Last week when I was talking about my carrot cake jam, I mentioned that I was making it for a food swap our library was hosting. I knew that there would be some tasty treats there (we have a large population of excellent cooks in our community), and the results did not disappoint!
So… what is a food swap and how does it work? Well, basically you bake, can, grow, forage, or otherwise bring something to the proverbial (and literal) table. You taste. You talk. You trade. It was so fun, and a great way to engage with our neighbors! We had many curious patrons who expressed interest in participating in our next go-around. And I hope they do! What a fun way to try new things.
Here’s what we had today…
Ginger-chocolate mini scones:::
(My) carrot cake jam:::
Fresh honey nut butter:::
Local eggs from happy chickens:::
Sriracha (better than anything with a rooster on it — trust me!):::
Handcrafted vanilla extract:::
Spicy Guinness Mustard:::
We shall eat well, indeed! I feel a little bit spoiled, and a lot bit lucky to be part of this.
I am already thinking ahead and deciding what to make for our next one. Perhaps some fermented sauerkraut or spicy pickled vegetables? I definitely think it will be something fresh and vinegary. But homemade hot fudge could be fun too… So many delicious possibilities!
This morning Jake and his Boy Scout troop participated in the 43rd annual Wappinger Creek Water Derby. He went through a swim test and canoe training to help him prepare and he was psyched! After a filling breakfast of buttered toast and ham and egg scramble, D. dropped him off at the location where he meets for Boy Scouts and he was on his own. It’s hard to “let go” but so good for everyone at the same time.
Jake had an amazing experience (and is wiped out, understandably), but it was so much fun for him. While he was off at the derby, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to take our brand-new canoe for its maiden voyage. (Yes, after seeing all the scouts having a ball in the canoes, and not being able to jump in himself, D. bought one as a birthday present to himself.)
We headed down to Landsman Kill here in Rhinebeck and it was absolutely perfect! I can’t believe more people (especially those who live right there) weren’t out on the lake). The temperature was just right for spending some time out on the water.
After rowing around the lake twice, we had a picnic lunch and called the outing a success. Next time we will probably go for longer, but considering it has been many (many!) years since I last canoed, this was a perfect way to ease back into it.
As Drew loaded the canoe back onto the Subaru (oh yes — now I totally feel like part of the club, driving around with a canoe strapped to the roof of our Forester, LOL…), Noah tossed rocks into the lake while Laura picked some flowers.
It was such a great start to the weekend. But now I need to make a salad and get the pizzas on the grill. Drew and Jake set up the big movie screen, and we have cupcakes and wine and tea and coffee, and… I’m just so looking forward to this fun, relaxing family night. I hope the same for you!
Thankfully it wasn’t enough to even cause a school delay this morning, but yes we got our first snowfall of the season! It looked so pretty as it came down late yesterday afternoon. Laura couldn’t wait to get outside, so we bundled up for a few minutes and I (of course) couldn’t help but snap a few shots.
It’s still quite windy, though. I can’t lie — I was pretty happy when she finally agreed to go inside to warm up!
I don’t even know where to start a blog post after something like Hurricane Sandy happens. Luckily, our little spot upstate-ish barely felt any effects. Yes, it rained, and yes the wind was blowing like mad, but aside from a 10-second power blip, and a whole lot more leaves down, we are no worse for the wear. My heart absolutely breaks for everyone in New York City, New Jersey, and other affected areas. My thoughts are with them.
Last year at this very same time we were hammered with that freak blizzard. If I remember correctly, we had 18 inches of snow on the deck! Here’s what our yard looked like:
Today it’s just gray and windy (still). Last year I crocheted my way through the storm working on baby elf hats. This year, I hooked away at dozens of granny trees.
Tonight I just plan on being cozy in my little home, and being grateful that I have power to cook, unspoiled food to eat, munchkins to hug, and a sound roof over our heads. Disasters like this have a tendency to remind us of what’s really important, don’t they?
What a weekend! I have so much to tell you about, but I thought I’d start by sharing some photos I took yesterday. While Drew and Jake were at ComicCon, my mother-in-law suggested the rest of us spend the day at the New York Botanical Gardens. I’d never been there and she certainly didn’t have to convince me — I was so excited to finally visit!
We saw the gorgeous Monet’s Garden exhibit, as well as the Haunted Pumpkin Garden (very non-spooky, very fun, and great for children). Noah had a great time planting buckwheat seeds and dissecting an owl pellet, while Laura enjoyed playing in the outdoor puppet theatre and just looking at all the incredibly creative pumpkin sculptures.
Seeing all these beautiful plants makes me wish I was a better gardener! Just gorgeous stuff. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
I could have spent the entire day wandering around. If you live in the metro New York area and you’re looking for something fun and Halloween-y to do, this exhibit was a lot of fun, plus the grounds are just so beautiful. We plan to go back for the holiday train show and I can’t wait for that!
It was a chilly night, indeed. But the frost makes everything so beautiful, doesn’t it?
Again, I’m late with my farm share post. This was last week’s yield. It was hot and humid and I was sweaty as heck and I had to drag Jake and Noah with me after camp, but heading to the farm was actually a nice transition between our very active day and our lazy night. I had the timing just-right and the barn wasn’t crammed with people!
- 2 heads of lettuce
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 sweet onion (alternate choice: leeks — it was a hard decision)
- a head of cabbage
- a bunch of carrots
- 1.5 lbs. of green beans
- 2 cucumbers
- a bunch of lemon basil
- head of garlic
- PYO cherry tomatoes and tomatillos
We also picked flowers! The boys loved that. And it’s no secret that I do too
Unfortunately, the carrots got rubbery pretty fast, so I just stuck them in the freezer to use for chicken stock. It was a bummer, but… having them frozen will come in handy.