Let it be known, I hate DST. Always have. I call it Daylight Stupid Time.
It is just stupid to mess with the science. Should we replace “High Noon” with “High 1 PM”? The time zones pretty much align with the transit of the sun. Yes, the edges are off a bit. But, equal daylight on either side of noon is what a time zone delivers.
Plus, I hate that complete disruption of sleep that springing forward creates. If our teenagers are already sleep deprived with early school start times, why are we messing with them by making them get up in the middle of the night to go to school?
Thankfully now we are retired. We get up with the sun and ignore alarms.
Next week we pass the equinox, and enter the months of 12+ hours of daylight, whatever the clock says. We enjoyed the great weather this weekend and finally got out to celebrate the slow return to normal after vaccination.
Local, as usual. Our forays into The Common Kitchen Friday. And, Black Ankle Winery Saturday.
We did take out Friday at Anh-mazing Banh Mi.
They have a new Banh Mi. Cajun Seafood.
Banh Mi reminds me of Po’ Boys, but with serious additions. We also got a noodle bowl.
The Common Kitchen has so many options for good food. Our favorites are Namaste Indian and The Koshary, Middle Eastern. Now, we can add Banh Mi to that list.
Then, Saturday we had errands to run up towards Frederick. On the way home we decided, time to eat out for our first time in a year. Enter Black Ankle Winery.
We have been going there since they opened almost 15 years ago. Right now, over 80 tables socially distanced, where you can sit out and enjoy wine, food and sometimes music because Ed and Sarah have one incredible location catering to those of us who appreciate small businesses full of local choices.
We loved the hour spent there having lunch with a very good bottle of Albariño.
Best al fresco dining view in the area.
I am so glad we can get out and support local businesses. Making our way through the transition and springing forward.
Yeah, this site is seven years old. In 2011, I registered the domain and started writing. I obviously don’t write as much as I did when I began.
It was fall. Lovely weather. I wrote mostly about my farm share, and my hobbies which included my volunteer work at the Howard County Conservancy.
I have to admit it was really about documenting the farm share to assist people (like me) who wanted to see what you got when you signed up for Community Supported Agriculture.
Pictures of vegetables.
Like those from my Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA. Which I also joined in 2011. And which is still a weekly part of my life. Those Tuesday pickups at Candace’s house, year round. 48 weeks of the year, with just a few weeks off over the holidays.
I haven’t documented them these days. I decided it was far too repetitive. But they still inspire my cooking, like this week when we got freshly grown ginger roots. Not dried. Young and fragrant. Making me want to make stir fry.
As for the Conservancy connection, I have changed what I do. Not as much volunteer naturalist, but still on the program committee, and still the community garden co-manager. I use my love of cooking to support our programs. Scones for the Mother’s Day tea. Vegetarian options to feed the volunteers at our Holiday crafts fair. Soups for pot luck meals.
Down by our old garden. Actually for a while he was in it.
There are also two young fawns with him on this visit. The next time we saw him he had two does, and four fawns following him around.
He isn’t shy either, as he came within four or five feet of our deck.
He has been here most days. Some days he comes all the way up past the house, but he mostly stays down in the meadow.
Many more deer around the property this summer. They have to be dislocated from all the road construction down on Rte 32, and they are venturing into the properties north and west of there. Major amounts of trees have come down, and the woods are shrinking.
For us, we have less hunters in the area, as the farms are disappearing and the tree stands taken down. We will reach a critical point again soon, as the fields become barren and the winter sets in. We can tell when they are desperate. They start eating the pine trees.
Who knew March would be one of my busiest months. Between garden orientation and the Art of Stewardship up at the Howard County Conservancy, my calendar is filling up.
I will be bartending at the preview reception on the 18th. The day after we conduct our new gardener orientation for our community gardeners.
I have been tied to the email accounts and the google drive assigning plots to new gardeners. Being the co-manager of the gardens is a fun job, but this is our busy time. Add to it, trying to start my seedlings for my own garden.
