We bought ourselves a very old farm located in the heart of Gascony. This farm has had many lives producing many things. Right now it’s being nurtured back into a pasture farm supporting mother cows and calves to produce healthy, tasty beef directly sold to you. But it didn’t start with us. At one point, there were many vines for Armagnac. At one point there was pasture for les Blonde d’Aquitaines. At one point, there were many, many beautiful, old trees. We see those removed trees by imagining trees like the stunning, old oaks that are left and filling in the remains of tree lines with oaks just like them. But they’ll never be there again, that big and bold and beautiful, in our lifetime. As you walk around this farm, you are continuously finding objects or systems or forage of a past you know nothing about. And you say to yourself, “What the HELL is THAT?” What were these systems used for? Why is there a very large, nesty-straw thing hanging in the barn? How old is that dangling sausage?
And so this week’s “What the Heck IS that,” I bring you a very large metal thing located near “the room of taste,” which is where parties were had and tastings of Armagnac were tasted. A pretty easy one, but wait … there’s more.
…. in case you are unsure how to say “what the heck is that,” use this Saturday Night Live sketch as an example. This is one of those short sketches that has been with me ( what feels ) my entire life. When I don’t know what I’m looking at –
1. I am immediately thrown back to Steve Martin and Bill Murray with the music, the 110 camera and the two minutes of committed humor spiced with this uncertainty of “will this shit work?”
2. I say “what the Hey-YELL is that” in my head ( never out loud, nobody will follow )
3. I say these phrases: “Don’t put your lips on it!” and “Well … get a photo of me with it, anyway.”