Today I made my oatmeal bars for breakfast and even though I followed my recipe which I've made dozens of times, I forgot a key ingredient...sugar! Whoops! They were still edible and we sprinkled sugar on top so they were still sweet. They just weren't what we expected and I felt a little bummed.
We got as much of our school work done as we could and Brock took a few hours off work so we could hop in the Yukon and drive about 30 minutes away to the McIlhenny Tabasco Factory on Avery Island. They call it an island, but it really doesn't feel like one. The only water surrounding it that we saw was little ditch-type canals. But the experience was a great deal! The only cost was a $1 toll at the entrance which they advertise goes towards their conservation efforts because they do have a wildlife sanctuary on the island.
We arrived at the factory and the next tour was happening in just a few minutes. We learned about how the McIlhenny Family has lived there and operated the company for 5 generations. In the early 1860's, Edmund McIlhenny came up with the recipe after planting and growing pepper seeds from Mexico or Central America that he had received as a gift. He ended up giving the sauce he'd created to family and friends as gifts. Around 1870, he got the patent and started selling. Today, they churn out 700,000 bottles a day at the factory and they are shipped all over the world, labeled in 22 different languages. This factory is the only Tabasco factory in the world. They have about 30 acres on site, here in Louisiana, where they grow the now specially bred "Tabasco" peppers, but many more are grown in South America. It was interesting to learn how the peppers are salted and ground into a mash the same day they are picked and then sealed into white oak barrels and aged for up to 3 years. Each person on the tour received four tiny sample bottles of different flavors of Tabasco sauce.
Before we left, we checked out the Company Store and Gift Shop where there was ALL kinds of Tabasco promoting products (hats, tees, sweatshirts, aprons, ties, mugs, etc.), but we enjoyed sampling Tabasco Soft Serve Ice Cream, Raspberry Chipotle and Jalapeno flavors. I don't think anyone was a fan of the Jalapeno, but I actually liked the Raspberry Chipotle. We also sampled Tabasco Soda Pop, but it just tasted like flat coke with an afterburn. That might've just been because it had been sitting out though.
All in all, it was a fun and educational experience.
Tonight, we are still trying to figure out where we are going tomorrow...guess we are still learning to go with the flow. :O)