Sepia Saturday 289: Beach, Holidays, Summer, Sea


Another Sepia Saturday is already upon us!  This week brings us a prompt image of a beautiful beach, but unfortunately I have no family that lived on/near beaches or who took and saved photos from a beach vacation.  We’re not a beach/shore kind of people, it seems!  However, my husband’s family came to the USA from the Netherlands on a boat in 1951 which fits the bill for at least the “sea” part of the theme.  On February 13, 1951, the S.S. Volendam departed from Rotterdam, Netherlands, bound for America.  Two families who apparently didn’t know eachother prior to the journey, met and became friends on the 12 day journey, or friends enough to take a picture and share it later on.  The photo looks like it was taken on board the ship, on their first day according to the inscription on the back.  Google Translate tells me the inscription, written in Dutch, says, “To remember the boat trip to America,” and is signed the Jansens Family.  I hadn’t heard the name before, they weren’t family friends that I knew of, so I set out to figure out who this Jansens Family was.  By luck, they were listed just above my husband’s family on the passenger list (link).  My husband’s grandparents are in the back row, 2nd and 3rd in from the left – Hilje “Hilda” Dijkema (1914-1997) and Doede “Douglas” Jaarsma (1911-1995).  The head of the Jansens family was Pieter Jansens and his wife, Janna, along with 10 of their 18 children.  I recently got in contact with a descendant of Jacobus (the man in the back row on the far left with the camera bag) who filled me in on some details of the family who ended up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The Jaarsma family went to northern New Jersey and pretty much stayed in the area.  It’s sweet that the Jansens family sent along a copy of the photo after arriving at their destination, and that Hilda and Douglas kept it all these years.  It was really neat to connect with a descendant of the Jansens family and share the photo back with them, and I’m happy to share it as this Sepia Saturday sails off into the sunset.

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 11b


Another catch-up post, and I’m a week behind on posts!  Getting caught up (again) though – it’s crazy how summer can just fly by like this.  Husband is away and I decided to try out a few new things.  I know he’s not a big fan of fennel or farro (really, wheat berries in this case), so I decided to go crazy and combine the two!  I found this recipe (Roasted Fennel & Farro Salad) and went for it.  The wheat berries came from North Star Orchard and we’ve had them hanging around in the freezer for a while.  They do take a while to cook, but the results are absolutely worth it.  Combined with the fennel and peppers, it made for a dish that was great warm or cold.  The simple cucumber and tomato salad was a recurring theme for the rest of the week too.  Drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar, it made for a great afternoon snack, and there’s just something about fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.  The cucumber is an Armenian cucumber and something I’ve never had before.  It has a soft fuzz on the outside that I scrubbed off with a vegetable scrubber brush, and I found it a little more crisp and less acidic than a regular cucumber.

Also on the plate are peaches with blue cheese, another summer favorite, and beet chips which didn’t come out all that well.  My slices weren’t uniform, so they were too crisp on one half and just barely baked on the other.  That didn’t stop me from eating the whole beet though, and I really like how they taste when roasted.  One final piece of the plate was another new recipe I tried called gougères – it’s a fancy french savory puff pastry made mostly with flour, butter, eggs, and cheese.  The recipe was part of the Birchrun Hills Kickstarter campaign rewards and I was really psyched to try something new.  It was easier than I thought and I sort of felt like a super hero having produced results that tasty and perfect on the first try!

Altogether a delightful dinner and really rather filling!

Peaches – North Star Orchard
Cheese – Birchrun Hills, Blue and Equinox
Beets – Jack’s Farm
Wheat Berries – North Star Orchard
Fennel – Jack’s Farm
Eggs – Canter Hill Farm
Peppers – Clover Hill Farm
Cucumber – Full Circle CSA
Tomatoes – Full Circle CSA
Butter – Handmade by Abby
Honey – Baues’ Busy Bees
Flour – Mill at Anslema, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Non Local – Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper

Sepia Saturday 288: Shops, Butchers, Pigs

A challenge this week indeed!  The prompt image for Sepia Saturday (shown below) featured a butcher shop and I knew right off the bat that I had absolutely nothing like it.  Luckily, we get a preview a few weeks in advance and I managed to remember the photo above.  Picutred is a man who I believe is Waldo Orvis “Jack” Powis (1905-1981), brother to my great grandmother Olga Powis.  He’s standing with a dead bear who was probably hunted in Pennsylvania.  Jack didn’t live in PA at the time, but he may have been out visiting his family in central Pennsylvania and posed with the bear for a photo.  It’s not often that a person can safely get within any distance of a bear like that, so I’m sure it was quite the novelty!  It’s not a butcher shop, but I have to imagine that the hunters used the bear meat for food since the presumed area where it was shot wasn’t in great shape economically (and still isn’t).  There’s no date or inscription on the photo, but I’d guess it was taken to be somewhere between 1950 to 1960.

