One Local Summer 2012 – Week 20


I decided to go for something well outside my comfort range this week.  I’m not the world’s most daring cook, and tend to stick with easy things that I know.  I saw that our local poultry farmer had cornish hens, so I figured hey, wee little chicken, if anything goes wrong, I’m not ruining a whole bird.  In fact, she gave me a few ideas and some tips, and it came out great.  The wee little bird is stuffed with apples from our local orchard and some onion.  The potatoes and acorn squash were cubed and put in tin foil on the grill, as was the hen.  Everything came out great and made for a very filling meal.  I just love being able to cook everything on the grill and not make a mess of the kitchen!

Cornish Game Hen, Potatoes, and Squash:
Hen – Mt View Organics
Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Acorn Squash – Charlestown Farm
Apples – North Star Orchard
Onion – Jack’s Farm
Non local – spices, olive oil, pepper, salt

One Local Summer 2012 – Week 19


Another week all on me.  We finally got a REALLY ripe watermelon from the garden.  So ripe, it practically burst open the second I started to cut. The watermelon naturally has this glowy orange-yellow inside, so no, your monitor isn’t off.  The garden is pretty small, so I usually only get one watermelon, but that’s enough for me.  A local farm was offering a new product, veal kielbasa, so I jumped on it and got the last package.  It was delicious!  Spiced just right.  I decided to pair it with some zucchini (we’re STILL getting zucchini from the garden) cooked with onions and shitake mushrooms.  The neighbors and I have a little garden exchange program going on, so I picked up a bunch of peppers from them which I sliced, grilled, and stuffed with cheese from the same farm that had the kielbasa.  The beer is a maple porter, homebrewed with maple syrup from the state, even if the malt and grains aren’t locally sourced, I’ll call it part local.

Kielbasa with vegetables and watermelon:
Kielbasa – Birchrun Hills Farm
Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm
Peppers – Neighbor’s Garden
Watermelon – Our Garden
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Onion – Jack’s Farm
Non local – olive oil, salt, pepper

One Local Summer 2012 – Week 18


Another week on my own.  I think I worked up something pretty good though!  Pretty basic – good ole Pork Chops, with acorn squash and onions.  The fun part is the balsamic vinegar and fig sauce for the top of the pork chop which was made using figs from our wee little fig tree!  We just planted the little thing this spring and it’s already gifted us with a few figs.  Not bad for its first year!  The balsamic vinegar is obviously not local, but I needed something to go with the three little figs I had to extend them a little.  I was just so excited to finally have them.  The pork was pan seared in our cast iron pan and allowed to sit in the pan until it reached the proper temperature.  The onions and squash were also roasted up in a pan while the pork cooked.  Pretty easy!

Pork Chops with Squash:
Pork Chops – Countrytime Farm
Acorn Squash – Charlestown Farm
Figs – Our Tree
Onion – Jack’s Farm
Non local – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper.

Harry Battin

Going back to the Red Velvet Victorian Photo Album that I posted a while back, I think I finally made a wee little bit of headway on the identity of two of the photos.  I decided to see if there were any military enthusiasts out on the web that dealt with the British army around about 1890.  I was running under the assumption that the album was put together between about 1885 and 1900, based on some of the other photos that I can identify.  Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a niche for everyone on the internet, and I ended up finding a site on Victorian Wars.  My original posting and the replies are here in case you wanted to see.  I was able to locate the service record for Harry Battin and it matched up perfectly with two of my photos which appear to be the same man!  The folks in the forum and their knowledge is invaluable – they’ve helped me figure out these two and another photo and provided SO much information about the Army during that time.  They’re really something special!

Harry Battin enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on 1 October 1892.  Harry is Jessie Battin’s brother, Jessie being my 2nd Great Grandmother.  He lists his next of kin as his oldes brother, Alfred Battin.  He was born in Lawhitton, Cornwall on 10 Oct 1871.  On his record, it lists that he served in two campaigns, the North West Frontier of India 1897-98 and Tirah 1897-98.  He was transferred to the reserve on 10 July 1903, and discharged on 30 September 1904.  In 1905, he married Sarah Ann Maunder and had three children as of the 1911 census – Ivy, William Henry, and Alfred John.  In the 1911 England Census, he lists his occupation as, “Horse man on Farm,” and is living back in Lawhitton.  He died in 1951, but I don’t have much information on his death.  The last name is spelled either Battin or Batten.  On his service record, it’s Battin and on the 1911 census, it’s Batten.

This one was probably taken between 1892 and 1894.  His service record lists him as home (meaning anywhere in the UK) during 1 Oct 1892 through 31 Jan 1894.  I haven’t been able to find much on the photographer stamped on the back of the photo, but it’s on my to-do list.

This photo was probably taken later, as the folks on the forum suggested.  He’s posing with his foreign service white helmet which would mean that the photo was probably taken in India.  Taking that to his service record, he was in India from 1 Feb 1894 to 21 December 1900.  It’s a broader time span, but he had enough time to get his Good Conduct Badge (the stripe on his left sleeve, near the cuff).  There are no good identifying marks on the back to help me figure out who took the photo and when – the numbers are likely identifiers by the photographer to figure out who the photo belonged to (index numbers of some sort?).

Anyway, that’s my latest big discovery on the album identification process.  Again, I wanted to express my thanks to the forum members for being SO helpful!

One Local Summer 2012 – Week 17


I was on my own this week, so I did a recipe from last year since it was one of my all time favorites.  The husband does NOT like fennel, so I get to go wild and cook with it when he’s gone which is fine with me.  MORE FENNEL FOR ME!  It’s pretty basic – Sweet potatoes, roasted with fennel at 350F in the oven for about 45 minutes (or until the potatoes are just about tender), and then the sausage is laid on top for the another 30 minutes.  The way the flavors all melt together is just perfect, and it reheats well later too.  The wee green things in front are more Mexican Sour Gherkins.  I have ONE plant in the garden and it’s been going wild on me.  I haven’t found another use for them other than nomming them down fresh, but I’m thinking a big jar of refrigerator pickles may be in order soon.

Sweet Potatoes with Fennel and Sausage:
Sweet Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Fennel – North Star Orchard
Turkey Sausage – Mt View Organics
Mexican Sour Gherkins – My Garden
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper