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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Protein and Dairy

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An option from our Friends and Farms baskets. One that we enjoy during the summer, when our garden is producing the bulk of our vegetables, and Larriland becomes the source for most of our fruit.

I miss the South Mountain Creamery truck at the Glenwood Market. But, I am happy to report that you can get wonderful yogurt and ice cream and milk from Friends and Farms.

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This week’s protein and dairy bag, with a couple of add ons.

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The add ons. Pequea Valley plain yogurt. No sugar in it. Just plain yogurt. Thick, rich. The flavored ones are good too, in particular I love the maple yogurt. Still, plain yogurt can be used all sorts of places.

As for that ice cream. If you love hot stuff, you must try it. If you are a heat wimp, you will freak at what is in this ice cream. Trickling Springs in Chambersburg PA makes this ice cream. It contains cinnamon, chipotle powder and habanero powder. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I can’t eat it all by itself but I am thinking of one amazing milk shake.

As for this week’s protein items we received. We got two lovely rainbow trout. Cleaned. Split. We grilled them with lemon and dill.

Also, a couple of pounds of short ribs. They are in the freezer. Crock pot dinner later next week.

My typical dozen eggs. Already gone. Frittatas.

We don’t do whole milk. I choose to get a surprise veggie instead. This week. Beets with greens.

If you want really good meat and eggs and dairy, this is the way to go.

Committing to a Garden

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While up at my community garden today, and dealing with the almost daily weeding task, I thought about those who have attempted to garden only to be discouraged by the amount of work it takes.

Yes, gardening is fun for some of us. But, we have to have patience, to wait for those plants to mature. We also have to have dedication. To go out there in the heat or the rain or the cold, to weed and water.

We had a few changes at our community gardens already this year. It is a daunting task when you begin. Before you figure out the rhythm necessary to keep it going. To keep it weed free. To keep it pest free.

To harvest during the peak season. To protect it from the elements.

Still it is rewarding when you get that bumper crop. When the tomatoes start to go nuts.

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When the zucchini are out of control.

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I find it therapeutic to weed. To spend the time nurturing those plants.

And right now it’s fun to watch those baby killdeer running everywhere.

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You too can have a garden. Start small. Maybe some herbs to add to dinner. Maybe a small salad table. Maybe just a tomato plant in a pot.

Nothing like fresh, home grown treats that you made yourself.

Beer In The Barn

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Last year’s new addition to Wine in the Garden. Jailbreak Brewery is doing the beer this year.

The happening annual event out at Mt. Pleasant Howard County Conservancy. A private nonprofit that holds one major fund raiser to raise money for all the educational events for local residents. My favorite place to hang out in Howard County.

Tomorrow? You will probably find me hanging out in front of these fine caterers.

Hunt Valley is bringing “Blood Orange Vodka Chili Meatballs”. They should go great with Jailbreak Brewery’s beers.

Highland Inn is doing “Shrimp and Grits”.

The Spice Rack is making “Carrot Coconut Chilled Soup” and “Bourbon Shrimp Skewers”.

Elkridge Furnace Inn – Cous Cous Salad with house cured lamb and house made harissa sauce.

As for the fund raising, that silent auction always has great items. I’m not going to reveal my favorite suppliers. Let’s just say I go home with a number of great treasures. Well used and the company support is appreciated by me, and by all the other staff, board members and volunteers who give to this amazing place.

Twenty five years old this year. A treasure in Howard County. Come raise a wine glass or beer mug with hundreds of other people who enjoy what HCC does.

Besides, the gardens are lovely this time of year. You can pay at the door.

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Catching Up Again

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On the local food scene. In our home, it is presently dominated by our two summer food sources. A Community Supported Agriculture large share of vegetables. And a protein and dairy bag from Friends and Farms.

Supplemented by trips to the Glenwood Farmers Market. And, stopping at Jenny’s Market to round out the fruit.

Occasionally I have to hit Harris Teeter for things like tonic water for those gin and tonics. Aranciata for those Lemon Basil drinks. Tea bags to make iced tea.

