Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
I heart goats
Goat pics from the Elizabethtown Fair last Thursday. Awwww....so cute. I so totally want goats next spring. Actually that first one is a sheep. Still cute, I'm just sayin.
I love these fuzzy wuzzy ones.
Someone's creepy child sneaking up on a goat.
And one photo of the Dogs of Distinction. Which nobody wanted to stay and watch with me. Dogs....perched on disco balls......doing tricks for old men that are a wee bit scary. What could be better? Oh, I know, really cheesy 80s music playing in the background. I could have watched for hours. Darn kids wantin to ride rides.....
Local Meal 9
Look at all my cute little eggs. Supplemented with two Shady Acres (those are the big ones). And a tomato salad with my tomatoes, basil, cippolini onions, and fresh mozzarella from S. Clyde Weaver at Central Market.
Wednesday I made chicken corn soup. Chicken was Bell and Evans from the grocery store (but produced entirely in Lacanster County without antibiotics or hormones etc. Corn was from the Snyder Farm up the road. The eggs and onions are mine and celery was from a roadside stand on Route 230 between Etown and Middletown. These two containers went into the freezer to be enjoyed this winter. This is a Pennsylvania Dutch thing. Soup is not everyone's idea of summer fare, but Chicken Corn soup is definitely summer fare around here.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Can it get here any quicker?
"What has happened, has happened.
What will happen, will happen.
Enjoy the sun shining on your face today."
I so totally don't live like that. I worry about everything. Absolutely everything. Maybe two weeks at the beach will lighten the load a little. No TV, no news, no nothing except lots and lots of books. Books that transport instead of inform. Sometimes I wish I was a little less informed. Maybe some cards. Lots of sitting and thinking and watching and aimlessly strolling and swimming and messing about in boats and flinging floaty things for dogs and eating lots of seafood. Just two weeks of pure bliss. Almost here. Or rather almost there.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I had my neices for the weekend and they had great fun looking for eggs several times a day. Sunday morning I made 'suprise' eggs with them. That is just bread with a hole cut into the middle into which you break the egg and cook it in a frying pan. Cheese on top followed by the toasted circle cut out (hiding the cooked egg, hence the suprise). The big egg was a double yolk, which my husband got.
I haven't caught Claire on the nest yet, so maybe she isn't the one laying. I have seen one of the Plymouth Barred Rocks up there, now named Daisy and Lily after little neice figured out how to tell them apart. I suppose it is Daisy that is laying. Yesterday I got two.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Oh, and I forgot...
And to celebrate my blogiversary, when I got home that evening, my chickens bestowed upon me the very first egg! And an egg after that each day! For a total of 3 so far. I think it is Claire that is laying, because she is a little testy these days. I'll have enough for an omelet or something this weekend. Stay tuned for Local Meal 8, which probably won't be posted until Sunday.
Imagine if you will....a 42 acre site.....so densely vegetated that it is possible to get lost....for a long period of time (apparently walking in circles)....all while you are profusely sweating, woozy from dehydration and heat, and having to hack your way through dense stands of blackberry, raspberry (black and red), multiflora rose, and greenbriar, and mutant poison ivy. Your arms are so scratched it looks like you lost a fight with several very large cats and there are ticks. Oh so many ticks. And mosquitoes! Don't forget those! Oh and periodic machine gun fire. I kid you not. It was a parcel owned by the U.S. military, part of Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania Headquarters of the National Guard (Army and Air). Although the machine gun fire wasn't on the site we were on, it still is disconcerting to hear it off in the distance while you are lost and about to drop from heat exhaustion. Anyway, welcome to my world!
But I got to see some cool stuff. Here are a few things:
Tall Ironweed (Vernonia altissima), easily 7 feet tall. Grows in moist areas.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). A new one for me. I've never seen this plant in person before. And there was a ton of it. Grows in dry meadows.
Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis), reliable indicator of wetland conditions.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Summer come back!
I noticed the light change last week. Tuesday or Wednesday maybe? I walked outside after work and it was different. No more haze. Everything was sharp and clear. The trees in the distance were not blurry anymore, but crisp.
The mornings are cool and the overnights as well. I put on a long sleeved short on Saturday night. I start to get a little panicked every year about this time, as I notice more and more the slide of one season into another.
If you click on this picture to enlarge, you should
be able to see about 9 or 10 cicada skins clinnging to the underside of the Virginia Creeper leaves. They whirr all evening long and are almost deafening at times. But that is a sound of summer to me and I will dearly miss it when it's gone. Note the very long shadow of the chicken at, oh, about 4pm. I miss the long days already.
The garden is starting to fill up with these garden spiders. I must watch myself while bending over and picking tomatoes or pulling weeds. When we get back from our vacation, summer will be over. It might still be warm, but leaves will have started to change and we will pass farm stands offering mums and pumpkins and corn shocks. Summer just goes far too fast.
Local Meal 7? I'm losing track.
