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Category Archives: Food

Our Daily Bread

In Baltimore, a Catholic Charity run hot meal program serving 700 meals daily. Plus an employment center. For the past ten years, the Lewis family of Clarksville has sponsored a fun polo match day to raise money for the center. To date, they had already raised over $450,000. This year’s event was the tenth and “final” match day, as they are retiring as hosts.

We were fortunate to win a tailgate pass at the silent auction last May, at the annual Wine in the Garden HC Conservancy fund raiser. The Lewis family had donated the pass.

I wish we had taken the opportunity to attend this amazing day in years past, as it was truly a special experience. One that almost transcends time.

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It’s fun to watch the players on their mounts, but it’s also fun to watch the spectators.

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We got to divot stomp. We met some really nice people. Got up close and personal with beautiful horses.

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Thanks to the Doetsch family who provides their field for the event. They live just across Rte. 32 from the Lewis family, who live on Ten Oaks Rd. The original site of the matches, before they outgrew the fields just off the Ten Oaks/Brighton Dam circle.

We took friends with us to tailgate.

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We wandered around to see the horses.

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We stomped divots at the break between matches.

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We brought local foods and wine to enjoy while watching.

I do hope they find some support to keep the traditional going. Thanks to Mary Agnes Lewis and her family for their long standing support of Our Daily Bread. As I understand, she has been volunteering in some form or another for more than 30 years.

She is truly a wonderful Howard Countian.

Addicted To Kiwiberries

Every fall when these little berries show up in our fruit share, I marvel at just how good they are.

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Kiwiberries from Kiwiberry Organics, in PA. What amazes me on their web site is the nutritional information for these berries.

Besides their high quantities of vitamins and minerals, they just taste great.

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I like just snacking on them or putting them in salads, but I have been tempted to make jam from them. Or to create a berry nectar to freeze and use all winter. The problem I have is keeping enough of them around to do those things.

According to the web site, you can find them at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I have never seen them.

We get them three or four times in our CSA fruit share. In fact, we are getting them again this Tuesday.

They supposedly like the weather around here and the farm in PA grows the largest amount in the world, according to their information. I do know we could buy plants and try to grow them ourselves. I may just do that next year. They would be a welcome addition to my garden.


Some of my favorite fall activities on the local farm scene.

The farms in this area have created many opportunities for people to enjoy the properties, pick some fruit, go on hayrides or get lost in a corn maze.

You can’t go wrong picking these events. There’s something to do most weekends.

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Right now.

Clark’s is always open. They even have dinosaurs, I hear, to go along with the Enchanted Forest attractions in the pine tree trails. So many things to do there, and really close to town.

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Larriland is open for pick your own, has a straw maze for the little ones, and has hayrides to the pumpkin patch.

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Gaver Farm just west of Mt. Airy is already open with their corn maze.

Starting next week.

Mullinix Maze opens next Friday the 25th with their huge corn maze, out by Western Regional Park.

Farm Heritage Days at the Farm Museum across from the Fairgrounds is next weekend.

Sharp’s Farm opens next weekend, too.

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In October.

TLV Tree Farm in Glenelg has something different every weekend out at the farm.

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Baugher’s in Westminster has their fall festival events every weekend in October, as well.

Good to see so many choices to get out, pick apples or pumpkins, go on hayrides, check out a petting zoo, or two, or three.

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Support our local farms, who offer much more than the farmer’s markets. These agritourism events help their bottom line, and keep them healthy to be there every year, giving us fresh fruit and vegetables.

Opportunities and Adjustments

Fall is coming. I wore a jacket this morning when I headed up to the post office and to Jenny’s to get a few things. The tomato plants are dying off. The garden is pretty much over and done with, except for the garden salsa pepper plant that keeps on giving.

The farmer’s markets will wind down in the next 4-6 weeks. Most Community Supported Agriculture programs are coming to the end of the season.

It’s time for me to adjust what I get, in order to keep fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese coming into the house.

For those looking to find a source once the markets close down, I have found my two choices work well for us. They appeal to me because I can tailor them. Adjust the sizes.

Friends and Farms is year round seasonal. They have a few promotions going right now. Like a sample “Quick and Easy” basket, as well as the choice to buy a sample of any of their other options.

We have been getting the protein and dairy option, since I love my CSA with its “off the beaten path” weird veggies. I don’t want the same eight items rotated through the house. I like the diversity. But, protein and dairy gives us the right portions and allows us to get our veggies elsewhere.

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Local meats. Made here in Maryland. If you notice the absence of dairy, it’s because I don’t drink milk, so I chose the option of a “surprise me” vegetable as a substitute. We do get cheese once a month on this plan.

As for Lancaster Farm Fresh, they continue to refine their product to make it as flexible as they can. For fall, two vegetable share sizes. Options for meat, cheese, eggs, bread, chicken and fruit.

I like getting fresh fruit and vegetables before the holidays. Like our Thanksgiving basket.

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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes. This was a medium share. Perfect for a couple that likes vegetables, or a family with little ones. Now, that nine pound squash? If I had children or grandchildren, it would have made a huge amount of baby food. As it was, I used it in a number of ways.

This fall, I am returning to a large basket, and adding cheese, bread and fruit.

