Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Quest for Mennonite Bread

My friend Rose and I went with some friends on a scrapbook weekend retreat last fall in Crossville, Tennessee. While there, a group of us went to a nearby country store run by members of the Mennonite Community where they have the most wonderful bread and home baked goods and cheeses. Many conversations since then have included the bread we had that day and we have said that we just need to go and find that store again. But neither Rose nor I could remember the name of it.

On the 4th of July, Rose and her husband were in the vicinity of Crossville and looking for the store. She called me to see if I could remember the name. I could not but my daughter looked it up on her phone and found Muddy Pond General Store. That didn't really match mine or Rose's memory of the store but hey, it was the only listing for a Mennonite Store around Crossville so that must be it, right? Rose and her husband went looking but before they found it, some locals told her they were closed for the holiday. Ahhhhhh, no bread for you.

Since then, I have been thinking about that bread. Since I had to go to Nashville today, I thought it would be a good chance to stop by on my way back. I looked up the address online and saved it in my GPS. The description still didn't sound like the store we went to but again, Mennonite store, Crossville, how many could there be? It probably wouldn't be open when I was on my way back from Nashville but at least I could find it and we would know where it was, right?

Heading back from Nashville, I took the exit indicated on the GPS and wound down the curvy roads of little Monterey, Tennessee. I turned, I turned again. Down another country road to Muddy Pond Rd. Then Glenda, the GPS lady said "Arriving at destination, on left". I looked to the left . . . nothing but trees. I looked to the right . . . nothing but a huge open field. I went a little further. Nothing for miles.

Not wanting to tempt fate and not having the slightest idea where I was in deliverance country, I punched "HOME" on the GPS. Glenda said "In 1.2 miles, turn right". I would just head home and save this adventure for another day. Glenda was talking to me again. She was telling me to turn right. Ummmmmm, all I see is a gravel road but on the GPS it is very well laid out. Maybe Glenda is taking me on a short cut to a main road. I trusted Glenda and headed down the gravel road.

The gravel road was very long but every curve and turn was showing on the GPS screen. I've seen stranger things so I kept going. Then Glenda betrayed me. The gravel road became a dirt road all of a sudden and I was on it. I call it a dirt road but it was more like two dirt tire tracks with a patch of grass between them. I was looking for a place to turn around. There wasn't one. Ahead of me was big puddles of water. NO WAY was I going through that. I will just turn around here thank you very much.

I backed up and turned the wheels, running across fallen brances and brush then turned the wheels back the other way and pulled forward. Back and then forward, back and then forward, turning a little more each time and crunching the fallen tree limbs and sticker bushes behind me. Then, all of a sudden, the front tires were spinning and mud was flying up all over my windsheild. I cut the tires and backed up. Mud sprayed down the driver side of my car. I said my curse words that cannot be written here. I was stuck. Sideways on a dirt road.

I am very lucky to have a company car with great roadside assistance included. The problem was . . . what t road was I on and in what city? They might need to know that. Glenda, the GPS lady says I am on Low Gap Lane but am I in Monterey or Crossville or Muddy Pond or some other hole in the wall? I explained my confusion to the road side assistance guy who probably wondered why anyone that would follow a GPS down a dirt road could be expected to know what road they were on. But he found me a tow truck and said they would be there within an hour.

Tim, the owner/operator of Norrad's Garage in Monterey, showed up within 30 minutes. He looked at me, looked at the car and I know he wanted to laugh but he just shook his head. He said "Well, we can't pull you forward and we can't pull you back, hmmmmmmm." As far as I was concerned he could hook up under the side of the car and pull it out by the axle or the door frame but just get me out of here. He assessed some more and then starting hooking up cables and straps. "We are going to drag the front out sideways". Uhhhhh huh.

So I got in, put it in neutral and followed his directions - Foot on the brake, let off and turn the wheels to the right, hold up, turn the wheels to the left, hold on, foot on the brake again. And he dragged the front across and through the mud, turning it 45 degrees and straight back onto the road. I was smiling, he was smiling. Yay. If you are ever stuck in the mud near Monterey, Tennessee you should call Tim!

After I followed Tim out to a paved road, I decided to trust Glenda to get me out of there. She turned me down a couple of windy narrow country roads and then said "Turn right onto Hwy -62". I can't say I have ever been happy to see paint down the middle of concrete before but I knew when I saw those two painted yellow lines that it was leading me to civilization.

I called my friend Rose and asked her to remind me that the bread really was worth all this. I shared my story while she rolled on the floor laughing. Then about 30 minutes later she sent me a text saying she found the name of the store and it's address and Muddy Pond General Store was not even the right one. REALLY!!!!!!

So I am still on a quest to find the store and get some Mennonite bread. But not anytime soon.

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Andie, aka Andemonium said...

HILARIOUS!!!!!! Wow....

Genevieve said...

Sounds like my kind of adventure. I don't even have a GPS, so I have to get lost on my own.

Wanda said...

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.......

Oh Tere.... Now I'm rolling on the floor. You are my kind of story teller...

Some people's lives just create great stories.... you are one of those people!

Love and Hugs

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog during a websearch for Mennonite stores. I think I know the place you were looking for. Could it have been The Country Cupboard at 574 Bud Tanner Rd. in Crossville? They have cheeses and breads along with bulk goods. They are definitely on a paved road as well! Hope that helps you in your bread search.

Tere said...

You are correct Anonymous. It is the Country Cupboard and I have been there so many times since then. And yes, it is on a paved road thank goodness!