Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a late autumn?

I don't know, but the autumn seems delayed this year.  I was talking to the girl at Starbucks today, and she agrees with me - there's something strange in the air.  The leaves look tired, covered with age spots and ready to go, possibly skipping the last big burst of color that they had last year.  It is still fairly warm today (the 70s), but supposed to cool down dramatically in the next couple of days.  We'll see.

CSA Box #5

~1.5# fingerling potato medley, Clarion River Organics, OG
~ Cherry Belle radish bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF
~ 1/4# arugula, Nu Way Farm, CF
~ 1# mixed hot peppers, Matthew’s Farm
~ 3# D’Anjou pears, Dawson’s Orchards
~ 1# tomatillos, Becarri’s Farm
~ 1.5# red onions, Hostetler’s Farm, CF
~ 1/2# sweet, red Carmen peppers, Weeping Willow Farm, CF

Made the best salad tonight, with the greens, pepper, radish and pear.  It doesn't get any better than this.  I don't think we've had radishes since we grew them in our back yard in Florida several years ago.  I'm going to try adding some radish greens to the salad.
Not sure what to do with the tomatillos (pronounced toe-MAH-tee-yos).  They're not real tomatoes, but a member of the Nightshade family - something of Mexican and ancient Aztec origin, dating back to 800 BC.  Seems that they're used in green salsas.  I found an interesting recipe for enchiladas on the Penn's Corner Farm Alliance site, which I might try.

Monday, September 26, 2011

the dinky dunk - UPDATED

This is Jubilee getting, what John calls, the "dinky dunk" treatment.

Jubilee can’t walk today, refusing to put much weight on her front right paw.  She doesn’t seem to be in much pain, and her spirits are pretty good, but not being able to walk puts a damper on her style.  She doesn’t even bark as much, probably because she knows she is vulnerable and doesn’t want to attract  attention to herself.

Ursula, a neighbor’s daughter who used to work at a vet’s office, checked her paw and says that she can’t feel anything in it.  She advised me to wait awhile and see if it gets better on its on.  Perhaps she stepped on a bee or something.

John can't find anything either, but he seems to think that a hot water bath will pull out whatever might be irritating her paw.  He says he saw a hairline crack in one of the pads, and that might be the problem.

All of our neighbors are very concerned, seeing her hobble down the sidewalk.  If she is not better tomorrow, I'll take her to the vet.

UPDATE: Sept 29 - Jubilee seems to have had a miraculous recovery. After a day and a half of serious limping, she is now running through the woods as if nothing is wrong at all. We still don't know what was causing the problem.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumn Leaf Update 2011

Looking at the Autumn Leaf Update from last year (Sept. 20, 2010), it seems that autumn was just a little further along at this time.  But we're getting there.  Everything still looks mostly green, but the green is fading toward golden yellows - the tapestry colors.  But you still have to look for it.
 Lots of fungus like things around.
 We went over to the North Park for a bike ride this afternoon.  Pretty green over there.
 But the boathouse and concession stands were closed.  Which made it a little less crowded than when we were there last.  Going around the lake is a good bike ride for me.  Maybe if I do it often enough, I'll get faster - I only passed one other bicycler, an elderly man.  Everyone else whizzed past me.
 Waiting for John (who went up a hill on his mountain bike), I found a lovely little bench off in a secluded cove.
 Good place for afternoon meditation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CSA Box #4

  • fresh chevre from River View Dairy
  • arugula from Nu Way Farm;
  • Honeycrisp apples from Kistaco Farm;
  • Roma tomatoes and sweet corn from Weeping Willow Farm; 
  • fresh chives from Goose Creek Gardens;
  • sweet onions from the Hostetler's Farm;
  • a beet bunch from the Hostetlers OR mixed salad tomatoes from Golden Harvest Farm; and 
  • eggplant and sweet banana peppers from Matthew's Farm.
John loves the Goat's Milk Chevre.  I'm going to make a baked eggplant parmesan with the eggplant but I still haven't figured out what to do with the sweet banana peppers.

little, gradual changes

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flight 93 National Memorial

Today Jane (FL friend) and I went down to Shanksville to see the Flight 93 Memorial.  This is the place where the 4th hijacked plane crashed on 9/11.  There was a 1+ mile road leading to the memorial through the Pennsylvania hills.  Very stark, reminded me of Gettysburg without all the monuments.  The national park just opened to the public last week (Sept 10th).  The only part finished is a long walk around the crash site itself.

 There is a wall with the names of each of the 40 passengers and crew.
The site of the crash is visible just beyond the walk, but only family members are allowed to go there.  It is marked with a large rock and some flags.
You can still see the red barn that is visible in the photo that was taken at the time of the crash ...

Better seen from a higher hill overlooking the crash site (where a visitors center will be built in 2014) ...
A place where visitors can write notes ...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

my car

Did I ever say how much I love my "new" car (2008 Toyota Yaris)?  So much that John ordered these super cool Thunder Blue seat covers.  Now Jubilee and I will really be surfing the highways!  (By the way, I get more than 44 miles per gallon with this car.  The gas tank only holds a little more than 10 gallons, but the extra mileage makes up for it.)

Autumn 2011, the weather has changed

I'd say that Fall is here.  There are the beginnings of color change, and the last couple of days have been cold - 38 degrees in the morning.  John had ice on his windshield.  I notice the change in the angle of the sun.  Shadows are deep even in the middle of the day.  So mysterious.  Most everyone is excited about this change in weather, including Jubilee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CSA Box #3

At first we didn't know what this was.  John guessed a pomegranate.  Turns out it's a Japanese red kuri squash.  I'm going to have to do some research to figure out how to cook it.
~ 1.5# heirloom tomatoes, Nu Way Farm, CF or Weeping Willow Farm, CF
~ 1.5# white potatoes, Weeping Willow Farm, CF
~ 3# Jonamac apples, Dawson’s Orchards
~ rosemary, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG
~ 1# Asian eggplant, Sunny Meadow Farm, CF or Blue Goose Farm, CNG
~ sweet pepper medley, Blue Goose Farm, CNG or Crighton’s Farm
~ green kale, Clarion River Organics, OG
~ red kuri squash, Clarion River Organics, OG

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Wedding in Staten Island

It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to.  The joy of their love for each other made the whole weekend magical!  Our son Eric, and his bride (our new daughter!) Dawn.
Lots more photos in the Facebook album HERE.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CSA Box #2

We got our 2nd CSA Box today.  This week's bounty:
  • a pint of edamame (soy beans), heirloom tomatoes and Roma tomatoes from Nu Way Farm;
  • Weeping Willow Farm will send ears sweet corn and red Carmen peppers;
  • the first pears of the season from Dawson's Orchards;
  • flat parsley from Goose Creek Gardens;
  • green beans from the Hostetler's Farm; and
  • cipollini onions from the Crighton's Farm 
The heirloom tomatoes are quite special.  I saw a restaurant in NYC that was serving a plate of sliced heirloom tomatoes for $18!  Nothing else on the plate.  The yellow ones are so mellow they almost taste like melon, but you know they are tomatoes.

 (For some reason, John had to get that Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald beer in the picture).

Meanwhile, over at Knob Hill, there are signs of autumn down at the ground cover level.
We'll be off to Staten Island tomorrow for the marriage of our son this weekend, so probably no updates here until next week.  We're taking the pears from the CSA box with us!

Monday, September 5, 2011

the marino pigini

Picked it up today (rainy, Labor Day) in the South Side of Pittsburgh.