The garden also contributes. With greens and spring onions.

As for the CSA. We had another week of greens overload. Not a bad thing, as we eat salads at lunch and dinner. This week at least it was all really good stuff.

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Leaf lettuces. Spring mix. Romaine. Spinach. Two bunches of scallions. Green garlic. Two kinds of mushrooms. And, strawberries.

There will be no problem in using up all these goodies. Caesar salads. Greens with fruit and cheese. Greek salad. All sorts of possibilities. I am even thinking of pesto with some of my chive blossom stems and the spring garlic.

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We are crossing our fingers that we get garlic scapes next week. To replenish my pesto supplies in the freezer.

As for the proteins.

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Our meat share gave us ground beef. I am thinking of hamburgers on the grill. We already had the spare ribs for dinner tonight. Slathered in Rhubarb BBQ sauce. The drumsticks I will grill also.

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That BBQ sauce? I found a recipe here. But then I didn’t follow it. I used the ingredients, but not in the quantities. I used frozen berries from last year. I used mostly rhubarb. My suggestion when you get an idea like this. Use whatever suits your taste. I used more mustard. Less molasses. Didn’t use the cloves. Bottom line. Trust your taste and be adventurous.

Who needs bottled sauces when it is relatively simple to simmer up a sauce that is fresh, bold, tasty and versatile.

Memorial Day

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We were somewhat busy today but I still took some time to remember what this “holiday” really means. Besides the start of summer, the pools opening, those retail sales, and BBQ parties at the beach or wherever.

We tend to stay home this weekend. Always have. We know we are lucky our dads came home after WWII. They both served in the South Pacific 70 years ago.

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Came home, met our mothers. Got married. My husband and I were both first born children. Early baby boomers. We lived through the Cold War. Hid under our desks during air raid practices. Watched the protests during the Vietnam War. Lost many class mates to that war.

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My retirement flag. Sits there to remind me how fortunate we are. To live in freedom. That others fought and died to achieve, and maintain.

Thanks to all who gave their lives so we could live in freedom.

Strawberry Season

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Larriland opens Monday.

It isn’t officially strawberry season in my world until they open those fields for picking. Yes, there are other locations near us where you can pick strawberries, but Larriland is my favorite.

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Rows and rows of berries.

There are other choices for those in central Maryland. Gorman opened a few days ago. Butler’s is opening tomorrow for limited picking. They expect to have greater amounts ripe by Thursday. Lewis Orchards opened today. Many of us know Lewis from the farmer’s markets.

I couldn’t find any information on TLV’s web site. I know they grow strawberries for the market and pick-your-own.

When we stopped at Baugher’s in Westminster yesterday, they expect to open their fields soon, like Tuesday.

Just to whet your appetite, a few links to old posts where I used those luscious berries for meals, and for preserving.

Venison with berries, anyone?
Last year at Larriland, including making strawberry margaritas.
And, a link to my post about Kirsten’s strawberry salsa.

Seriously, you have to go pick strawberries, somewhere. This week. Do it. You won’t regret it.

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Last Child in the Meadow

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I think not. To take a page from the famous Richard Louv book, Last Child in the Woods, helping children connect with nature brings immense satisfaction.

Like this week. Bioblitz Belmont. Four days with seventh graders from Ellicott Mills and Thomas Viaduct middle schools. You know, those middle schoolers who aren’t impressed with things adults do or like. WRONG!!!

What a fun time we had.

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Today wasn’t as nice out as yesterday, but we still had a great, albeit wet time, wading through meadows in deep grass looking for insects, plants, animal tracks, trees and grasses. We use iNaturalist to catalogue what we found. Yes, it rained today but who cared.

We also had visits with our local nature center residents like our owl.

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And, Maize, our corn snake. I didn’t get a pic of Maize, but the students loved being able to see and touch him.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

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Uploading and editing their citizen scientist observations. Any resident nature experts are welcome to set up an account, log into the Belmont Bioblitz project and help them identify what they observed.