One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 20

DSC_1294-rgbMeal 20.  Meal TWENTY.  Thanks to the husband’s big interest in One Local Summer and his culinary creativity, we’ve pushed well past the goal of 14 meals and made it to twenty meals with still more planned.  He’s back home again and decided to work up a meal he remembers fondly from his childhood.  His mom was regularly cooking for a table set for 10 or more people, so recipes that were cost effective and served lots of people at once were the standard.  This is called Hutspot, a Dutch meal consisting of mashed carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and topped with bacon.  It actually dates back to the 1500s in Holland and was no doubt a part of Doug’s paternal family that came over from Holland in the 1950s.  History and dinner!  I’ll admit that it’s kind of bland (that’s the point though) but the bacon on top is a nice touch and the use of root vegetables means you could’ve likely made this most of the winter as well when fresh vegetables were scarce (pre-electricity).  Perfect time of year to introduce this into our One Local Summer set of meals.  On to the ingredients!

Turnips – Jack’s Farm
Carrots – Jack’s Farm
Potatoes – Our Garden
Bacon – Countrytime Farm
Maple Syrup – Miller’s Maple
Non Local – Salt, pepper

Goodebox November 2014

Another new fulfillment company this month (First Mile), but the box arrived on November 3rd without an issue!  It’s also a much better box this month with a range of products from face/skin to bath/body which is nice.  No real theme this month, other than a general idea of dry, winter skin and taking a break from the havoc of the holidays.  Anyway, on to the contents!

  • Zosimos Raspberry N Honey Face Mask – 4 oz / $28 – (sample is 1 oz, value of $7)  I’ve mentioned before that I love clay masks, and I generally use one about once a week.  That fresh, clean, tight skin feeling after the mask feels great, so I’m happy to see this sample in the box!  The price is pretty reasonable for the volume.  There was a little kerfluffle over the labelling since the product card said the product was vegan, but honey is kind of a hot button issue in the vegan community and from what I can tell, is largely not accepted as vegan.  It doesn’t make a bit of difference to me since I don’t follow a vegan lifestyle, but just in case you do, this product is definitely not vegan.  I gave this a test already (right after using the Tatcha powder).  I added enough water, but it clumped up in a few spots and the clumps wouldn’t work into the mask nicely – maybe those are the honey bits?  Not sure why it came out lumpy even though I mixed it in my palm well, squishing out the lumps as best as I could.  It’s definitely not as smooth as other masks I’ve used.  Dried up nicely, washed off easily, left me with that clean, tight skin feeling.  Followed up with the DN Unik day cream from last month.
  • Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder – 2.1 oz / $65 – (sample is .35 oz, value of $10.83)  I wasn’t sure at first what this was, but it looks like a face wash/scrub.  A really expensive face wash/scrub.  It’s not something I’d buy because it’s crazy expensive, but it will be fun to try something so spendy.  I did give this a try and didn’t notice any difference – it didn’t feel like it even cleaned or exfoliated.  The powder is very fine instead of coarse like a sugar scrub, so it doesn’t feel like it had the same effect that a coarser scrub would.  There’s also an offer for a free travel size product with purchase.
  • MyChelle Clear Skin Spot Treatment – 15 mL / $16 – (sample is 15mL, full size, $16)  A full size sample!  And, something I’ll definitely use.  Even though I’m in my mid-thirties, I  have breakouts (making up for my teenage years when I had so few pimples, it was almost criminal).  I love that it’s sulfur based because sulfur products seem to work better and quicker than anything else I’ve tried.  I gave this a quick dab on a spot and it doesn’t smell strongly of sulfur like other products do.  There’s also an offer for a free Argan Oil with purchase of the Perfect C Serum.
  • Lauren Brooke Corrective Concealer – 7 g / $14 – (sample is approx 3.5 g, value of $7)  I ended up liking the Finishing Powder from the July Box more than I thought I would, so I’m willing to give this a go!  I do have pretty dark under eye circles, but I find most concealers to be thick and cakey and feel weird.  We’ll have to see how this one works out.  There’s also a code for 20% off all products.
    Update 9 November 2014 – I actually really like this!  It’s not too thick of a concealer, so it tones down the dark circles without feeling cakey and blends in really well with my skintone.  Lauren Brooke is on the fast track to becoming a favorite brand!
  • EO Everyone Yoga Bubble Bath – 600 mL / $12.99 – (sample is 44 mL, value of $.95)  So here’s where I admit that I hate taking baths.  The idea of sitting in warm water in our teeny bathtub does nothing for me, and I can’t wash my hair in the bath tub, I have to shower because of my long curly hair.  If I’m using that much water, I might as well have clean hair too.  So, I don’t use bubble bath, except maybe once a year on vacation if the place we’re staying at has a fancy whirlpool tub.  I may try to use this as just a regular body wash instead and see how that goes  The scent is nice, herbal and fresh with just a hint of citrus.   The ingredient list though is amazing and I’m thrilled they don’t use SLS or ALS in the product at all.  There’s an offer for a full size bubble bath with $20 purchase.
  • Blissoma Scentless Stick Natural Deoderant – 2 oz / $14.99 – (sample is .15 oz, value of $1.12)  Yet again, I hand over my natural fanclub card when it comes to deoderants.  These just NEVER work on me, and a scentless one is going to have no smell to even try to cover up any stink that is bound to happen.  Also, the information on the sample says to wait several hours after shaving before using.  Just how is that supposed to work?  If I don’t put on deoderant right after a shower (which usually involves a pit shave), I start to stink within the hour.  Do you go out of the house without deoderant on and then apply it at 10am?  No, that just doesn’t work.  I do appreciate that the sample is in stick form instead of in a pot (smearing deoderant cream on my pits is just the grossest thing ever).  I mean, I’ll give it a fair try, but I’m not holding out hope that this will actually work at all.  There is a coupon code for 20% off.  
    Update 9 November 2014 – 
    Yeah this didn’t work beyond two hours.  It’s weird.  I’m not the sort of person who needs clinical strength deoderant.. good old standard Dove is fine.  This stuff went on chalky and left bits all over the floor and then offered no protection from odor or wetness.  Total failure.  If someone knows of a natural deoderant that works, I’d love to try it, but so far, I’m striking out.

