Friday, August 31, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

In following the popular trend of growing ones own food, we jumped on the bandwagon and tried our luck with a couple raised beds planted with veggies and herbs this summer.  We have had mixed success.  Surprisingly, more success than failure.  I blame the failure on not paying attention when being told how to identify weeds as a child.  I'll get to that later.

Here is a more in depth recap on growing our first vegetable garden.  We didn't want to overwhelm oursleves and so I found this simple plan and also this plan.  Drew built one raised bed, but after mapping it out and buying the seeds and plants, we quickly realized we needed to build at least one more.

We had a great soil mixture delivered to us from Flowering Meadow Nursery where we stupidly instructed them to dump the soil in our driveway on the opposite side of the house from the gardens.  We spent the rest of the evening wheeling it around on a wheelbarrow that had a flat tire.  That was fun.  Um, not.  Either we completely miscalculated the quantity needed or they were very generous.

What did we plant? In the first bed we had sugar snap peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, onions, basil and rosemary.  5 1/2 out of 8 worked.  The snap peas and the cherry tomatoes were my favorite.  I can't believe I didn't like tomatoes until this year.  Have tomatoes always tasted like a burst of sunshine?  The lettuce came up, but it was sad looking and we had barely one salad each with the greens.  As for the carrots, I don't know if I can say they were unsuccessful.  I never really gave them a chance.  This is where I needed another lesson on properly identifying vegetables vs. weeds.  It turns out, those feathery greens aren't weeds, they're carrots.  Fail.  Oh, and when I checked on the cucumbers, I noticed Drew had accidentally butchered one with the lawn mower.

The second bed had green and red peppers and more tomatoes.  We are still awaiting the peppers to turn red and wondering what to do with all the tomatoes.  

We have had less frozen pizza this summer and more gazpacho, blt's, and various cherry tomato salads.  Thanks to pinterest I discovered this recipe for chickpea, tomato and basil salad.  Does anyone else have any other recipes to use up the tomatoes?   

The slugs and worms weren't too harmful and the wildlife has been surprisingly kind to us.  I noticed only a couple bites on a tomato and some gnaw marks on a cucumber, not enough to make us want to put up fencing.  With the nights getting cooler, I'm realizing that the garden is coming to an end.  Will we do it again?  Yes, but next year I'll let the carrots do their thing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

High Chair

For the record, I would like to make it clear that I know I have a vivid imagination.  So what.

This is not something I was imagining.  Do you see it?

Look a little closer.  What is that above the river?  Really, you can't see it?  How about now that I have  circled it for you?

It's not an illusion.  There is a chair sitting high above the river.  Here's a different angle.  Do you see it now?

Still don't believe me... go look for yourself.  It's behind the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay and I'm thinking I missed one heck of a performance and party Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Here is something to record...I took an actual lunch break and left my windowless office. To my delight, I noticed that it was still summer outside.  My nose followed the smell of grilled hot dogs and I found myself at Woody's next to the Post Office on Main Street.  

I asked the teenager working the stand if he ate hot dogs all day.  He said, "just one a day" and not that I was judging or anything, but he was quick to add "I only work twice a week."

I ordered a Michigan and a grape soda.  It was darn good and the only thing that would have made my meal better is if I could order Summer to slow down!  I can't believe that this was my 1st lunch break at Woody's.  Maybe I should consider eating two hot dogs a week before they close up for fall...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


People are talking and they're talking about the Farmhouse Restaurant and Crowing Cock Saloon.

The Farmhouse is located behind Saranac Sourdough where Caribbean Cowboy used to be.  Don't worry fellow Cowboy lovers, you can still eat Rob and Vicky's food down the street at the Cowboy.  I'm not talking about that right now, however I find that the food at the Farmhouse has me drooling for other reasons.  They source as much food as possible from local farmers and businesses and the menu lists all that info.

We both ordered different flavored home-made sodas, maple and rhubarb.  They were both tasty, but I'd have to say that the maple was better because it was a unique flavor and not too sweet.  I should mention that the menu didn't tell us about the tree where the sap came from to make the maple syrup that flavored our soda, but we didn't want to be obnoxious and ask.  I couldn't help thinking about the hilarious Portlandia skit about this.

Next we had crab stuffed deviled eggs.  We don't know what chicken the eggs came from and we can only suspect that the crab did not come locally. It didn't matter to me, I love deviled eggs of all kinds, traditional with the yolk, mayo and a little bit of mustard or hummus filled, I'm not picky.  Yes, I am that person at a potluck that takes two halves.  I can't help it, I love them!  These were lovely to look at and tasted that way too.

Next time I want to try the Clover Mead Fromage Fort, garlic and wine infused cheese with crostini.  I know there is enough on the tapas menu that I could have made a meal out of it, but we ended up ordering individual entrees instead.  For dinner, Drew ordered the non-local Caribbean Seafood Salad.  Greens, sea scallops, shrimp, salmon, fresh fruit mojo, cruda, rice and a champagne dressing.

Maybe the greens were local from Fledging Crow?  He thought it was good and managed to clean his plate.  I had the Classic Farmhouse Meatloaf Sandwich made with Atlas Beef and Harmony Pork.  
I thought the portion size was generous, it hung over the bread.  

Just in case I didn't have enough to eat, the sandwich came with fries.  

I really liked my dinner and I would definitely like to go back and try out some other items on the menu.  Locally grown or not, the food is good and the prices are friendly for locals too.