Archive for March, 2009

And here is Mavis…

March 30, 2009

mavis

I fed her, Sara fed her.  She was hungry.  She has distinctive boots.  Here is a close-up.

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And here is SA looking at home with the new goats.  sa

Beauty!

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Goat namesake

March 25, 2009

Yes, there’s a new goat over at Trillium Hill Farm in Hinesburg named Mavis!!!  She was born last week, and I’m going to visit her tomorrow.  Sadly, there were three goats born this year named Dale, but they have “passed on.”  Pictures are over here on Sara and James’s farm blog. They sell goat milk!  Vegetable CSA!  Downtown Hinesburg!

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I’m feeling proud.

Here’s a Patti Smith song, for the springtime.

Is there such thing as insanity among penguins?

March 23, 2009

Just watched Werner Herzog’s movie about Antarctica, Encounters at the End of the World.

I recommend it.

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He visits with a lot of dorky, crazy scientists who are doing amazing things — diving under the ice to search for tiny, perfect, single-celled creatures; inflating gigantic helium balloons to measure neutrinos, videotaping volcanic explosions; and leaving tiny, weird mementos behind in the tunnels they’ve dug underneath the north pole so that if alien archaeologists visit us after we all die because of global warming they will have something to remember us by.

I was also really happy to hear some Georgian music in the movie!  Tsmindao Ghmerto, a Georgian hymn, was playing when they explore some caves under the snow created by the steam from the volcano.

And here’s the classic part of the movie, about a deranged, unstoppable, existential penguin.

Birthday bike ride

March 19, 2009

My birthday is always awesome, since it’s my birthday, but this year was one of the best!!!  Really.  We had a crazy feast at Penny Cluse, including a big fruit plate and also some french toast with a candle in it, and (double strength) coffee, stopped to accept some presents, and then we biked to Shelburne Farms.

Biking to Shelburne is not that bad!  If you take the bike path all the way to Oakledge, you can take Industrial Ave and the big box stores back lots (Frannie O’s was packed at 11:30 when we rode by) all the way to the Palace 9.  From there, it’s only a couple of big blocks of soulless car dealerships, failed restaurants, and screaming traffic until you can take a right on Shelburne Bay road.

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It took us under an hour to get to the farm, where we parked our bikes and bought some cheese.  Then we walked through the farm barn yard and saw some majestic chickens.

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We hiked up through their sugarbush and stole some sap, and then hiked down to the shore!

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It was extremely spring, and almost all the ice was gone.  All that was left was this sparkly ice angel.

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We skipped some rocks.  I realized that I was wearing my superhero outfit.  It’s just the most comfortable!

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And then finally we biked home and had a homemade pizza party.  I still wish it was Tuesday!

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First grill of the year

March 18, 2009

This weekend I ate my first barbecue of the season….

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This was the setting and it was homier than it might seem from this perspective.

It turns out that a lot of taxi drivers come down to use that porta-potty in the train yard; you can see it’s baby blue glow in the distance.

The grilling was mystical:

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And so were the grillades:

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And so was the lake.

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Seedlings pt 1

March 16, 2009

Also, planted yesterday:

King Richard Leeks

Shallots

Scallions

Purple Beauty Peppers

Black Hungarian hot peppers

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To join their little friends, the houseplant cuttings that I took from SP’s beautiful plants.

MARCH

March 16, 2009

It’s finally, like, maybe, sort of, spring!  A lot of people hate it, but I love March.  Early spring is the best, even though everybody is yearning for it to get really warm and stop playing games with us.  And some truly ugly stuff gets uncovered when the snow melts.

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I tuned up my bike on Saturday and put together the bike trailer I got for Christmas.  It feels like FREEDOM.  The trailer is a really nice burley — it’s well designed and if you get going it can help you along.  Today I’m biking out to a friend’s house on Apple Tree Point for a french lunch!  I’m going to stop at Thai Phat on the way to pick up maybe some coconut juice and something for dessert.

I’m still pretty happy about the Shapes and Sizes / Sister Suvi / Nat Baldwin / Ryan Power show we had on Thursday.  Shapes and Sizes didn’t play this song, but it’s still one of my favorites:

Tomorrow is my birthday!  We’re planning a bike ride, maybe to Mount Philo if we’re feeling energetic!

New acquisitions

March 12, 2009

Well, FINALLY!

After a tip from Paddy, we rushed over to Jamba’s Junktiques yesterday and purchased ourselves an almost complete DRUM KIT!