Final tally gives us a box worth $42.90 (calculated by volume, not taking into account sample size packaging costs).  Aside from the deoderant, I really like everything else and will definitely use up the samples.  Even if some of them are things I wouldn’t buy or use in my daily routine, the box still brings me some nice treats and splurges that I get to try for the fun of it!

Sepia Saturday 252: Help yourself, name tags, 50th Anniversaries, serving line, marquee, pots

You know when you feel like you’re on a roll with themes?  Yep!  Two weeks in a row and I feel like I’ve got a perfect photo for the theme.  Even better, this is an update to an older post.



While these two folks don’t appear to be related to me, they played a part in my great grandmother’s life and kept in contact for a number of years.  I know I’ve mentioned before about how blood relatives weren’t the only people in the lives of our ancestors and it’s easy to forget that neighbors and friends played a role in their lives as well.  This is another example of that.  My great grandmother, Olga (Kitko) Powis, apparently referred to the daughter of Mr & Mrs William Howell as “Aunt” Nellie Eimer, but I don’t think they were actually related.  The term appears to have been symbolic.  Nellie was the daughter of William H Howell and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith who were married in 1863 in England and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 17 September 1913, just a year and a few months before Lizzie died on 1 December 1914.  Both came to the USA from Shropshire, England, bringing their two daughters, Nellie and Sarah, with them.  I found an article about their celebration in the newspaper, and you can even see in the photo above that the roses mentioned in the article appear on William’s jacket and Lizzie’s lap.  Pretty neat to be able to connect the article to the photo to have a very exact date for the photo!  From other photos, I know William made several visits to my great grandmother and her mother over the years – he shows up in a few photos with them before he passed away in 1920.  The trip is about 3.5 hours by car today, so I have to imagine they had some sort of special relationship to make that kind of journey a number of times though I’m not sure how or where they crossed paths.  William and Lizzie arrived sometime around 1882 or so, and Olga’s mother Jessie didn’t arrive until about 1890.  Jessie was only two years older than Nellie, but they lived in very different areas in England.  I’d love to figure it out one day, but it doesn’t appear that the Howells have any living descendants.  Nellie never had children, and while her sister Sarah had two children (Wilfred McCoy and Lucy Elizabeth McCoy Knickerbocker) it appears that Lucy’s child Frank Knickerbocker never had any children, and neither did Wilfred.  It’s sort of weird to think that folks who made such an impression on the lives of my ancestors have no living descendants of their own.