In between all the computer time, and the meetings and the phone calls, I have gotten to visit Food Plenty for lunch. Dinner there soon with friends as it is one very nice restaurant in Clarksville Commons. They are now open for lunch and dinner, and the service as well as the food, are very good.
Speaking of Clarksville Commons, I see their announcement that this year’s farmers market will be on Saturday morning. Yes! I prefer hitting the markets in the morning, and I missed having one at Glenwood. Ellicott City is a great market but it’s a hike over the river and through the woods to get there from here. Maple Lawn is just as inconvenient. At least for me when I just want to head over and get a few items.
I hope Earth First comes back, and that Dimitri’s is there with their amazingly good olives. We were lucky to have Earth First’s vegetables at our recent dinner at Clarksville Catering.
One last quick topic before I head up to start dinner. I want to highlight a simple party dish that would work well for almost any event. A “Party Magnet” from the Deep Run Roots cookbook I used often for inspiration with my fresh foods.
Whipped up in about 15 minutes including roasting the pecans. Pecans with butter and salt. Roast about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Make the cheese ball. Just leave leftover mixed cheeses at room temperature and then form the ball from them. I used some of my CSA cheeses that were left hanging around in the fridge. Added about 3 ounces of cream cheese to smooth it all out. Rolled it in parsley and paprika.
Perfect with a glass of red wine.
Hang in there, spring is less than two weeks away.
Amazing. Two days. Two posts. I haven’t done this in ages.
That’s right. I haven’t slacked off on making the famous NoKnead Bread and I have been modifying it left and right. Rosemary bread. Olive bread. Parmesan garlic bread. And, the latest here. Cinnamon raisin bread.
Have to use all this flour and grain I am getting in my winter CSA share.
This week, though, we just got spelt flour, which I will need to research to see how it does in a NoKnead recipe.
As for that cinnamon bread. This recipe is so easy and so forgiving. I messed up and was pouring the 360 grams of cool water into the flour and boom, the scale went from 430 to 830 before I could stop it. No problem. Eyeball it and add a couple of spoons of flour. It still worked perfectly. I use the ratio of 400 grams of flour to 360 grams of water. 1/4 teaspoon of active yeast. Teaspoon of salt.
All into the bowl on the scale. Before adding the water, I add the seasonings. Yesterday it was 20 grams of raisins and a few shakes of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar. Made the bread without that overly sweet taste that commercial raisin bread has.
This recipe calls for the bread to sit for a minimum of 12 hours before pouring out and shaping. Second rise of 2 hours. Baked in a 475 degree oven in the covered pot that spent 30 minutes heating before dumping the bread into it. 30 minutes baking with cover on. 15 minutes uncovered. Take out and let cool one hour on a rack. Enjoy.
What else interesting around here? Uniquely shaped sweet potatoes in the CSA box.
This one will be interesting to peel and cook.
The rest of this week’s veggies.
I am officially tired of potatoes and carrots. The Hakurei turnips on the other hand. They are destined to become a side dish for tomorrow’s Valentine’s dinner.
We never go out on Valentine’s Day. I make a nice filet mignon. I am steaming shrimp. Small bottle of bubbly for the appetizer and with dessert. Glass of good red wine with the steak. I got a tiny box of chocolates at Roots today. Dinner and the Olympics.
Some other ideas of good things for Valentines Day. Head to Clarksville Commons for ice cream from Scoop and Paddle. Indulge at the newly opened Victoria and Albert Hair Salon there. Kupcakes and Co. for a special dessert.
Tomorrow morning. I will be opening a new jar of Neat Nick Preserves to go with fresh cinnamon raisin toast.
I’ve been absent quite a bit these days. Not that I wanted to be, but I have had all kinds of things happening.
Dead Internet was one.
Cataract surgery, the second. I can now verify that with this second eye done yesterday that I have 20/20 vision in both eyes for distance. Soon to get only reading glasses.