We got a super deal, and while there are a few things to assemble — namely the high hat, a new snare, and a stand for the ride cymbal — I have a drum set!!!!  I think it’s possible that nothing is more fun than playing drums.

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This is not a picture of the new drum set.  However, they share in common a brand, and that brand is Gretsch, whose website tells me that Gretsch drums are played by Phil Collins, a bunch of dudes I’ve never heard of since I’m not an official drummer, and of course the greats:  Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Philly Jo Jones.

I also got a book on organic gardening and a GROW LIGHT for my birthday.

The gardening book is by Rodale’s, which is a pretty visionary organization started by J.I. Rodale, who moved to Pennsylvania in the thirties and was kind of an organic gardening pioneer — he was obsessed with soil, and for good reason!  Now they have books, and the Rodale Institute, where they do all sorts of fascinating gardening things.

We have a community garden plot, so there isn’t that much opportunity for soil health from year to year, but there are still some things we can do.  This week I’m going to plant onions and put those little babies under the grow light so they won’t be so spindly, like last year.  Garden season is really coming!  And we have a new deal with our neighbors across the street, which involves us using their compost pile, and hopefully a few fresh eggs might come out of it!

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The food of winter – lentil soup

March 10, 2009

It’s hard to believe that it’s actually March.  It’s actually March!  I made it!  Every winter it feels hard to make it through, even though I’ve lived in the northeast my entire life.  Once I start talking to people again, I find out that everybody was staying home depressed in January and February.  So we were all alone, but not alone in our all-alone-ness.

But I must say, I did pretty well this winter, food-wise.  I was well nourished and I didn’t get disgustingly bored with everything I was making.  The big players in this effort were FRENCH LENTILS.  You know, those beautiful little speckled green lentils?

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I can’t believe it took me 25 years to start cooking them all.  They cook fast, and they are tender, flavorful, cheap, and full of protein.  I made lentil soup over and over again, with some delightful variations, throughout the winter, and I’m still not sick of it!

FRENCH LENTIL SOUP

ESSENTIALS:

olive oil

garlic

french lentils

bay leaf

vegetables of your choice

splash of balsamic vinegar or wine

black pepper

ADDITIONS: onions, rosemary, thyme, celery, carrots, potatoes, kale, mushrooms, sausage, grated parmesan,

IT’S SIMPLE:

Saute chopped garlic and (optional) onions in a dash of olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  (You can also add some sliced sausage at this stage).

Add a bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, a pinch of salt, and lots of black pepper.

Rinse and drain 1-2 cups of lentils.  I estimate since it’s good to have a bunch of soup.

Pour in the lentils and add at least 3 cups of water.  If things look un-soupy later, add more.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

In the meantime, chop up your other veg to add.  It’s really up to you, but here are the combos I like:

-carrots, celery, potato

– kale, mushroom, sliced sausage (yes!)

Add in whatever you want, and then keep simmering until the lentils are tender, but before they are mushy, probably another 10-15 minutes.  Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, cooking wine, or old wine that’s sitting around (aka cooking wine).  If you add too much, just keep cooking and it will mellow out.

Serve with more pepper, and grated parmesan on top.  I like to have mine with a cabbage salad and some Red Hen bread on the side.  Then I like to have it again for lunch the next day.

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There’s some nice blogs….

March 5, 2009

out there on the internet!!!

Like Casey’s food blog, the Hungry Oyster, where my marmalade reached one of its final destinations (the other destinations being my toast)…

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And more importantly, get the recipie for AMAZING gingerbread caramels that Casey sent to me.

And of course this classic pie blog: Nothing in the House, where you can read about drone pie, frah pah, sun pie, forage pie, Texas pie, and cutie pie.

dscf1605Here’s a juicy blackberry pie that Emily made after we picked blackberries last summer out on Rock Point, and was a first experiment with arrowroot powder.

I also found this blog recently: Now Voyager.  It’s not somebody I know, but it IS somebody who knows where the beautiful art is!  soulcollage

gunta stolzl Blogger’s collage, and weaving by Gunta Stolzl.

I would like to find a blog that posts up some poetry on a daily basis to read, and add to the ole procrastination.

I had another French class today, after a week and a half break from class.  The class is a bit slow, but I am still really excited about learning French!  I’m working hard on my pronounciation, and whenever my teacher shares a little tidbit about what people say in Quebec I scribble it down like crazy.  My goal with learning French is to go to Montreal and not sound like a fool.  I also aspire to reading some old books in French to get my history straight.   A bientot!