One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 16

Oh yes, it’s crock pot season!  The husband is a master of the crock pot and always manages to work up meals that blend perfectly together in that steamy cauldron of good cooking.  It’s funny, crock pot meals never tend to look all that appealing, but you can be sure my mouth was watering for the last two hours of cooking because the whole house smelled amazing!  Starting with a base of apple cider from our local orchard, husband added a Pork Loin Roast to the pot and topped that with cabbage, apples, onions, a little maple syrup, salt and pepper, and a little dried mustard powder.  Such easy prep for such amazing results.  By the end of the six hours, the pork had become incredibly tender, the cabbage simmered down, and the apple cider had infused its way into everything.  Add to that a little bread (not entirely local, but from a local bakery), a chunk of cheese, and some delicious Hopped Blueberry Mead from a Meadery in New Hampshire, and we had a great fall dinner.

Pork Loin Roast – Countrytime Farm
Onions – Hoagland Farms
Cabbage – Jack’s Farm
Tomme Mole Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Bread – St. Peter’s Bakery
Cider – North Star Orchard
Apples – Grandparents House (tons of apple trees!)
Mead – Sap House Meadery
Non Local – Vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard powder

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 15

And now we’re surpassing the goal of 14 with ease!  I think this is the best attempt at cooking Bison Ribs the husband has ever had.  They’re a little tricky being much lower in fat and need to be cooked low and slow.  The ribs were back ribs and were put in the smoker with apple wood, cooked for about 4 hours resulting in DELICIOUS ribs.  On the side we have those popular corn fritters, a grilled peach with melted blue cheese, and a bowl in the back with tomatoes from the garden, a sprig of basil, and some local cheese.  The wine is a homemade mead made partially with cherries I picked in Maryland and was a great match to the rest of dinner.

Bison Ribs – Backyard Bison
Corn – Brogue Hydroponics
Peaches – North Star Orchard
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Peppers – Neighbor’s garden (we share!)
Blue Cheese and Equinox Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Tomatoes – Our Garden
Basil – Our Garden
Non Local – Wine, spices, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper

Goodebox October 2014

The October Goodebox has arrived!  And, it arrived in the first week of the month, on time (even if it shipped September 18th).  I’ll start with the good since I was so critical last time.  I’m SO, so glad that Goodebox didn’t fall prey to all the pinkwashing going on this month.  Besides the fact that I hate the color pink, I’d rather see real progress with breast cancer research and meaningful donations instead of BUY THIS THING BECAUSE IT’S PINK.  ALSO, BOOBIES.  (When, really, the majority of the profit goes to the company, not to breast cancer research)  The monthly product card points out that being mindful of the ingredients in our products is important, saying, “we’d like to remind you all to take your health, and what you put on your body seriously.”  Huge kudos for that, because that matters more than buying something that’s pink.  Now, that out of the way, I can tell you that this box was a miss for me.  I’d gotten accustomed to seeing full-sized products in the boxes, so when I opened this one, I was a little disappointed because all those samples are kinda tiny – the largest is 1/2 of an ounce.  It’s silly and superficial, but it was the first thing I thought.  Checking around Instagram, it looks like there’s only one product different between the different boxes which is again, disappointing.  Why have a huge survey about preferences if everyone gets the same box anyway?  There had been a much broader range of products in prior boxes, so it feels like maybe they were rushed to get this out on time (after last month’s shipping issues with Newgistics).  I don’t know.  I feel like I want to give them another chance because I have been pretty happy with the other boxes and support green/natural products, it’s just that the last two REALLY missed the mark for me and it almost feels like they’ve cheaped out.  Anyway, on to the contents!