That’s the really good news. As for the internet thing, it’s been a challenge. Kudos to Comcast for solving it (I never thought I would write those words). Ten days total. Teams of people. The final verdict. Cable that was damaged underground, thirty year old cable. They ended up repairing it by digging up the area south of our driveway last Friday night In the rain. Much of the earlier detective work took place during the brutal cold. Guys in buckets on single digit temperature days.
They spliced new cable to give us back our internet.
I suppose that means I should blog more. Giving credit all over the place. Checking out Food Plenty and writing about it.
Giving a shout out to the Wine Bin for their great customer service. We bought a box of Montaud Rose, 2016 vintage, which ended up being sherried. No problem to return.
I really love the small businesses around here.
And, another shout out to Kendall Hardware. For having everything we need, to deal with bad weather, and to feed my feathered friends.
I also made New Year’s Resolutions that I didn’t get to blog about, what with spotty internet. The biggest. Get back to talking about the CSA baskets. A new post soon on that topic.
We are much more prepared these days, making it simple to ramp up if we need to do it. Always have extra batteries. Have all sizes of containers around to stockpile water, if needed. We know where to get the largest bags of ice, and we have four coolers for food.
We hope that Irma will somehow miraculously take a hard turn and go out to sea, but if not, we are ready.
Around here, it’s that massive deluge of rain that worries all of us the most. As big as Irma is, it will be hard to avoid getting drenched somewhere along the East Coast.
For those interested in weather, and wanting to learn more about preparedness, check out the OEM page. And, be prepared.
Finally, one simple tip, and a recipe. Make sure you have a good hand can opener. Power outages, you know. For us, the simplest meal. Canned tuna in olive oil, canned chickpeas, a white onion, salt and pepper. Drain the chickpeas. Dice the onion. Mix tuna, chickpeas, onion and salt and pepper. Add a bit more olive oil if it needs it. Serve over lettuce.
Bare Bones, that is. A local restaurant that hosted the blogging community and what seemed like a boatload of politicians from our county.
There were over 100 people at the popular “ribs” bar on Monday night. An opportunity to schmooze. Catch up with old friends. Meet people running in our next election in 2018.
Scott Ewart and Bill Woodcock hosted the event. They found sponsors that helped make the night special. A big thanks to Performance Tinting, who brought goodies to share, and who conducted a raffle of baskets with many of their auto-related products offered at their business. We use them to detail our cars. They did an amazing job on our pickup truck, getting those fabric seats beautiful and stain free. To support them, we bought a few raffle tickets, and then, surprise, we won the big basket. All sort of cute little items including some potential Christmas stocking stuffers.
Thanks to those who made the night out so special. And, I have to say, they still have some of the best BBQ ribs. We stopped visiting after an hour and sat down to indulge.
The Monday night special. A rack of spare ribs. Two sides. I picked their butter beans and corn fritters. Brought home half that rack, which became dinner the next night, along with my better half’s leftovers. Not a bad deal for $18.99.
Bare Bones also has their own beers. We enjoyed a pint while talking to some of the long time bloggers.
Summer is just rushing by. Really high heat. Really heavy rain. Humidity. All those endearing aspects of living here in the MidAtlantic.
August is here. Summer is halfway over. Thankfully. But, we have favorite activities staring us down. Like the county fair. I am working on my submissions for herbs, vegetable display, heirloom tomatoes and more. Daily visits to the garden to plead with the heirlooms to ripen in time.
My calendar has more days with activities than blank days.
CSA. Food bank harvest. Fair. CSA picnic. Howard County Conservancy activities, like the BioBlitz and the “Bugs, Bees and Daiquiris”.
Processing the garden. There are days when I harvest three pounds of cherry tomatoes and a couple more pounds of larger ones. Time to fire up the canning pots and get busy.
Add a few family commitments and we may be in event overload.
Will we see you at the fair? Or, maybe the happy hour with Mike Raupp and Paula Shrewsbury?