One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 10

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Wow.  So this is a pizza.  Kinda.  The crust is polenta that was baked in the oven to help crisp it up.  Then the toppings were added.  OH THE TOPPINGS.  Husband was away, so I was free to add as much fungus as I pleased, and I did.  The mushroom guy was on vacation the week prior, but found a bunch of Chanterelle mushrooms growing in the wild, so he grabbed them and brought them home.  This was the first time I’ve ever had Chanterelles, and just typing about them is making my mouth water.  They’re peppery but sweet and might just be my new favorite mushroom.  I sauteed the mushrooms with some onions and peppers.  Once the crust (a polenta crust with a wee bit of butter) was crispy enough from baking in the oven, I globbed some homemade Cherry Jam (from locally picked cherries), blue cheese spread, then put on the onions/mushrooms/peppers.  On top of that I sprinkled on some more blue cheese and popped the whole thing back in the oven to mush together.  This was INCREDIBLE.  The whole thing disappeared in one sitting since it was about a 12″ pizza anyway.  The cherry jam ended up oozing off the pizza and made the crust a little mushy, but it really didn’t matter – it just meant I had to use a fork and knife instead of picking each slice up.  It was worth it!

Ingredients:
Corn Meal – Mill at Anselma
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Peppers – Charlestown Farm
Chanterelle Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Onions – Jack’s Farm
Blue Cheese (spread and crumble) – Birchrun Hills
Cherries – Walnut Springs Farm
Non Local – Sugar (in jam)

Sepia Saturday 245: Drinking, sharing, posing, lurking

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When the prompt for this week came up, my mind almost immediately went to this photo.  Five young men standing outside a fair that apparently runs September 11-14th and may be a circus from the Barnum & Bailey sign in the background.  The young man in the light colored hat, second from the right (including the lurker in the background by the door), I believe is my great grand uncle Harry Oscar Frederick “Fritz” Powis (b. 1 May 1903, Blain City, Clearfield, PA; d. 22 Jun 1972, Philipsburg, Centre, PA).  The man standing to the left of Fritz, I think is either George Riley or Floyd Shank.  I have another photo with two men in uniform, one of whom looks an awful lot like the gentleman in uniform here, but I don’t know who is who in the other photo!  I hit two of the themes this week between posing and lurking, and how about the tie on the man on the far left!  As far as a year for the photo, I’d guess somewhere around 1919 or so.  I’m not sure at all who the other two young boys are or the man in the tie.  Still, it’s a neat photo, even if it’s a bit faded and worn!

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GoodeBox September 2014

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I should say first off that I’m not feeling this one at all.  The shipping delay really irked me – the box shipped August 28 and took 15 days to arrive.  Newgistics, you suck.  This was the first time Goodebox used Newgistics for shipping, but after having heard about all the issues Birchbox subscribers have with Newgistics, I’m not surprised it didn’t go well, by no fault of GoodeBox.  That said, if the box was better, I might not be on the fence about cancelling, but the box isn’t all that great for me.  I mean.. a wee tin of sea salt?!  Really?!  The full-size nail polish is fun, but the color isn’t really me – it’s sort of a glittery beige and just looks weird.  I saw other people got boxes with a pretty aqua blue color, so I was really disappoited to see muddy glitter in mine.  The blush color is all wrong (way too yellow), I already have a soap vendor I LOVE to bits, and the Barre 3 stuff just isn’t me.  Free trial, so I’ll still give it a go, but eh.  Their website has photos of only svelte, toned women, and there are no gals who look like me in any of their videos.  While I’m sure they offer modified poses, it’s nice to see folks of all sizes on fitness videos instead of Mr. and Ms. Perfect.  It’s disappointing and makes me want to hide my voluptuous ass in baggy sweatpants instead of working out with three perfectly toned people.  I’ll admit that the shipping delay made my review of this box tainted with a big old pair of grumpy pants, so, it’s a little more critical than usual.  Anyway, on to the box!