  • Jillian Wright Congested Skin Cleanser – 4 oz/$38 – (sample is .5 oz approx, value of $4.75)  This smells almost exactly like the Suave Strawberry shampoo which is a good thing!  Lathers up nicely, smells really great, but unfortunately isn’t that reasonable in terms of price.  Coupon code for 20% off all Jillian Wright products.
  • Earthwise Beauty Pumpkin & Papaya Seen Organic Face Scrub & Mask – 2 oz / $32 – (sample size is .25 oz, value of $4.00)  Smells earthy and sweet.  I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks great and is the one product I’m really interested in trying.  At $32 for 2oz, it’s really spendy, but would be something I’d splurge on occasionally for a treat for my face.  I really love masks and deep scrubs, so this is right up my alley.  There’s also a coupon code for 20% off.
  • Unik Anti-Aging Day Cream – .34 oz / $18 – (per, 1.69 oz is the full size product at $57.95, so the sample is worth $11.66, not $18)  I don’t use day or night creams like this and have no interest in anti-aging products, so this is a wash.  I’ll still use the sample because it’s here, and hey why not, but this is just something I’m not interested in.  The misleading pricing information from the product card is just the icing on the cake.  There is a discount code for 20% off.
  • Unik Anti-Aging Night Cream – .34 oz / $18 – (per, 1.69 oz is the full size product at $59.95, so the sample is worth $12.06, not $18)  Same as above pretty much.  Even with the discount, this is so expensive for a type of product I don’t already use daily, so this is a complete miss for me.
  • Angel Face Botanicals Lavendar Oil Free Clarifying Serum – 4.3 oz / $48 – (sample size is .5 oz, value of $5.58) This smells really great, and will be fun to try, but isn’t something I include in my day-to-day routine and have no desire to at that price.  I did give this a try, and it sinks into my skin quickly without feeling sticky or heavy.  There’s a 20% off coupon, but I think I’ll just enjoy the trial size.
  • DSC_0797Vapour Mesmerize Eye Shimmer or Color – .11 oz – $20 – (sample size is .0096 oz, value of $1.74) This sample is probably the worst one in the box.  It looks like someone just cut slices of a full product and put them in little plastic snap boxes.  The slice measures 11mm across and 3mm high, which is how I got the sample size.  Fine, I’m a nerd, but this is ridiculous.  I’ve put a photo of that sample to the right (click to see full-size photo) because it was just that absurd.  How am I even supposed to apply that?!  The color I received is “Dusk 625″ which is a nice color, and the price is decent, but that sample?  Seriously, what the hell.  No coupon code either.

I added in the value of the samples to see what the box was actually worth as calculated out from the full-size products (Full-Size price divided by Full-Size volume then that number multiplied by the Sample Size).  Final total?  $39.79, most of which is the two anti-aging creams.  Take out the two creams, and the total comes to $16.07.  The box costs $18 per month.  Goodebox commented on my Instagram post to say, “We thought it might be helpful to share the actual value of the products you received. Angel Face Serum – $10, Vapour Organics Shadow – $3-5, DN Unik Day Cream – $14.98, Night Cream – $14.98, Earthwise Scrub – $4, Jillian Wright Cleanser – $6.33… For a total value of $53.29 (for $18),” but my totals don’t math out the same way.  I get that the “sample size” can be sold as a travel size at a higher price per unit than the full size, but that’s a big difference in numbers.  I’ll probably still stick in for one more box, but if it does nothing for me, it’ll be my last.

Sepia Saturday 248 – The Little Guy, Package from Home, Magazine Covers

This week was a tough one.  The prompt image for this week’s Sepia Saturday is nothing at all like what I have in my collection of family photos, and I’ve really been trying to both stay on theme and use only family photos.  It’s helped me a lot to further explore the collection of photos and bring me to some new discoveries, identifications, and even a few connections I might have otherwise missed in terms of genealogy and family history.  While this set isn’t of a family member, and it’s a bit of a stretch on the theme, the young boy in the photos was clearly close to my great grandmother, Olga (Powis) Kitko and great grandmother, Jessie (Battin) Powis.  Hey, he’s a little guy in a uniform, I’m going to make it work!

Luther Boyd Wagner was born 8 Jan 1916 in Coalport, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, the second child of Boyd Robinson Wagner and Mary Elizabeth Harris who you may remember from a previous Sepia Saturday post.  I was going back through photos to find an image for this prompt, when I realized that the boy in the sailor suit (right, about 1921) matched a young boy in another photo that had names listed on the back (left, Luther &  Merle Wagner, about 1917)!  I did some quick hunting to find out if Luther Wagner was still around and unfortunately found that he had passed away 27 Nov 1999 in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, PA.  Still, his family clearly had a strong connection to mine and it’s interesting to see how long they kept in contact, as children were born, grew up, etc.  It’s easy to forget, when doing genealogical research, that the folks who shaped the lives of our ancestors weren’t always blood related, and sometimes ties to friends and neighbors were stronger than the connection to family an ocean away.

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One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 14

MMmmm Pork.  Also, our goal meal, number 14!  It doesn’t look like much on the plate, but the whole thing was a delicious summer meal, even if it’s getting to be the end of summer.  Corn on the cob cooked on the grill with a Pork Butt Steak and a baked apple sprinkled with maple sugar then given a creme brulee treatment.  The wine is our homemade (and all local) PA Maple Reserve – 2 gallons of PA maple syrup and three gallons of local cider.  So really, aside from the spices, this one is all Pennsylvania!  Husband coated the pork butt steak in a home-blended rub, then grilled it with some smoke chips on the grill along with the corn.  The apple baked in the oven with some wine, and then got that sprinkle of maple sugar that he carmelized with the brulee torch.  Best way to eat an apple ever?  Maybe!

Pork Butt Steak – Countrytime Farm
Corn – Brogue Hydroponics
Apples – North Star Orchard
Maple Sugar – Miller’s Maple
Wine – Miller’s Maple and Linvilla Orchards
Non Local – Spices, salt, pepper, olive oil