Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Rocked the New Recipes Resolution

Last night Abby and Jeff joined us for dinner. They make delightful dinner companions with their stories of immortal, narcoleptic innkeepers and semi-formal moo-moos.

Tchazo is trying to hypnotize you with his eyes in this photo.

Our pets got lots of love and playtime.

I totally kicked booty on my new year's resolution this month. My goal is to make 3 new recipes each month. In June, I made 7 new recipes:

Rhubarb Meringue Pie
Shells with Ricotta, Basil and Lemon
Maple Mustard Salad Dressing from The Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook
Strozzapreti with Cheese and Green Peppercorns
Rhubarb Muffins (modified to be Bluebarb Muffins)
Raspberry Walnut Baked Brie
Barley Salad with Dill and Lemon from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet

I also had a second go round with formerly new recipes including Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Veggie Planet and Roasted Tomatillo Tacos from Vegetarian Times.

I'm halfway through the year and still going strong. The farmer's market is starting to ramp up, which usually inspires even more cooking. Yum, yum.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


As promised, I have photos of the yarn I bought during my visit to Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm.

I love it! The color is an amazing semi-solid called Sage. This yarn is so soft and has a nice sheen to it. Becky bought some of a caramel color when she went to the shearing day festival on the island. She has been knitting a shawl with hers. I was super envious when I saw her yarn so when I had a chance to get the last two green skeins from the dyelot, I didn't hesitate.

Now I just have to decide what to make with it. Any suggestions? I have approximately 500 yards. The label says it is worsted weight but I think it is a little lighter than that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


G Anthony Smith (November 22, 1978 - June 17, 2008)

Tony and I met during the second week of college in our dorm lounge. Soon after we met we fell in love in a head-over-heels sort of way. We were with each other through many of life's transitions, his dad's losing battle with cancer, a semester of studying abroad in different countries and generally supported each other through those rough first few years of adulthood. We shared many conversations, travels, study sessions, laughter and eventually heartbreak when, after 3 years, it become obvious that we were no longer the right match for each other.

We each grew immensely during the time we were together. He helped me realize the importance of being true to myself by setting an example with the way he lived his life. He could be a real pain in the ass sometimes (and he would admit it) but he always had the best of intentions and followed his heart. Even when he was driving me crazy, I had to admire his attempts to be fully honest with himself and to interact in a meaningful way with those around him.

It took him a while to find his way, but he finally realized what everyone had been telling him his whole life: he would be a great teacher. And, that was what he has been doing these last few years. He was teaching at a school that was a great fit with his personality and his slightly anti-establishment tendencies. I am sure he was the kind of teacher that made students feel confident, motivated and inspired.

Even though we were no longer together, we still stayed in touch, updating each other on life's major events and just checking in to say hi from time to time. We were no longer in love, but still had love for each other. He was such a huge part of my life and it deeply saddens me that he is gone.

On Tuesday, while on a motorcycle trip, Tony lost his life in an accident. Today he will be laid to rest. My heart goes out to his family and to everyone that knew him.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend in Benton

Paul and were invited to spend the weekend with Jen and Jamie at Jamie's family's cabin in Benton, New Hampshire. Benton is located in the stunning White Mountains. The photo above was taken just down the road from their cabin. I am not exactly sure of the purpose of this building, but I liked the sign. The highlight of our weekend was the hike we took on Saturday.

Jen, Jamie, Paul, Jack, Tchazo and I all made the 5 mile round trip hike up and down the Black Mountain. The view at the top was worth the blisters and sore legs.

Can you spot Paul and Tchazo in the picture below?

We all enjoyed the view up top except maybe Jack, who was too tired to care. While we had our picnic and took in the view, Jack took a little nap to re-energize for the hike back down.

The dogs got worn out so thoroughly that they didn't even need a walk today. They are plum tuckered out. And, I have to admit, so am I! It was a lot of fun and we definitely appreciated being invited to take part in a great weekend getaway.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mt. Auburn Cemetery

My mom didn't fly out until Monday afternoon, so we had some time together on Monday morning. We decided to spend it outdoors walking around Mount Auburn Cemetery. As the sign says, it is "America's First Landscaped Cemetery."

It is a really beautiful place that is part park and part cemetery. There are tons of roads and paths to walk on and countless beautiful details to observe.

It is still an active cemetery with plots for sale. The photo below is of the chapel and the crematory. It seemed it was pretty common for people to be cremated yet still have a headstone in the cemetery.

Not only are there trees and landscaping amidst all of the sculptures and grave sites, there are also ponds and bridges and lots of birds.

It feels a bit like stepping back in time when you are deep into the cemetery.

My mom and Fanny got along splendidly. So much so, that Fanny attempted to be a stow-away in her luggage.

It seems my mom was cursed with delayed flights but she did finally get home safely.

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm

After an action packed Saturday, my mom and I woke up bright and early for our exciting Sunday plans. I've lived in Boston for nearly 5 years and I have never been to the Cape or to the islands. So, we decided to spend the day on Martha's Vineyard. Why Martha's Vineyard? Because of Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm! As you might remember, I have been following Susan's farm for a while.

Before my mom came out, I contacted Susan to ask if we could visit. She was really welcoming and even offered to pick us up from the ferry. There were also two other visitors to the farm that day. The four of us spent the day with Susan meeting the animals, helping with some farm chores and taking in the experience.

Susan and her golf cart at Felix Neck

Not only did Susan pick us up and bring us to meet the animals, she also generously played tour guide for the day. Her knowledge of the island and her fun personality made the day really memorable for us.

A Mr. Goat at Tisbury Meadows

The males were grazing separately from the females to prevent any unwanted relations between the males and females. We stopped to see the males first. The animals were friendly and willing to say hi to us despite the rain, cold weather and our lack of food bribery.