Blackberries - Mine
Casserole-Squash (from farmer up the road where I buy my corn), Mucho Nacho peppers and some other kind of mildly hot bell shaped pepper (mine), onion (Roots market a couple Tuesdays ago), hominy (some town in Virginia that begins with an L. Over 100 miles. There is a brand of hominy made in Baltimore, but my store doesn't carry it.), Cheddar Cheese (Adams Reserve, NY state, also not technically local, but not too far), sour cream (Shady Acres in Etown), and topped with Tortilla chips that are not local, but I had them and they were sorta stale.
Tasted good. A little spicy, but not too much. SOme of the peppers I grow I leave on the plant too long or something and they could peel paint. This was just right spicy. And I love anything with hominy in it. Hominy is one of my all time favorite things. Sauteed in a little butter with a ton of black pepper and some salt is total comfort food to me. Try it sometime if you've never had it.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Here are a few pictures of wetlands associated with one culvert in Connecticut. It was a quick trip, up and back with one overnight. I wish it had been longer because it was a great time to visit. We stayed in Old Saybrook, which was very nice. It was cool to be there on primary day too. Not too many Joementum signs around. GO LAMONT!!!!!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
so very, very wrong
You say tomato......
You'd stop and buy some, right? I need to make salsa or something this weekend, soon there will be way too many tomatoes, even with selling some. Although I rarely ever sell out. I should advertise more. Perhaps don a tomato costume and hang out at the closest intersection.
And my new favorite flower that I will grow forever and forever for always. Tithonia (Mexican sunflower). Tall. Orange. Robust. Loved by Butterflies. Drought Resistant. Yes, its an annual, but man, totally worth it. I wonder if it will self seed like other sunflowers. I highly recommend it.
Monday, August 07, 2006
My pathetic local meal
Tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cippolini onions, scallions, swiss chard, and basil were mine
Squash, eggplant, mozzarella came from Roots Farmers market from Tuesday.
Flour is from that mill in Annville, Lebanon County.
Artichoke hearts I had and olives are considered a condiment.
And turned out to be this. The only reason the guts aren't falling out is because I had a backup premade pie crust in the refrigerator (I always have emergency crust) and had to wrap that crust around my rapidly disintegrating homemade crust to keep everything inside. It was good though, as often happens with things ugly on the outside. Roasted veggies and a kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts and mozzarella. Yum.
Dessert was just plain blackberries from the bush that just keeps on producing.
Also made on Saturday were these pickles. I am totally a pickle person and it kills me to let them alone for several days to let the flavor develop. Garlic, dill, and dried red pepper (from last year) are mine. Cukes from Roots on Tuesday. I still need to make pickles out of the "Some other kind" cukes.
Okay, off to Connecticut to play around trains for the next two days.
Friday, August 04, 2006
A sidenote (having to do with eating local)
How easy it must have been then to eat local. You would probably have to make a concerted effort to NOT eat local. How did we go off course so badly? You could just take a walk and stop at specialty stores and buy everything you needed. Fresh. Today, this area is in a very poor, rundown part of Harrisburg currently undergoing revitilization. The Coca-cola bottling facility eventually moved a block north and is being looked at as a location for a grocery store and a hardware store. This area has not even had a grocery store within 5 miles for over 15 years. The only thing around were little corner convenience stores. The area to the northeast is also being revitalized and one of the most popular ideas is a farmers market with areas for community gardens. I hope this comes to fruition.
I could spend hours looking at these. Older cities are particularly interesting. Sanborns of Philadelphia had all kinds of intereting shops like millinery shops and lace shops and farriers and haberdashers. It's just such a window into what the past was like. Thank you Sanborn people for mapping out such a great picture of how we lived way back when.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Hot enuff for ya?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Could it get worse?
I was surfing around Daily Kos and came across this story. Note the title of the diary...."The scariest fucking thing I have ever read". It really grabs your attention. Now usually stories about Global Warming don't interest me. It's happening. There's not much we can do to stop it. I pretty much have a defeatist attitude because I believe that the changes we are seeing now are probably a result of emissions from the 70s or 80s and we have shot a whole hell of a lot of crap into the atmosphere since then and it's gonna get way worse. If we make changes now, maybe we'll rescue things in time for say still allowing carbon based life forms to exist on the planet somewhere. But life as we know it? Probably gone in the next generation or so. And the subject of the linked article added to the equation? Super! Things will really speed up! Fast forward to total global despair!
Since I only have myself and my husband to fret over, I'm not that freaked out (suprisingly). And I'm embarassed to admit I'm experiencing a little of that "I told you so" anticipation. Although that's horrible, scientists have been talking about this for several decades. There really is no question now. It should be a suprise to no one. It will be interesting to watch. Perhaps I should take USGS Topographics quads home with me at night and speculate on what will or what won't be waterfront by the time I retire. With the housing bubble leaking air pretty quickly around the country, I might be able to pick up something for pretty cheap. And it will be amusing to see how long the deniers can hold out. Who will be the last wingnut standing?
To those of you with children, God bless you. I don't know how you do it. If I had a child right now I would lie awake every night, unable to sleep, my heart heavy with total despair.