RSS Feed

Tag Archives: hoco loco

Dennis Lane

Posted on

Traffic made me miss the dedication of Dennis Lane, a private road on Merriweather Post Pavilion Land, named in honor of one of the well loved members of the Columbia/Howard County blogging community. I was stuck on I-97 and then on 100, trying to get back on Wednesday afternoon. I did see that many, many people made it to the dedication. All the friends who loved to read Dennis’ writings about life in Columbia and Ellicott City. Or, who were family and friends.

Dennis was special to us. We miss his wit, wisdom and his way with words. Three plus years since we lost him. Tragically, but we lost him. Nice to know he will be remembered by the developing community of which he was a large part.

Dennis scooped the Whole Foods thing. In his blog. Which thankfully is still there for us to find and read about our home.

preservation-weekend-and-other-stuff-015

Dennis just knew everyone. His love of Columbia and Ellicott City was obvious.

So, this year, when you head out to Symphony of Lights, which is back as a fundraiser for the hospital, see if you can find Dennis Lane as you drive around.

dennis-lane

It’s a brown sign. A privately maintained road. And, in the spirit of sharing trivial information about where we live, like Dennis was so good at doing, did you know, green signs are county roads, blue signs are Columbia (CPRA) roads, red signs are old town Historic District Ellicott City roads, and brown signs are private roads.

The Local Restaurant Scene

Posted on

Things have been pretty crazy around here, and I haven’t blogged much the past few weeks. Finally, the contractors are about done and I can take back my basement rec room, without smelling paint fumes from the door painting, or shivering because the door is open for hours a day.

I need a new restaurant fix. I keep hoping the two newest ones in our area would open soon, but until then, I can at least try out the Turn House, with my friends the HoCoBloggers. Another blog party on the 2nd of November, to showcase the talent of Thomas Zippelli. Local farms will be providing quite a bit of the protein and veggies on the menu. This restaurant used to be the Coho Grill, in Hobbits Glen. One of our old “watering holes”, back before we moved out to west county.

Out here, changes have been seen also. The Town Grill in Lisbon is moving to West Friendship (if they ever get there). Every month we hear a new date for opening. When the Citgo was sold, we thought it would be fairly quick for them to be relocated. They are going into the old Foster’s General Store site, next to the Pink Cabbage antique store. Frederick Rd and Triadelphia. I absolutely love their smoked salmon BLT and their breakfast offerings are awesome. Hopefully, they will continue to offer ribs every Saturday. I like the fact that they are on my route to and from the Conservancy, where I have my community garden plot, and where I volunteer.

lisbon-and-tlv-012

As for the other close by new offering, I have no other information except for a paper sign on the window at the old Bistro Blanc location in Glenelg. The new place will be called Dandelion Bistro and Bakery. Supposedly, opening mid October (which is right now, but it’s not open yet). No web site, or page, to let us know what is coming. I am just glad the bad rumors of a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins aren’t true. We welcome small family businesses, but aren’t keen about chains. They also seem to be adding a heated area to their patio, one of the features of the site.

fullsizerender-6

Out west farther from us, another new place. Bolder, in Mt. Airy. The Howard County part of Mt. Airy, on Frederick Rd near Watersville. It used to be Drover’s Inn. Opened October 11th. Small plates, and more.

I obviously need to get out more.

Guys With Trucks

Posted on

A few weeks back I talked about volunteers with trucks helping the Conservancy staff when they heard of items they could use, items that needed to be hauled in trucks.

The last few weeks? We need guys with trucks to help those neighbors whose properties have been trashed in the wake of the tornado. There are volunteer helpers to cut down trees, into manageable pieces.

clean up 016

At the Town Hall the other night, there was discussion of the need for trucks to haul debris. Commercial trucks are charged when they enter the landfill. Private citizens aren’t. The county promised to look into the creation of a solution to help those who are cleaning up. Cleaning up on our own dimes. Insurance does not cover tree removal, if the trees don’t threaten your home, or block access to your property. Many residents are paying up to five figures for tree removal. Which is still going on, two weeks after the tornado.

