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Daily Archives: April 21, 2012

MD beef with MD wine

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The grilling Saturday night special.

New York strip steaks from TLV Tree Farm. CSA peppers and onions. Wild asparagus from my yard. Pancetta bought at Roots. All getting happy on the grill at 500 degrees.

We got lucky and ate before it rained. This is a MD based dinner. Most of the food is from the Free State. A few exceptions, like the cheese from VA in the salad, and the blackberries from Costco. The blackberry vinaigrette is from Catoctin Mountain Orchards in Thurmont.

The wine: Slate, from Black Ankle Vineyards just across the county line above Mt. Airy.

The syrah adds an interesting note to what was otherwise mostly Bordeaux vinifera. Really nice, young, big wine from an up and coming Md winery.

The steaks were perfect. The peppers a good match. A low carb (relatively) meal with tons of flavor, locally sourced.

The asparagus from the yard. Awesome! I wrote about it here. And, no, it is no longer white once I exposed it to the sun. Still, a great dinner. Mostly local. Lots of it from less than 25 miles from the house.


Earth Day Here and There

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Tomorrow is Earth Day, but today the Conservancy was hosting dozens of volunteers and visitors for service projects, a plant sale by the Master Gardeners, a birding hike, and crafts projects for the little ones.

The wheel barrows were loaded and ready to go out for tree planting.

The parking lot was full of cars, on a lovely morning that cleared up to make it easy to work. Thankfully, it didn’t rain on the projects.

WR Grace brought out a group of volunteers to put in plants and mulch the entrance area, right on Old Frederick Rd. Everybody was hard at work. The Conservancy greatly appreciates their dedicated volunteers that come out to help.

I bought a few more tomato plants from the Master Gardeners. I couldn’t resist. I got two red fig and two pineapple plants. Yes, these are tomatoes. Interesting rare varieties. The red fig dates back to the 1700s, and is a pear shaped tomato. The pineapple tomato is one of my favorites. In talking to the gardeners, they said many of their heirloom seeds come from Baker Creek, which is the source for this picture.

After I left there, I ran over to TLV Tree Farms to pick up herbs for my garden. At Greenfest last week, I told them I would come out during their Saturday hours (10am – 2PM) and pick up what I needed to fill in my herb garden with new annuals and a few perennials that are getting ragged.

While there, I did pick up a couple of New York Strip Steaks to grill if the weather holds. MD steaks marinating in MD wine. What could be better?

I put the three varieties of thyme in the ground this afternoon, and left the lavender sitting in the pots until I position the basil, tarragon and marjoram that isn’t hearty enough to plant yet.

English, creeping and silver queen thyme

Lavender waiting to be planted, keeping the mint company

I also wandered around to document the blooming of my bank of azaleas along the north side of the house. They are almost the last to bloom. One more area in the northeast corner still isn’t ready. These that bloomed today are brilliant red, and some of my favorites.

What a beautiful spring day in the county. One more pic of the azaleas, because they are so brilliant. Go out and plant something!