Thursday, June 28, 2007

OLS dinner 2007 01

I did it! I made my first One Local Summer dinner! W00t!

One Local Summer 2007, Dinner Menu 01
  • Blueberry wine (Country Creek Winery - 6 miles) with fresh blueberries (someone's front yard produce stand - 6 miles) and chopped apple (DelVal College - 12 miles).
  • Water and ice (from our tap - 0 miles) ;)
  • Lightly sautéed spring onions, garlic scapes and fresh basil (all from our Blooming Glen Farm CSA crop share - 5 miles) mixed with steamed summer squash (Blooming Glen) and pattypan squash (DelVal College - 12 miles), and steamed, chopped collard greens, kale and Swiss chard (also from Blooming Glen). Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil, salt, pepper.
  • A cool cucumber salad includes cucumbers from Blooming Glen and our own garden, and spring onions and turnips from Blooming Glen. Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes.
  • Baked tofu (Fresh Tofu - 25 miles) in a garlic scape and basil (from Blooming Glen) marinade. Nonlocal ingredients used: olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Bragg's liquid aminos.

One Local Summer (OLS) is an online project created by the fabulous Liz over at OLS encourages each of us to get in touch with our inner locavore by preparing one dinner each week of the summer that is comprised of local ingredients. Each participant then blogs about her/his meal (or reports to L iz if s/he doesn’t have a blog), and submissions are tracked at Pocket Farm.

OLS is not a contest or a competition. Simply, it's a way to “explore your world and support local growers and start learning what's available in your local foodshed. One Local Summer is an easy way to gradually enter the world of eating locally."

So once a week, starting June 24 and ending the week of September 1, I will be preparing one dinner using as many local sources as possible. I first heard about OLS mid-season last year and was ready to join, but was quickly thwarted by the seemingly impossible task of finding locally-produced vegan protein sources. We’ve got lots of great, organic, free range, antibiotic- and hormone-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised, etc., etc., etc., sources of meat and dairy that are incredibly easy to get a hold of, but not so much in the way of grains, beans, seeds, legumes. Now, I'm not saying that they're not out there; they're just much more difficult to track down.

Since then, I managed to find a source of tofu, Fresh Tofu, located about 25 miles from my home. Once I located a retail place from which I could buy the tofu (Plumsteadville Natural Foods), I decided that I could give OLS a shot this year.

I’m kind of nervous, but very excited about my participation. And really, now that the first meal is done, I'm feeling much less nervous. I’ll be tracking progress, photos and challenges here as the summer continues. Of course, I've also included this as one of my 43Things :P

Wish me luck! Or, better yet, go join and we’ll wish each other luck :D

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CSA crop share 2007 05

Dewds. I tewtally forgot to bring me camera to pick up the share. Here's what I'm pretty sure we got:

Scallions - 1 bunch
Kale, Swiss chard - 3/4 pound (mix-or-match)
Basil - 1 bunch
Kohlrabi - from the share table
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Head lettuce - 1
Summer squash - 4 pounds
Radiccio or escarole - 1 (I chose radicio)
Garlic scapes - 1/4 pound
Cucumbers - 3
Beets - 6
Flowers - 1 small bouquet
Sugar snap peas - 1 quart

(Click on the photo to see larger photographs and notes at flick'r.)

You can't tell in the picture, but the flowers are really pretty. I'll think about taking dome close-ups, in all their vase glory.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Did I tell you the one about the porch?

Hey, did I tell you about the other weekend when Jase ripped down part of the porch to get to a creature that had been chewing at the wood facade?

And how maybe I might have encouraged him to do so, you know, before irreversible damage was done and the entire row was infested with warrior carpenter ants! or bees! or mice! all because of us!

And how actually, ha, ha! there wasn't even one single creature up there after all! Huh, who knew?

And then how he got to spend the next six hours rebuilding the torn up porch? The porch that didn't need to be torn up in the first place. And all ON HIS DAY OFF?

No? I didn't mention that? Huh...

I guess I didn't tell you about the slippers, either then.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CSA crop share 2007 04

Tricia gave us some stern instructions on the board this week:
Grill it, bake it, stuff it, fry it, preserve it, leave it on your neighbor's doorstep... just don't leave it here! It's that time of year - we are swimming in summer squash! Enjoy it while you can! :)
(Click on the photos to see larger photographs and notes at flick'r.)

I even added some giant squash from the share table to my bags. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team, right? Any advice on preservation, or other suggestions for how I could use these us?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My white and bleeding heart

I have a thing for white flowers. I love them for their contrast against their greens, for their crisp style, for their starkness and honesty, for their simple elegance, for their light.