William Howell anniversary


One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 19


Still chugging along into October.  We should be winding down in the next month or so since the availability of fresh vegetables tends to fall off after the first hard frost.  Fortunately, our mushroom guy grows indoors in a climate controlled environment and still has PLENTY of fresh mushrooms every week.  I used a recipe this week, kinda.  As usual, I used the recipe as an idea and then modified it to suit the local ingredients available, putting the whole thing into one large casserole dish instead of individual ramekins to save on cleanup time.  What I should’ve done is made mashed sweet potatoes and made a sort of mushroom shepherd’s pie, adding in other root vegetables, but this still came out really great and surprisingly filling.  I used three types of mushrooms – Shiitake, Crimini, and Chicken of the Woods.  I’d never had Chicken of the Woods before, so that was a new mushroom to me.  It cooked up a lot like chicken with a thicker, more solid texture that was a little reminiscent of  extra-firm tofu.  The beer used was our “house” beer, the Flying Pig Stout named for a hilarious incident involving a pig shaped dog toy on a rope and a pot of boiling wort.  We pretty much keep a keg of that on tap throughout the year since stouts are a big favorite in the house.  It’s not really local, but it is brewed and poured in about a 50 foot radius which is far fewer food miles than trucking in beer from California.  What’s best about this is it’s all for me!  Husband would never touch a meal made nearly entirely from mushrooms, so the leftovers are safe.  Add some butternut squash ‘fries’ and a couple of slices of asian pear on the side and it’s a full plate!

On a side note, my annual saffron harvest is now over and I need a recipe that uses saffron and local ingredients.  I’m open to suggestions!  Keep in mind that I don’t/can’t eat anything that once lived in water, but will eat every vegetable available!  In past years, I’ve made saffron pasta and saffron polenta, so something new would be fun.  Maybe blue potato saffron gnocchi?

Onions – Jack’s Farm
Leeks – North Star Orchard
Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Butternut Squash – Jack’s Farm
Asian Pear – North Star Orchard
Tomato – Our Garden
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Sweet Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Non Local – Beer, salt, pepper, oil, thyme

Sepia Saturday 251: Bobbies, bellies, bums, brushes, beards

I’m a little late getting this one together, but better late than never!  Fairly easy theme this week for me considering I have two photos of men in police uniform.

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I believe both of these are of Earl Powis Sr.  The one of the left looks to be of a PA state trooper uniform and on the right, it looks like an Amtrak police uniform.  A story I recently heard says that Earl was a PA State Police officer and his brother Waldo also wanted to join the force, but he was married.  The PA State Police didn’t allow married men to join until 1963.  So, Waldo got divorced, but his application still wasn’t accepted.  I haven’t been able to verify that on paper records, but the timeline makes sense.  Most of this is speculation and stories.  I’m fairly sure both of those photos are Earl, but there are no identifications on the back side.  The photo on the left has a date, “Mar 29, 1960″ but nothing else to let us know who or where.  I believe Earl was also an Amtrak police officer which is why I’m saying the one on the right is an Amtrak Police uniform.  The Amtrak police was established in 1970.  There’s a number on his cap that reads “131” but I haven’t been able to trace that to any specific barracks or division.  Of course, I could be completely wrong on all accounts!

So, I guess this week’s prompt has given me a little more homework to do!  Had I started this three weeks ago like I usually do, I’d have more to show for the theme.  Now it’s time to wrap this up and try to get ahead of the game for next week.

EDIT – 26 Oct 2014: Having put a little time between throwing the post together last minute and now, I’m leaning towards those two photos being Waldo Powis.  I know he lived in Brooklyn for the last half of his life, and there apparently was a 131st precinct in Brooklyn at some point.  I still need to find out if Waldo was a member of the NYPD, but it’s worth persuing since I’m now 99% sure that’s him in those uniforms.  Time to ask living family members more questions!