. I was joking of course, but I had to say that so I could visualize for one second just sinking my teeth into one of those deep fried, frosted donuts. Breakfast. Alas, I ordered my usual coffee and walked away with yet more willpower than I have ever had before. If ever I was going to eat sugar before the year's up, it would have been at this bakery. There was a line of customers behind us, but that didn't stop me from blocking the view of the donut case as I photographed that unbelievable, gigantic cream puff.

Before we left town to hit the road, we wandered through Red Lodge's little farmer's market. Gorgeous purple onions and green cucumbers beckoned to me. I tried to figure out how to utilize them on the road, but I couldn't figure it out. While I was thinking about it, I spotted a table covered with giant green cabbages. Could we travel with these? Of course not, they would get wilted and I wouldn't be near a stove for at least another week. Before I left the block of tables I visited a booth where a lady was selling wool, both spun and raw. A basket of beautiful, naturally colored wool really got my attention. I touched some of the bounciest wool I have ever felt. When I decided to buy a bunch of beautiful, bouncy gray wool, the host of the booth asked if I would like to buy some bak lava that she was randomly selling at her table. I told her "no, thanks" and that I was sugar-free for the year. She looked up surprised and said, "I am, too! My husband and I have gone without sugar and white flour for four years, now." That led to some interesting conversation and supreme motivation on my part. They both lost weight and don't ever crave sugar. I asked her if she ever used honey or molasses in her baking. She said that she doesn't use any of those sweeteners. She uses white sugar for her baked goods that she makes for others, but does not consume them, herself. I am wondering if I would benefit from cutting out all sugars including the natural sugars in honey, molasses, fruit juice, etc. I am considering doing this for a month to see what happens. Of course I will never cut out whole fruit, but this lady was so trim and healthy-looking, it motivates me to try to cut out sugar alternatives, as well. I'll start one week at a time. Thank you C-, at the farmer's market, for the inspiration!

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