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Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

So, How Did I Do at the Fair

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The Howard County Fair is winding down, with two days left. Tonight is the 4H livestock auction, and if it isn’t thundering, we will be there. We have been out there four days already, and have definitely had our share of fresh lemonade, plus bought Baugher’s peaches at Rizzmull’s.

Rizzmull’s stand at the fair

We always go Sunday morning to see if I got any ribbons for my garden entries. This year my tomatoes were a total bust, as they weren’t ready, or they were way past ready, at the entry date. My Amish paste didn’t get any prizes.

Amish paste heirloom tomato

But, happily I am bringing home my first blue ribbon, to add to my red and yellow ones from previous years. For my herbs, from the garden.

Rosemary, African blue basil and cotton lavender

I also went back Wednesday and entered my last gladiolus from my front yard. Surprise! It won second place, so another red ribbon for flowers that have been blooming for years in our yard. This year they started blooming early, but still had a few left for me to enter the last large one.

My second place winning gladiolus

Sunday morning I get to pick up my ribbons, and my checks, and bring home my containers. In the meantime, here are a few more pictures from wandering the fair on Thursday. I love our county fair. It is small enough to feel cozy, but still has lots to do.

As for my heirloom tomatoes, there’s always next year.


Patience is a Virtue

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Have patience and be rewarded with great old wines, like this one.

100% Hardscrabble blend of Cab Franc, CS, Petit Verdot and Merlot

A blend of 44% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petit Verdot and 11% Merlot. Cellared for at least ten years. Opened for our anniversary last night. We like opening old wines for anniversary dinners. Being patient enough to leave them alone until they have reached that stage of softness, yet lush enough to make you understand why you buy good wine to cellar.

Perfect with lamb chops.

Anniversary dinner

I pan fried the loin and rib chops with garlic, onion, salt pepper and rosemary. Parboiled some CSA potatoes. Made a Jamie Oliver mothership tomato salad with my tomatoes and basil from the garden.

Mixed heirloom salad with African blue basil

I picked up a six pack of Smith Island Cake Pops to savor with the last of the wine. Red wine and dark chocolate is a perfect match.

I enjoy making a fairly simple dinner for anniversaries and opening an old wine from the cellar. This wine did not disappoint. It was hardly showing its age. No brown edges. No off scents on the nose. Deep, rich, complementing the lamb. What is so interesting about these wines, even with the predominance of franc in them, is the absence of bell pepper usually found in VA francs. This wine has cherry and smoky scents, and a long lingering finish.

I am not sure what went best with it. The lamb or the chocolate. Very interesting experience. Glad I still have two bottles in the cellar, to see how they change. If you have never considered cellaring wine, you might.

It is a hobby that gives so much pleasure with less expense than dining out and paying large markups for wine with dinner. Our strategy was to invest in a case from winery visits over the years. Most of the case would be inexpensive whites to drink in the near term, and a few bottles of good wine to cellar. We would put away the good ones and keep them for anniversaries and birthdays. You have to have patience to do this. We didn’t build a fancy cellar with wooden racks. We made them with kits from Conran.

Now, we are rewarded with exceptional wines for special occasions.

Like being married for 32 years.