Sepia Saturday 331

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Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week featured a photo of three babies with their mothers.  I don’t quite have three, but two will do!  In the above photo are siblings Hendrik and Nanne Huisman, children of Hilje (Dijkema) Jaarsma’s sister Ellechien and her husband Luitje Huisman.  They’re on a barge or boat of some sort, and it’s a bit of a shame the background is more in focus than the children!  I’ve suspected that this may be the barge of the children’s grandparents, but I can’t be sure based on a narrow view like this.  Unlike the prompt image, both of these two babies appear to be pretty content.

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Another one, this one with mom Ellechien on the left and a woman who the album identifies as Froukje, but I’m really not sure who that is.  Same two babies as above, probably taken at basically the same time.  I’ve been researching the barge that Hendrik Dijkema (the aformentioned grandfather) owned, and there was a Frouwke Huizinga mentioned as having given them a loan for the barge purchase.  I’m not sure if this is her or not!  There is a Frouke Rop who was a sister-in-law to Ellechien, and the age seems to fit, but all I have is a first name in the album.

Pretty short and sweet this week since the photos speak for themselves pretty much!  Both were taken in Holland, probably in the mid to late 1930s given the ages of the babies.  Already looking forward to next week!

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 2

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Husband was home briefly over the weekend, and thankfully I had thought ahead enough to pull some pork butt steaks out of the freezer.  I suggested we go out for our 12th anniversary dinner, but the man loves to cook, and I have a policy of never saying no to his cooking (any meal I don’t have to cook is a good one!), so dinner at home it was!  The pork butt steaks were given a little time to marinate in some homemade riesling with some fresh cilantro from the patio planters.  That stuff re-seeds itself and springs back every year, so we had plenty of cilantro to work with.  The asparagus was given a rub down with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then both the butt steak and asparagus were put on the grill.  Meanwhile, back at the kitchen, I was tasked with making spätzle.  I kind of did it by guesswork – it’s a combination of flour, eggs, and water (since we had no local milk) until the batter is almost the consistency of a thick waffle batter (thicker than pancakes, thinner than cookie dough).  The spätzle was then given a toss with some spring garlic, cheese, and pepper and plated together nicely with a glass of celebratory spumante.  A really nice meal for a rainy Saturday evening!

Ingredients:

Sepia Saturday 330

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The prompt image for this week’s Sepia Saturday featured a man doing type-setter work and came from the collection of the Netherlands National Archives.  I don’t have any type-setters in the family, but I do have young men at work, and the photo was taken in the Netherlands!  The man standing on the far right, hands behind his back and a grin on his face that makes you wonder what he was up to, is Doede Jaarsma, my husband’s grandfather.  Doede went to a technical high school in Friesland, Netherlands and later apprenticed and became a blacksmith which would explain the dirty coveralls and wooden shoes.  They certainly look like they just finished working and are showing off some new creation, but what exactly that creation is, I have no idea!  It almost looks like a motorized washing machine with the sort of wringer device on the top.  There’s a handwritten note on the back that reads, “Douglas at work, Uithuizen, ’43??” which would probably have been written on after they came to the USA since it shows his Americanized name.  In 1943, he would’ve been recently married and living near his wife’s family in Uithuizen, so that makes sense.  It’s a fantastic photo though, and I just LOVE that grin on Doede’s face – he looks like he’s positively up to no good.

In other news, I have a small update on an older post, Sepia Saturday 325.  Apparently the barge from that post is still in operation!  The couple who currently own it got in touch with me as a result of that blog post and updated me on what she looks like now and how she’s running.  It’s absolutely fantastic that Sepia Saturday has encouraged me and enabled me to post these photos in a blog format where they get a little better exposure than they otherwise would sitting on my hard drive, and that it’s given me an opportunity to connect the past to the present.

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 1

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The first of another year of One Local Summer!  I’m going back to the weekly format this time since the husband’s work schedule is all over the place for the summer and, let’s face it, if I’m only cooking for me, I may only actually cook one meal a week large enough so I have leftovers for the rest of the week.  Hi, I’m the laziest lazy cook there is.  So, a recap of One Local Summer, the challenge originated with Farm to Philly back in 2008 with Farm to Philly.  I picked up on it in 2009 (AWWW my first ever One Local Summer post!), so that makes this year my (counting on fingers) EIGHTH year of One Local Summer.  The idea is that you make one meal a week your “local” meal, using only ingredients found, farmed, or grown locally with exceptions for spices and oils.  I usually run from beginning of May through as long as I can, typically October or so.  It doesn’t have to be fancy either – sometimes it’s a huge bowl of lettuce with toppings (coughcough this week coughcough), and sometimes it’s homemade tacos from the shells to all the fixings or bacon and cheese waffles.  What constitutes local?  That’s up to you.  The idea is to reduce your food miles (the length food has to travel to get to you) which in turn reduces your carbon footprint since you’re not eating food from across the country.  It also supports your local economy by giving your money to small producers instead of large conglomerates.  There’s something really special about getting to know the people who grow your food since you get to put a face to the hard work that goes into growing vegetables or tending animals and ask them questions about their processes (pesticide use, butchering etc), AND you get to know that it’s all produced with love and care.  I have sworn over and over that knowing the people behind the food makes it all taste better (even if that’s probably baloney, don’t pop my bubble!)