Now that I know I can get chicken and other meats from Carroll Farm to Table when I need something, I don’t need the meat share from the CSA. Right now, the CSA and Friends and Farms keep us in just about the correct amount of protein to make 5-6 meals a week.

We have adjusted here though. We were getting more ground beef than I am used to cooking. I’ve been creative. I’ve been traditional. I made meat loaf. I made lasagna. I use the crock pot at least once a week. But, we still aren’t huge ground beef eaters, so I will be eliminating one source of that.

The freezer is full. The CSA and Friends and Farms adjusted for fall. I am ready for the change in seasons.

A Watched Fritter Never Browns

Eventually I do get around to making those recipes I intended. Like fritters with the tromboncini. Thankfully they keep well in the fridge for two days after grating them.

Life gets in the way of planning sometimes. Little things, like a root canal. Three days ago I was going to make fritters but an aging crown with a problem messed up my week.

As for the fritters, they all got done today.

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The best way to make these fritters is in cast iron. It retains the heat better and you can use less oil. This time I measured nothing. I did it all by sensing the consistency I wanted. The batter?

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Made with those two large troboncini, grated. That yielded a couple of pounds of shreds. I added flour until I liked the coverage. One heaping teaspoon of baking powder. Six small eggs. Four scallions. A sweet red pepper, diced. A shallot. Salt. Pepper. Thyme.

In other words, I used what I had and what I like. These fritters puff up nicely because of the baking powder. After browning, I put them on parchment paper in a 225 degree oven to finish their centers without burning them.

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I made different sizes. Some to use as appetizers and some to use as a side dish with dinner. Most of them went into a container in layered parchment, to be frozen. All winter long I can enjoy these just by pulling out a layer or two and reheating them.

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Now, it’s off to the garden tomorrow to see if there are a few more to harvest. All that is left in my garden are herbs, tromboncini, one pepper plant, and a half dozen struggling tomato plants. This summer here with the latest lack of rain had pretty much devastated the water loving plants.

This weekend I will do a tally of what succeeded and what failed in this very weird summer. At least those tromboncini did well.


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An abundance. A very large amount. A very heavy CSA basket.

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It is obvious that this is the height of harvest for our supplying farmers. When they said eggplant, they meant two. When they said mixed cherry tomatoes, there were two boxes. When they said red cabbage, there were two of them also.

As for the rest of the stuff, we are again blessed with watermelons. For I think the fourth week in a row, twice we had yellow seedless, once a monster regular and once a smaller seeded variety. And at least a half dozen cantaloupes this summer. Even our newsletter called this the summer of the watermelons. The weather cooperated in making them large and juicy.

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Have you had the pleasure of tasting a yellow seedless melon? They are simply awesome.

As for what we are doing with this bounty. How about baked casserole?

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Layered eggplant, yellow squash, onions, red pepper, tomato and goat cheese. Covered in a light vinaigrette and oregano. Baked for an hour until absolutely delicious. Served over this.

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I heated a few naan after sprinkling with za’atar and scallions. Roasted chicken legs and boiled some corn. What a wonderful Sunday night dinner. Nothing like fresh vegetables a few days out of the ground. If you haven’t been taking advantage of the many farmers markets, you should. Or, if you are blessed with a CSA that gives you fresher than grocery store produce, you know what I mean.

Now, tomorrow, I need to make fritters from the latest tromboncini I got from my garden.

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Zucchini on steroids. The Italian heirloom is still producing in my garden.

Anything interesting growing in your garden?


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That would be us. In the energy world. At least according to our latest and not so greatest report from our “Smart” meter. I have a hate-hate relationship with that meter. It only gives us bad news. Like this.


Basically telling me to stop making home cooked meals for us.

My peak load on electricity. Dinner time. I suppose to become an overachiever we need to hop in the car nightly and head out 20-30 miles round trip to buy a dinner at a chain restaurant that would feed a family of six in a developing country.

In other words, we don’t do as well in energy consumption as 70 of our closest “neighbors”. We ranked 71st in the latest mailing, out of 100 people around us. It does NOT include any of the local McMansions. Since they heat with natural gas, they aren’t compared to us. Only the older homes that are cursed with heat pumps.

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We have two of the beasts. They work well, since we can tailor the output for bedrooms versus first floor, but still they consume beaucoup energy. Particularly when you are retired and home all day. Yes, we could crank that temp high and swelter in the house, since we no longer head off to government jobs in ice boxes that are set low to keep the computers cool.

All of those energy saving suggestions are tailored to those who leave their homes every day to go to work. Not to those of us who are here when the temps hit the high nineties.

But really. How is it more energy “efficient” to not use our stove or oven. Or to get rid of the chest freezer with all our home processed fruit and vegetables in it. Should we be buying all those quick fix meals that can be nuked or heated quickly? What about all the energy waste in the packaging and the transport?

None of that is counted for those of us who cook from scratch nightly. Who don’t do the carry out or fast food or restaurant hopping that keeps our kitchens clean and spotless. That minimizes those loads in the dishwasher. That lowers that “bump” from 5-7 pm in our energy curve.

Really. I want to believe that buying local food and making it myself is better for us. But is it? How much do we really save? Honestly, I think we are doing a better job in many ways, but it certainly isn’t reflected in the reports we get monthly.

How do we measure what our real carbon footprint is? I can’t easily answer that, but it is a good question.

Something to ponder on a Monday night.


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