  • Square Hue Nail Polish – three .5oz bottles per month/$14.99 – The color I received is, “Rodeo Drive,” and it’s just not me.  It’s a really peculiar color that looks kinda pinkish or brownish depending on the light and, ugh.  I hate pink.  Hate hate hate pink.  This is never a color I would’ve picked out on my own, but the formula covers really well in two coats, goes on nicely and is 5-free.  WAY better than Zoya, IMHO, in terms of coverage and smell.  Zoya takes sometimes 3 or 4 coats to cover and really stinks for being a 5-free polish.  I don’t think I’ll subscribe to the monthly box, but I do like the polish and may do a one-time order.  It’s just a gamble with mystery colors, and if there’s any pink in the box that month, I’m going to be wildly disappointed, and there’s no way to specify color choices.  Not good.
  • Weleda Skin Food – 2.5 oz/$19 – So, it’s a really expensive skin lotion, and the samples are silly foil packets.  I don’t like foil packets – you have to use the entire amount in the packet in one use and can’t save it if it’s too much.  Drives me crazy.  I’ll use the samples, but for skin lotion?  There are more affordable alternatives that are just as good.
  • Homespun Northwest Himalayan Citrus Head-to-toe Cleansing Bar – 5oz/$13 – Soap.  A bar of soap for $13.  I have a favorite Honey Ale and Egg solid soap I use for shampoo that I buy from Sweets N Things on Etsy for $6 for 4oz.  I have no plans to switch since I LOVE that soap already, and it’s affordable and lasts me about 4 months.  This sample though is for a bar of soap for $13 that doesn’t contain unicorn hair or fairy farts.  Nope.  It also immediately shed salt that was sprinkled on the bar all over the place.  The product card offers a discount of 20% off $10 or more, but I’m really not interested.
  • Plantlife Arnica Relief Gel – 4oz/$15.90 – I’ve never felt that Arnica gel actually did anything for me.  I’ve tried it before on bruises and noticed no difference in healing time or pain relief.  So, this is really meh for me and not something I’d ever buy (and will likely be found months from now in the medicine cabinet, still unused).  There’s a coupon code for 25% off an order through their website, so I’ll have to see what else they make.
  • All Natural Face Matte Cream Blushes for Lips & Cheeks – .7oz/$5.75 – Reasonably priced, but the color of the sample I received is all wrong for my skin.  It’s, “Dark Rose,” when I’m more of a “Peachy Rose” or “Persimmon.”  It’s just too yellow and isn’t a color I can use as blush, and definitely isn’t a color I’d ever use on my lips.  The formula is nice though and I like that it can be used two ways.  There’s a 20% off coupon, in case I want to try one of the other shades.
  • Jacobsen Pure Flake Sea Salt – 1.5oz/$9.95 – It’s salt.  I don’t understand why this is in the GoodeBox at all other than that they, “procure pure salt crystals straight from the cold waters of the Oregon Coast using traditional, hand harvesting methods,” so that they can call it froufrou special salt and charge more.  Big deal.  It’s still salt.  And going out to dinner anywhere involves over-salted food (everyone uses way too much for our near-sodium-free home cooking), so why the wee little travel tin?  It’s all weird, and it’s just salt.
  • Barre 3 – $15/month – The offer in the box came with a wristband, Field Guide, and a month of free online classes.  I’ve done yoga and pilates before, even went to 6 months of sessions with a personal trainer.  I’m no stranger to fitness, but I absolutely hate when programs like this show only svelte, toned people in their website photos.  Okay, fine, image sells, but showing me that people of all sizes take their classes is much more encouraging than making me feel like I’m not the kind of person they want in their classes.  I mean, free trial, so as long as I don’t have to enter a credit card, I’ll give it a try.

I’m pretty bummed about not getting the tea – I would’ve definitely used that up.  I’m not sure how else to adjust my preferences on GoodeBox’s website to get better colors that work for my skin – this is a second or third time I ended up with colors that don’t work for me.  I keep going back and making sure I selected the right things, but it doesn’t seem to matter much.  Anyway, sorry for the downer of a review, but this month is hugely disappointing.  I’ll probably end up giving the nail polish to a friend and see if anyone else is interested in the cream blush.  After that I have salt, a teeny chunk of soap, and foil packets of skin lotion.  Yeah.  Not so good.  I’ll give GoodeBox another month to see if things turn around (Subscription boxes can be so hit or miss, so I like to give them another chance), but with Newgistics on board, this doesn’t bode well.