Nerd Makeup Box July 2015


This is now my second Nerd Makeup box as part of Beta testing from the Kickstarter Campaign.  I had initally only signed up for one month as part of the campaign, but they had a call out for extra testers after the first month and I was happily selected to be part of the super special group of testers.  The box costs $25 plus $4.11 shipping and handling for a grand total of $29.11.  The value of the nail wraps alone totally makes up for the cost of the box and everything else is a bonus!

  • Nerd Manicure Humidor – $7.50 – I already have one from the original kickstarter campaign, but hey, another one can’t hurt!  I already know this is an awesome product to keep around and the card that came along in the box gave some great tips on how to use it.  I had just been stuffing my extra nail wraps into the humidor, but it’s a better idea to put them back in the original sleeve and then in the humidor to keep them from sticking.  It’s basically a waterproof, airproof bag to keep the extra wraps fresh before using them up.  Works great!
  • Nail File – $.50 – Who can’t use an extra nail file?!  Always happy to have more of these since they tend to go rogue, sprouting legs and wandering off to the nail file disco, getting all wild and crazy with the other nail files, never to be seen again.  Or so I imagine anyway.
  • Batty Nail Wrap – $10.00 – Clear and Glows in the Dark!  NEAT!  I almost want to save this for October, but I sort of want to use it NOW because it’s awesome!  I’m thinking maybe a coat or two of RED nail polish underneath would be pretty wicked.
  • Pirates, Ahoy! Nail Wrap – $10 – Glitter and Glows in the Dark.  A super neat glow in the dark feature on top of the glitter compass on the treasure map design.  I may have to bust these out for the renaissance faire pirate day.
  • For Science! Nail Wrap – $10 – One of the original designs in Glitter.  The design has a really fun story behind it, and they’re colorful and interesting even if you don’t know the story.
  • Metal Man Nail Wrap – $10 – Another original design in Glitter.  Pays tribute to the man in metal himself, Iron Man.  Love the transition between red and gold, and these will be a slightly more normal wrap, but they’re still glittery and made of awesome.

Overall value is $48 for the box which is more than the cost, so that works out for me!  Plus, fun nail wraps to keep up with my addiction habit.  :)

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 11a


This is the last week of catch-up posts, I swear.  Well, at least for now.  I can’t make promises about future weeks, but I’ll try to get them posted on the actual week that they’re made this time!  I’m back by myself for this week, and went a little crazy with the vegetables.  A neighbor had let his zucchini plants go a little wild and had a few baseball bats sitting on the vines.  I graciously offered to take one off his hands so he didn’t have to ding-dong-ditch zucchini all over the neighborhood.  It’s hard to tell underneath all the other vegetables, but I spiral sliced the zucchini with my new slicer and made zucchini pasta!  I cooked that quickly in a big pan with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, just enough so it still had a little crunch to it, but was warmed thoroughly.  In another pan, I had onions, fennel, and tomatoes cooking together to put on top of the zucchini pasta.  The sausage was pan seared, carrots steamed, and potatoes roasted.  Then the peaches!  Oh it’s peach season and these are particularly perfect, eat-over-the-kitchen-sink-because-they-drip-everywhere, juicy and delicious peaches.  I smothered them in blue cheese and baked them in the oven and they always make a perfect sweet and savory dessert.  The plate is incredibly full this week, but it’s 90% vegetables, so I don’t feel bad about it, not one bit.

Zucchini – Neighbor’s Garden
Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Carrots – Clover Hill Farm
Tomatoes – Clover Hill Farm
Fennel – Jack’s Farm
Onions – Clover Hill Farm
Peaches – North Star Orchard
Cheese – Birchrun Hills, Blue and Equinox
Sausage – Canter Hill Farm, South African Borewors
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper