Among my many idiosyncrasies is one that my wife probably dislikes the most.
Well, more accurately, others think I'm cheap. I think I'm "value conscience".
There's times when I can drop big bucks and not blink an eye. The laptop I'm typing this on is an expensive Apple Macbook. In addition to being a food geek, I'm a computer geek. And in my opinion, the Macbook is the best laptop one can buy, and as a geek, I've got to have the best. But it's worth the extra money over a run of the mill laptop. In spite of being expensive, it's a good value.
Today as we were driving out to Sharon Springs, the roads were wet, the car ran out of wiper fluid, and it became nearly impossible to see out the windshield. I stopped at a convenience store to get more fluid. It was $4. That hurt. I almost didn't buy it. You see, it's not a good value. If I went to Walmart I could get the stuff for $1.97. Fully 50% less. As I'm buying it, the only thing running through my mind is, "I'm paying double for this, it's a ripoff". I wasn't happy. We're talking $2 here. Hardly a princely sum. Yet, it caused me grief.
We were driving out to Sharon Springs for breakfast. An all you can eat pancake and waffle breakfast, with sausage, and coffee, juice, or milk all for just 6 bucks.
Now that's a great value!
In late winter/early spring, the NY State Maple Producers Association run an event called Maple Weekend to raise awareness of local Maple Syrup Farms. Stone House Farm is one of the participants, and they put on a wallet friendly, $6 all you can eat breakfast.
They do it in the 'sap house', and our table was less than 3 feet from the evaporator, a huge aluminum contraption that reduces the sap to syrup. The breakfast is very homespun, these guys are not restaurant professionals to be sure. But that only added to the charm of the experience, I loved it.
I loved that I was helping support a small, family run farm. I loved the communal tables. I loved seeing how the sap was turned into syrup. I loved how friendly, down to earth, and welcoming everyone who worked there was. And of course, I loved the price.
My wife and I decided that every year from now on, we'll make the trek to Stone House Farm for their wonderful all you can eat breakfast. A breakfast that would still be a deal at twice the price. But next time, I'll check the wiper fluid before we leave.