We have made eight trips to the landfill. Thankfully, they are open late.

clean up 017

The lines aren’t too bad to dump tree debris. But, it is a very busy place.

franks 020

When your yard looks like this. It takes many days to get it cleaned.

It’s why the volunteers at the Mid Atlantic Baptist Network could use guys with trucks.

More Carrots

Posted on

Every time my CSA gives us another batch of carrots in the winter, I think of Hocoblogs and Jessie.

reno and csa 018

Why? Because that is the name of the Burning Man camp where Jessie is the “mom”, who feeds and nurtures them. Like she nurtures the hundreds of bloggers from our county who are members of the Hocoblogs community.

I am reminded again of our community when it is announced that we are having another get together. The latest one crossing my inbox is the invite to the Horse Spirit Art Gallery in Ellicott City. We are lucky that we still have an old town Main Street around here. Where you can stroll and eat, wine and dine, find eclectic gifts, while supporting local businesses. A Friday night, 5-7, after which you can check out the local restaurants, pubs and wine bars.

Our last foray into old EC was also at a local gallery, StillLife. At that gathering, we met the owners of Horse Spirit, who were leasing space up at Westwood on Triadelphia (my neck of Howard County).

I am looking forward to attending the April 15th event. Hopefully, I will have gotten my taxes done. Now that I have a bright clean new foyer, I am looking to add a locally inspired piece to it.

fandf and reno and rhine 027

I wonder if there’s a still life of carrots?

reno and csa 027

Telling Tales

birds and snow and cooking 002

A picture is worth 1000 words. That’s what they say. But, what does this picture say? Don’t you need the story behind it?

This picture represents my blog name. Why it’s annieriedora.com. My grandmother. Dorothea. When I wanted to name my blog, I needed to go all the way to my confirmation name to get something unique. Not obvious to me, but AnnieRie, a diminutive nickname for Diane Marie, or Anna Marie, was already in use.

My mother called me AnnieRie. Her name was Marie, so I am named for my mother and grandmother.

Is there a story in there? Can I tell it well enough to keep people interested?

Why am I blogging about stories? Because a week from now there will be one incredibly awesome experience for people who love to tell stories, and who want to be better at it.

At the Howard County Conservancy, who is partnering with Howard County Rec and Parks, and the Columbia Association to provide a workshop on storytelling followed by an evening of telling tales, with a local perspective.

Twenty four people take the workshop. After that, an evening where many of them tell stories about living here, in beautiful Howard County.

jack qsl pics 024

What could be a better way to spend a Friday evening in our home town?

Information is here.

The Young Farmers

It’s been a while since I blogged about our local farming community. A link this morning to a blog about women farmers which is highlighting Nora Crist of Clark’s farm made me think about creating this post.

A few years back I worked on a program out at the Conservancy. Many of the farmers were young, which is a great thing for us. Lowering that age.

panel discussion (2)

It is great to see that enthusiasm and drive.

Besides those farmers I can think of others that are building their businesses in the area. Like Dave and Lydia Liker of Gorman, and Chuck and Nancy Gardetto at Copper Penny. Jen and Jamie at TLV Tree Farm.

casey and jason (2)

Casey and Jason at Breezy Willow.

Can’t forget Courtney and John Dove at Love Dove Farm.

Can you think of others? I know that Alan is working with his parents at Sharps Farm.

Bowling Green. Carroll Farm to Table. Greenway Farms. All of these farms have a younger generation working them. Check them out. Our local dollars make them successful.

60/40

Posted on

So I have a question. What percentage of your dinners are take out, restaurant or delivery? Are you like we were, back in the days when our commute dominated our lives in Howard County? Did you eat out more than half the time, every week? How about changing your percentages, to four days home. A 60/40 mix.

Believe it or not, you can change to eating fresher, more “expensive” food at home. It just takes a little effort to change dining out from majority to minority. Something so simple as one more night in, instead of outsourced.

I really love the protein and dairy bag from Friends and Farms. You can easily do four nights in, and still have three nights “out” with this affordable protein option. My $43 a week basket feeds the two of us, and provides us with the protein on our plates for at least four meals, sometimes five or six.