So, that all out of the way, that photo above is my first week!  We’re still in early spring around here despite it being almost mid may, so most of what the farmers market has to offer as far as vegetables is a lot of leafy greens.  Kale and I have never really gotten along well (it tastes like angry dirt to me), but I LOVE the abundance and variety of lettuces and other greens available this time of year.  I routinely buy a big old bag of greens and make a GINORMOUS salad for dinner in a bowl that could double as a helmet.  On top of the lettuce mix are slivers of cheese, some tomato and basil pork sausage, Portobello mushrooms sautéed in butter with some spring onions, and some bok choi that I wilted over the pan with the mushrooms and onions.  The only non-local thing here is the salad dressing which was just olive oil and vinegar.  I think I did pretty well this week, getting back into the One Local Summer routine, and I’m already dreaming up ideas for next week!

Ingredients:

Goodbeing (formerly Goodebox) May 2016

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This is the last box in my Goodbeing/Goodebox subscription.  I cancelled a few months ago but had a few boxes left on a six month subscription, so this is the final box.  Relieved to see there’s no seed bead bracelet in this one, but at the same time, I’m disappointed in the box overall.  The Pore Refining Mask is the same one I received in last month’s box.  The Board and Batten Herbal Facial arrived with the little serum bottle having half emptied itself into the ‘tea’ inside the bag (the cap was basically half unscrewed).  I’m actually glad this is my last box from them because I definitely feel like it’s more misses than hits for me lately which is a personal thing, but for a box that has a lengthy survey of preferences, I feel like it should be doing a better job of nailing it every month than a box that ships the same 5 items to everyone.  Still though, I’m sad to have unsubscribed in a way, because this one was honestly my favorite box for a long time running, but it just hasn’t been worth it for me over the past 3 or 4+ months of boxes.  Anyway, before I go on and on about how bummed I am (again) about the turn this box has taken, on to the contents!

  • Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Mascara – .25 oz / $14 – (Full size product)  I received the color, “Abyss,” an inky black.  I was a little skeptical about the brush tip since it’s one of those plastic spiky applicators and it feels a little flimsy, but it actually works really well to separate lashes and keep them from clumping.  One coat made a perfect, subtle, everyday look.  Two coats ramped it up to hey-there-lashes without clumping.  So far, I’m pretty impressed AND I don’t want to itch my eyes yet which is a good sign!  There’s no discernible scent, but it does smell a little plasticky.  Takes a little longer to dry/set than other mascaras but it seems like it’ll hold up to a full day (or evening) pretty well.
  • Bonnie Pore Refining Rose Mask – 3 oz / $16 – (Sample is .7 oz, value of $3.73)  I received the exact same item last month.  Duplicate items are really not cool – I wouldn’t have made a big deal out of this if I had gotten a different variant, but it’s the exact same one I already have.  I noticed that my last box available to see in detail on the website is the March box, so apparently after I cancelled, they stopped tracking what I have and haven’t received, and I also haven’t gotten surveys or coupon codes via email since then.  Kind of disappointed in the cancellation process and how the remaining boxes I had on my subscription were handled after I cancelled.
  • London’s Pedisoaks Foot Masque – 4 oz / $25 – (Sample is 1 oz, value of $6.25)  It smells a lot like lemongrass and, as the tip reads at the bottom of the product card, this product needs to be refrigerated.  I assume that’s because of the ingredients, but I don’t see any ingredients that would spoil, so I’m not sure of the reasoning for that.  I’ll have to give these a try and report back.  I don’t do a lot of foot-care (is that a thing?) mostly because I go around barefoot during the warmer weather and my feet get pretty callused and worn and I just don’t care what they look like in general, but it might be nice to take an evening to give this a try.
  • London’s Pedisoaks Foot Polish – 4 oz / $15 – (Sample is 1 oz, value of $$3.75)  The product card says the value is $5, but by the ounce, it’s $3.75.  Anyway, I guess this is a companion piece to the prior item.  It’s basically a fancy salt scrub that’s peppermint scented.  Why is everything for feet peppermint scented?  Not my favorite scent, but I’ll give it a try after the Foot Masque since I have it anyway.  Looks like it separated a little in the jar, but it’s easy enough to mix up again.  The formula is a little more liquidy than your average salt scrub, so it’s probably something to do over the bathtub.
  • Board and Batten Facial Steam – 1.2 oz / $26 – (Sample is .35 oz, value of .4 oz size is $12)  Ehhh, I’m not really into this.  It’s super time-consuming and I’m just not sure steaming your face over tea is actually going to do anything than open your pores from the steam.  Color me skeptical.  The baggie arrived with the serum bottle inside having half emptied into the baggie of dried herbs which is kind of disappointing.  The herbs smell a lot like chamomile tea which is nice.  I just.. I don’t know, I don’t see myself doing this kind of thing regularly since it takes up so much time between boiling water and holding your head over a hot bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.  I can’t exactly multitask if my head is stuck over a bowl for ten minutes.  Maybe that’s the point, to slow down and relax while the steam works on your face, but I’m so not that person.  I’ll still try it whenever I find the time, or maybe as a pick-me-up when I’m sick.

Total value comes to $39.73, another pretty low value box.  Having a six month subscription means I only paid $19 for the box so the value is still double the cost, but only JUST.  At least there’s one full-sized item (the mascara) and I’m really happy with the mascara, but it’s not enough to cover the cost.  The rest of it, I’m honestly not that thrilled with – the foot products will be fun to try, but they’re not something I would’ve marked as a “wanted” item from a subscription box.  Oh well, I figure this leaves me some space to try a new box or two, so here’s to closing one chapter and opening another!