Sepia Saturday 244: Itinerant Entertainers, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Unusual Pets, Monkeying Around

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Two photos to fit the theme, even if a rabbit isn’t really that unusual of a pet.  I didn’t have any photos of itinerant entertainers, so these two will have to suffice for this week!

On The Left: My grandpa, Leon Kitko (b. 20 Mar 1933, PA, died 18 Jun 2011, Clearfield, PA), holding a rabbit.  It’s a rare photo of him with a beard – he kept his face clean shaven nearly all of his life except for a brief period around 1954 where he shows up in a few photos with a beard.  A rabbit really isn’t an unusual pet, but among the many photos of their pets, this is the only one that isn’t a cat or dog!  I never heard stories about a rabbit from grandpa, but it’s clear he had one at some point!

On The Right: My grandma (step-grandma.. Leon’s second wife, not my biological grandmother, but I always knew her as grandma), Romayne (Greenaway) Kitko (b. 30 May 1936, PA, d. 7 Jan 2013, Clearfield, PA).  She was quite the musician her whole life from piano to organ and even the accordion!  This is a scan from a negative, so I don’t know when exactly this was taken, but I’d assume sometime in the 1950s.  She’s sitting at the back of her childhood home at the well, perfectly posed and coiffed, playing on the accordian.

Short and sweet this week!  It was nice to be able to include different photos from this set of grandparents who have both passed away.  Having memories like this and photos from their younger years really helps keep the memory alive and I’m so glad I have a chance to share them with Sepia Saturday as well!

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One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 9

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I really sort of love having visitors over for One Local Summer meals because they’ll bring new and fun ideas to the One Local Table.  There were a TON of beautiful eggplants at the market this week, so I grabbed two thinking, hmm, well I’ll find something to do with them.  Talking about it with my sister-in-law who was visiting, we ended up with Eggplant Parmigiana using local ingredients.  We didn’t have mozzarella, but I had plenty of blue cheese on hand, so it was a little different, but the flavor was incredible!  And, unintentionally, we ended up with a vegetarian dinner.  While the spaghetti squash was roasting in the oven, we prepped the eggplant by slicing thick slices then breading them with flour and an egg/yogurt mixture.  We double dipped a few of them (egg then flour, repeat) and those seemed to come out better.  They got a quick pan fry in the cast iron pan, then were set on a wire rack in the oven to finish baking for about 15 minutes.  I found some sauce from summers past in the freezer, so we heated that up on the stove to top the spaghetti squash once it was done.  On the side, a small bowl of tomatoes with oil, vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt finished off the meal along with a glass of wine.  Really a great dinner, and we even used the leftover eggplant on sandwiches the next day!

A quick note on the flour.. it’s not ENTIRELY local.  I picked this up at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market a year or two ago.  From what I remember, the owner was visiting family in the area and brought along his flour from Minnesota to sell at our local market.  In that sense, it travelled along with a person who was making a trip anyway, and wasn’t using up extra “food miles” just to get to my doorstep, so while it’s not local, I’m going to allow it since it still follows in the One Local Summer ideals of a lower food carbon footprint and not using excess food miles to transport food from across the country when I can find it basically in my backyard.  I do occasionally make exceptions for things like this that come home with us on our travels.  The Sunrise Flour Mill also uses varieties of wheat that are heritage wheat varities and more along the lines of what one might have eaten 100 years ago, so it’s pretty unique and will be fun to work with!

Ingredients:
Eggplant – North Star Orchard
Tomato Sauce – My Garden
Spaghetti Squash – Jack’s Farm
Flour – Sunrise Flour Mill
Eggs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow
Tomatoes – My Garden and Jack’s Farm
Non Local – Wine, vinegar, oil, salt.