It's interesting because elsewhere in my life, white does not play much of a role. I'm inclined to wear black and earth tones, I've painted my home in bold colors and I famously inject brightly-colored veggies into my (already vibrant green) guacamole.

But white flowers, especially little ones, just get to me. And it hasn't always been that way; only in the past year or so. I seek them out, and one of my three gardens is white flowers only. Is that peculiar? It wasn't planned, it just kind of happened, almost without my knowing.

I mean, who knew I was such an elitist?

Looking back, I think it may have begun with the purchase and subsequent repainting of the house. Black had always been my favorite, but it's certainly not useful when considering room and trim colors. With the bright color palate I chose, and trim and baseboards well beyond refinishing to original wood, white seemed to be the solitary paint chip left. Maybe that's where white began worming its way into my visions?

I suppose it started slowly, this favoritism with white flowers, as most habits and crushes do. This seems different though, as I am a very conscious person. I combat my inner Virgo perfectionist by deliberately, but slyly making a decision, then quietly integrating new priorities into my daily life. Otherwise, I get so caught up in the organizing and planning and plotting and mapping, that I never actually do what I had intended in the first place, as it all gets too overwhelming and seemingly impossible.

Oddly, I didn't make an aware decision to plant white flowers, I just found myself doing it, and on trips to nurseries, dismissing suggestions of plants that produced other-colored petals. The two plants at the top of my list? A white rhododendron and a white bleeding heart.

(I know moms aren't supposed to have a favorite, the obviously, the bleeding heart has a special place in my - er, heart.)

Which brings me here, now. Clearly with an objective to surround myself with pretty white flowers, but also with a "how did I get here" question on my face. And what does any clever do when pondering the meanings and subtleties of life? Turn to the internet, of course!

In my searches, I found this insanely creative and fun website about colors, Please do investigate :)

Other tidbits upon which I stumbled:
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity. --

Strictly speaking, white is not a color, but the manifestation of the presence of all color - the complete energy of light. It stands for wholeness and completion. In many cultures it represents openness and truth. White has a cold quality. It can provide clarity as its energy is complete.
White has purification vibrations and can be used to clear blocks from your path. It holds the potential to move toward every other color and this makes it a good choice for new beginnings, and development in any direction.
Put some white in your life when you want: * to clear clutter and obstacles away * to start a fresh beginning * to bring about mental clarity * purification of thoughts or actions

Meaning of the color white:
How the color white effects us mentally and physically * aids mental clarity * encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles * evokes purification of thoughts or actions * enables fresh beginnings --

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CSA crop share 2007 03

Nyuhm, nyuhm... summer squashies :)

(Click on the photos to see larger photographs and notes at flick'r.)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Holy strawberries!

A small portion of the three quarts of strawberries (see previous post) from Blooming Glen:

A breakfast of quinoa, diced strawberries, almond milk, and a bit of maple syrup. Best enjoyed out on the porch stoop. Yum!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

CSA crop share 2007 02

Holy strawberries - three quarts!

(Click on the photos to see larger photographs and notes at flick'r.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


FDR skate park in Philadelphia especially rocks because it represents the awesomeness that a group of passionate people can accomplish. In the mid-nineties, when skateboarding was banned from Love Park, the city tried to make nice with the skateboarding community by donating a piece of land in FDR Park (Broad and Pattison Streets) below an I-95 overpass for a new skate park.

Unfortunately, their half-assed efforts (the construction of two pyramids and a grindbox) proved to only further piss off the skaters.

Fortunately, the anger was transferred positively, and fueled the skating community to build their own park.

Like any grassroots project, especially those headed by such a strong willed population, the construction of FDR skate park had many ups and downs and lots of drama. In the end, a pretty amazing concrete park emerged, thanks to the fundraising and volunteer efforts of the skateboarders. There's an excellent article about FDR here. I do hope that the second generation of skaters at FDR (Avery, et. al.) appreciate those who came before them, rose up to the Man, and took care of business.

We went on Saturday, the boys to skate and me to take photographs of them, the graffiti and concrete landscape. There's a half-pipe that's good for kids just learning to ride, but otherwise, FDR is not a place for a kid to learn how to skateboard. Even though Avery is a confident skater and is familiar with the park and the concept of carving lines, we still always get there early to be out of the way by late afternoon.

Happy trunk.

Don't be a victim.

A patient, older skater.

Conner and ice cream.

Dustin climbing out of a bowl.

Pop pop's tired.

Dirt balls.

And, of course, I must mention food, right? After FDR, we headed into Chinatown for fabulous vegetarian lunches at Singapore :)

Check out our photos from the day here,