After a stop at Susan's house where I eagerly snatched up two beautiful skeins of yarn (I'll post pictures later), we went to visit the lambs, kids, nannies and a few wethers at Felix Neck.

I got to bottle feed Cumin. He was so cute and affectionate. He reminded me of a dog, eager to be petted and cuddled. Despite the cuteness, those little things are violent eaters! They vigorously headbutt the bottle (or udder if drinking from the nanny) to get the milk flowing.

He didn't even care that he had milk all over his face as long as he was getting scratched behind the ear!

The flock is guarded by a Maremma dog. This dog is serious about his work. He watched us very intently to make sure we were behaving acceptably. He may look relaxed in the photo below, but his eyes are watching very closely.

How anyone can eat veal, I don't understand. Just LOOK at these little guys! (ETA Veal comes from calves. That point has been made by commenters. Eating babies makes me sad no matter what kind of baby it is! I am not saying you can't eat meat, I'm just saying I can't.)

Goats are so much more boisterous than sheep. Check out the headbutting in the photo above.

The little ones were still small enough to hold. They were so cute. Did I say that yet?

What was NOT so cute was the poop we all ended up getting on us. Mom was a good sport about it though.

We were all smitten with this little lamb.

He smiles!

As if seeing the animals and getting to spend time with a great bunch of ladies wasn't enough, we also got to see some other sights on the island.

Gay Head Cliffs

Gay Head Lighthouse
Erin, Jenny, Susan, Kathy (my mom)
When it was time to head back to catch the ferry, we happened to drive past Tisbury Meadows just in time to see that the police and a nearby resident had noticed some renegade animals. There was a spot in the fence that had a big enough gap to allow for escape. The dark goat in the photo below is the ringleader. If there were a reality show called Bottle Babies Gone Wild, he'd be the star! We pulled over and found the kind neighbor scratching his head trying to devise a plan to get the animals back in the fence. He was relieved to see us and I think he was pretty impressed when Susan got them back inside the fence without issue. We all pitched in to get the fence temporarily patched up.

After spending a day with Susan, I am even more in awe of what she is doing. She is full of great ideas and has the fearlessness and energy to make them happen. Her work is not easy. It is physically, intellectually and emotionally challenging to meet the needs of all of those creatures and she is doing it beautifully. It was so awesome to be able to spend the day with her and her animals. When I do get the yarn from my share, it will mean so much more to me. Now, my question is this: How am I ever going to find a project special enough for this yarn?
A huge THANK YOU to Susan!

Visit from Mom!

After a Friday full of flight delays and cancellations, my mom finally arrived in Boston around 10pm. We had to skip lunch, afternoon and dinner plans due to the late arrival but we did have time to share a bottle of wine before bed.

There are so many things I have been looking forward to doing and seeing with her. Because of the flight issues, we had less time than we had planned on so we kicked it into high gear to fit in as much as possible.

After a breakfast of Bluebarb (blueberry rhubarb) Muffins, fruit salad and yogurt, we headed to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to see the Glass Flowers exhibit. I've been curious about the exhibit for quite some time, but was waiting to see it with my mom. She LOVES flowers. The exhibit was astonishing. The detail and the teensy tiny glasswork was unbelievable.

We observed flowers inside and outside. My mom was really smitten with the Dogwood trees.

After heading home for a quick lunch, we went to Spot Pond for some boating. We were joined by Paul, Becky and Becky's husband Brian.

Becky and Brian opted for a canoe while the rest of us took out kayaks. My mom was definitely the most efficient paddler. She kicked all our butts in a race. She claims her secret is to pull AND push when you stroke. I'm going to have to practice.

Next up was a quick shower to wash off the pond water and an outfit change. Once upon a time Paul and I had tried to go to Top of the Hub for drinks but it didn't work out. Good thing we waited, because my mom was kind enough to treat Paul and I to dinner and it was fun to share the view and the experience with her.

The view was pretty amazing. We got there before sunset and stayed past sunset, which allowed us to see the daytime and evening view. We also caught a firework display from up high. They looked so tiny!

I had a super yummy Cosmopolitan to drink.

After we left the restaurant we headed home via the sardine can also known as the bus. I think it is safe to say that the ride home was out of the norm for my mom!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Fell Swoop

This past Saturday was the first farmer's market of the season in Union Square. I didn't remember that is was open until later in the morning. By the time I got there it was really picked over. But, there were a few stalks of rhubarb left, so I snatched them up. My plan was to find a new recipe and bake something with it.

While looking for recipes, I realized that if I was going to make a good dessert, I should also make a good dinner. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had planned a dinner party. Despite the hot hot hot temperatures and our air-conditionless apartment, I spent the afternoon cooking.

I even roasted peppers on the stove.

Dinner took care of my new year's resolution for the month of June. The new recipes I made included a Rhubarb Meringue Pie, Shells with Ricotta, Basil and Lemon, a Maple Mustard Salad Dressing from Moosewood Restaurant cookbook.

We shared our dinner with Arturo and Sam. It was worth the effort!

Dragon Boat Festival

This weekend was H O T and it still is. It is so hot that the cat is sleeping belly up.

Despite the nasty heat over the weekend, I was still able to pack in lots of fun. Becky and I checked out the Boston Dragon Boat Festival. I was interested in it because of the Taiko performances.

The drummers were great. The mixture of dance, music and performance was invigorating. It reminded me how much I really love drumming or, more accurately, dancing to drumming. I'm going to have to take advantage of the West African dance classes at The Dance Complex soon. Just as soon as it isn't so H O T!

We also saw other performers including these young dragon dancers.

The symbolism of the dragon dance was unclear. Was it a mating dance or a fight? Could have been either.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...