Take this week.

fandf and lasagna 004

There are chicken legs, chorizo, breakfast links and rainbow trout in our basket. Along with the weekly eggs and, in our case we have turnips since we don’t do the milk thing.

I can make two meals from the chorizo. Two from the chicken. We use the breakfast links in weird ways, like in tomato sauce or in soups. Not a big fan of pork for breakfast but these tasty links can be cut up and used in so many savory dishes. Eggs. For Meatless Mondays, they make great omelets or frittatas.

But getting back to the original thought. You can make a very simple meal from the trout. One that would cost major bucks at a restaurant. Less than 30 minutes. How?

fandf and lasagna 012

Plop those trout in a baking dish. Cover them in lemon infused olive oil, white wine and lemon pepper seasoning. Bake them at about 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I made two simple side dishes. Boiled baby potatoes. Microwave steamed Brussels sprouts.

fandf and lasagna 025

Looks great, doesn’t it? I put the potatoes on while prepping the trout. I steamed the sprouts two minutes before the fish was done. Open a bottle of white wine and you have an excellent meal. With a little effort, and a little help from Friends and Farms.

Sixty Five Years Young

Yesterday. My better half’s very significant birthday. Normally, I cook. We open a special bottle of wine and have a leisurely dinner at home.

This year, we celebrated in a bigger way. With a dinner at Bistro Blanc.

fandf and bday 013

Paired with wines from our cellar, and a few from our friend, Raj Kathuria, who has always made Bistro Blanc a favorite place for us to dine. We had friends from radio, and friends from wine dinners join us. “Marrying” his two favorite hobbies.

Chef Diego met with me last week to put together a menu. Using many local items. Very small plates. Paced so we could talk and laugh and enjoy the company. I only took the phone out to record the very last course. The small treats finishing the meal.

FullSizeRender_1

Peanut butter and vanilla macarons, and bourbon toffee bonbons. The dessert courses were accompanied by one of our very old bottles of vintage port.

fandf and bday 015

From the year we were married. Bought decades ago at Wells Liquor in Baltimore, from the liquidation of the wine cellar of the Brentwood Inn. On very special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays, we have opened four of the six bottles we splurged on in the early 1980s. Back when we started putting wines under the steps in our town house basement. Most of what is here now is local. Good stuff from Linden, Black Ankle, RdV, Glen Manor, Barboursville and more.

This was the first time I ever put together a private dinner party. Bistro Blanc did an incredible job. We used the private dining area that holds up to sixteen people. We have been in that room a number of times for their wine dinners.

Thanks to all our friends for the pleasure of their company and for the thoughtful gifts and cards given to my husband. It was a memorable birthday in so many ways. Now, he just has to finish signing up for Medicare. Does that make us officially “old”?

Missing HOWCHOW

Posted on

Yes, I have to admit, I miss all the great local food scene trivia, and all the comments that we were used to getting from HOWCHOW’s blog. I know he is busy, with a toddler and yet, I still miss those informative posts that gave us so much information about our local restaurants, markets and stores.

south mountain visit and day trip 071

When I started my blog, he helped me. He linked to a number of posts I wrote. I wrote a couple of guest columns for him. He was the “GO TO” place to read about bakeries, butchers, ethnic groceries and so much more.

Maybe if we all ask nice, we can get him to post a simple post, once a week, asking for comments and input about the latest in the Howard County food scene.

It would certainly help us feel like we have something that focuses on us out here in the boonies.

For me, he introduced me to Ananda, and I love it. H Mart. Larriland. Town Grill. And more.

Come back, HOWCHOW, if only for a quick word or so.

After all, you helped us greet Wegmans with that Facebook page.

weggers 031

There’s so much happening here in Howard County. We are missing a good source for insider information. Not asking for tons of reviews, just a quick “drive by” post that we can comment on. You know you are greatly appreciated out here.

Agritourism

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.

landscape part two sunny day 045

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.

eat local venison loin, clarks elioak and spring pics 206

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

larriland and more like sunset 032

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.

flowers sharps and spring stuff 064

In October.

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

earth day tlv and brighton dam 13 145

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.

england acres and kielbo dinner 029
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.