Category Archives: All things local

Lesson 1397 – First Annual Father’s Day Rib-Off

This weekend, of course, was Father’s Day weekend. We spent the first half celebrating with my brother and his wife over their son’s high school graduation (go Chris!). The celebration included lobster rolls, buckets of beer (I’m not kidding – buckets), a warm sunny day, and reclining seats on the ride home so I could sleep. (Note to self – next time eat a little more, drink a little less.)

And then that brought us to Sunday. In our neck of the woods we usually have a local rib fest on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a wonderful event, well run, and lots of fun. We’ve gone for many years, but when you take 8 people to a rib fest (you have to pay to get in) and then you have to pay about $25 for each half rack of ribs (and let’s not forget the drinks, sides, and ice cream that all goes with that) we found ourselves often taking out a small mortgage just to attend.

The ribs were good, the festival was entertaining, but my pocketbook cried every time we went. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Food Savings, Personal, Recipes, The Family, The kids

Lesson 1391 – Makalapa Spread

 

 

This weekend I spent some time going through my mother’s collection of cookbooks. She had quite a few of those church and garden club ones, you know the cookbooks that are sold as fundraisers of which you are obligated to buy?  I don’t mind getting those community cookbooks at all, in fact they often end up having the best “handed-down” recipes ever. So nothing (and I mean nothing) was going to be  moved to the discard pile until every single recipe in every single book was looked at.

And low and behold, I found this gem of a recipe from, of all people, my Aunt Diane.

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In reading how and where it was served, I thought it would be perfect as a Memorial Day appetizer. Looks straight forward right? It is – provided you know where to find all the ingredients in the store. I had no idea where to find jalapeno relish (it’s near the hot pepper jellies which is near the mustard/olives condiments) and I honestly had to google Chili sauce because I had never used it before and didn’t even know what it looked like (FYI you can find it near the ketchup.) In any event, once I had the ingredients, it was spit spot and done. Continue reading

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Lesson 1387 – Yellow cake

At a yard sale this weekend I found a treasure trove of old handwritten recipes. Oh sure, there were many recipes cut out from magazines (Robert Conrad’s potato casserole anyone?) but it was the ones written on those 1950’s – 1970 recipe cards (you know the ones with the little flower decorations in the upper left corner) that got my attention.

I have a few of my mother’s handwritten cards and I consider them to be among my most treasured possessions.  (Soon, I’ll be making those chocolate, peanut butter, rice Krispy cookies that I talked about at my mom’s funeral.)

It’s a lost art. Who writes down recipes anymore? It’s more like, if someone requests a recipe we send them the link to where they can find it, time just seems to fly a little faster these days. And even if we had the time to write down a recipe, who has the time to make it other than for a special occasion? Pizza hut to the rescue.

Well I have time (in between everything else I have to do.)

Think about it. When I grew up food was how you showed your creativity. While my mother did work (after the kids had gotten older) most women didn’t, they stayed at home and took care of the flock. Preparing food was how they nourished their families, while the recipes nourished their creativity. When received from a friend, most recipe cards began with “from the kitchen of..” Sharing recipes was the social network of its time.

My kids, who are the sons and daughters of this storyteller definitely know the potential of a good story (or two) when they see it. Helping me sort through the recipes on Saturday night and placing them into two binders, every single one of my kids knew what was coming.

What will we start with first? They asked me. Continue reading

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Lesson 1141 – Pictures from around

This morning I was going through my photos and thought I’d share a few of my favorite pics.
I know that Stephen Hawking can be a little obtuse, but filed under Foreign Language? Really?

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Sometimes, all it takes is a little effort to bring beauty into your life. Continue reading

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Lesson 1138 – What’s really important about Salem, Mass

On Saturday, Marc and I decided to spend the day in Salem, Mass, about an hour drive from our house. Although Salem has a deep history that includes colonial living and seafaring life, it is, of course, for the witches that it is best known.

And boy do these guys like to celebrate their witches. For the entire month of October, the town gets its freak on. For sure, you’ll see all things witches:

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And you might even see a token nod to the town’s pirating history: Continue reading

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Lesson 1130 – Weapons of Mass Destruction – State Fair Peelers

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction

This summer Marc and I went to a few State Agricultural fairs. At one of the fairs, I saw a woman on a raised platform wearing a speaker’s microphone while she stood in front of a pile of near-naked vegetables.

“No way,” I said to Marc as I pulled him to a stop. “She’s demonstrating peelers. Let’s go watch.”

My first tip-off should have been that no one, absolutely no one else was around her.

My second tip-off should have been the Band-Aid on her finger.

“That’s not from the peeler, is it?” Asked Marc who laughed because the thought was so ridiculous – a demonstrator of peelers who cut herself – now wouldn’t that be silly.

Well let’s just say that sometimes reality can be a lot funnier than anything this writer could have come up with. Yup, she hadn’t been paying attention and she had sliced her finger on a peeler.

“Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you have,” she said as she waved her finger aside ready to start her presentation.

Marc and I both should have walked away but the sense of the absurd held us.

She demonstrated the peeler (keeping her injured digit gently raised and out of the cutting area.)

“It’s really very simple,” she droned, “if you hold it this way , it peels, if you hold it another way it dices. And if you use this tool,” she expertly pulled out another device that looked suspiciously similar, “you can grate your vegetables to make slaw with NO messy clean-up.”

Not only did it do all that, but these magical peelers also:

  • Removed eyes from potatoes
  • Could be used by right or left handers
  • Were Swiss Engineered

And to top it all off, these peelers were high recommended for use by Arthritis and Rheumatism suffers. I didn’t have either of those conditions but who knows what coming down the road, right? Best to be prepared.

“Marc, we have to get this,” I said picturing the two cabbages that were sitting on our counter being easily grated into slaw. Continue reading

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Lesson 796 – This makes it easy

Many of you know that I live in New England and perhaps just as many know that I live in New Hampshire.

Some might even know that I live in Southern New Hampshire.

But I’m willing to bet that very few of you know that I live just down the street from this:

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And I live across the street from this: Continue reading

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