One Local Summer 2015 – Week 17b

Biscuits and gravy – true comfort food.  This is quickly becoming an occasional favorite of the husbands (and, let’s be honest, he’s not alone), and as I’m sitting here writing this up, I’m realizing just how much One Local Summer has encouraged us to cook more from scratch instead of eat out of boxes.  Eight years ago, I’m not sure we would have considered this worth the bother, but now?  ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY.  The biscuit dough is SUPER easy to make, and as of this round of One Local Summer, we’ve embraced that which is lard.  Lard!  Even the word has a negative connotation, and is used as an insult.  It isn’t a replacement for olive oil which is a far healthier fat, but when put up against butter, it’s got less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat).  Of course, you want the stuff that’s un-hydrogenated, and I believe the tub we got from the farmer’s market is just plain rendered pork fat.  I honestly can’t tell a difference in the taste either.  To make things a little more healthy, we added a bowl of fresh berries and peaches, and of course that mug of cold brewed coffee.  A side note about the raspberries – the little invader raspberry bush that pushed under the neighbor’s fence into our yard has been producing about a cup of berries a day.  We’re happy to have this new addition to our garden and enjoy fresh berries almost every evening now!

Buttermilk – Maplehofe Dairy
Sausage – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Lard – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Flour – Mill at Anslema, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Raspberries – Our Garden
Peaches – North Star Orchard
Non Local – Salt, Pepper, coffee, baking powder

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 17a

We got ahead of ourselves this week and had two local meals which is of course, never a problem.  Two years ago, I had made something very similar to this when I was home alone, which is why when husband suggested it as something new, I said OH that old thing, been there, done that, completely forgetting that he hadn’t!  So, here we have Philly Cheesesteak stuffed peppers which turned out great.  On the side are french fries with homemade fruit ketchup using peaches from our tree.  Next is a salad with blue cheese dressing and bacon.  Finally, to round out the dinner, Blackberry wine.  The whole thing was delicious and disappeared quickly!  It made for great leftovers too, the mark of a really excellent dinner.

Peppers – Charlestown Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Onions – Charlestown Farm
Blue cheese dressing – Birchrun Hills
Bacon – Countrytime Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Tomatoes – Full Circle CSA in salad, Clover Hill Farm in fruit ketchup
Chip Steak – Backyard Bison
Cheese – Yellow Springs Farm, Goatzerella
Potatoes – Our garden and Charlestown Farm
Non Local – Salt, pepper, olive oil, spices

Kloverbox August 2015


My second Kloverbox has arrived at the very end of August.  It’s odd to have both August’s Kloverbox and September’s Goodebox arrive in the same week, but hey, that’s mail I don’t mind receiving!  A MUCH better box this month for me – I’m not entirely sold on the whole “detox” thing though.  The way I see it, unless there’s been an honest to goodness scientific study done on the ‘detox’ effects, it’s totally malarkey.  You ‘detox’ every time you breathe, sweat, go to the bathroom.. it’s a process your body does naturally, and products that claim to detox probably don’t do anything to remove “toxins” from your body since that really comes from the inside out, biologically speaking.  That said, these are still wonderful products just as they are, even if they don’t necessarily detoxify anything – using natural ingredients is definitely preferable in my opinion, and all of these fit that bill!

  • Angel Face Botanicals Super Detox Facial Cleanser – 2.3 oz / $13 – (Product is full size)  This may be my absolute favorite thing out of the box!  It dispenses in a thick grey cream thanks to the charcoal content and creates a creamy lather on the skin.  The scent is out-of-this-world amazing though, thanks to all the plant extract and oils, and I’d absolutely consider repurchasing this one just for the scent alone!  It’s basically my favorite bar soap in liquid form.
  • Jacq’s Organics Fancy Detox Cleansing Bar – 3 oz / $6 – (Product is 2.5 oz, value of $5)  Yes, I checked the weight of the bar and it’s a half ounce short of the weight listed on the package.  While I haven’t tried this yet, it smells really lovely and contains all the ingredients I like to see in a soap and the charcoal gives it that lovely black color.  It almost smells a bit like anise but not overpoweringly – it’s scented but not extremely heavily.
  • Bedrock and Bloom Smart Ash – 1 g / $3 – (Product is sample size of 1 gram)  This was something completely new for me and I never knew anything like this existed.  Even though the ingredients list says it has orange peel extract and mint extract, it’s completely flavorless/scentless.  It does create a HUGE mess and will stain just about anything it comes into contact with.  I can’t say my teeth and mouth felt extrordinarily clean after using this – it’s so dirty just on appearance that it took multiple rinses to clear out the charcoal from my mouth and I didn’t get that squeaky clean feeling I do with regular toothpaste.  I’m glad it was included since it is such a different sort of product, but, it’s just not for me.
  • MyChelle Wrinkle Spot Treatment – .27 oz / $38.50 – (Product is full size)  I guess I’ve never been big on wrinkle-reducing treatments since they seem like a waste of money – time is going to catch up with you sooner or later and trying to delay the inevitable would be like trying to stop a freight train.  I don’t see the point (for me).  The product is in a rollerball tube that goes on smooth and absorbs quickly.  I tried it on my forehead, and havent noticed any difference.  To me, those wrinkles are badges of honor for my expressive face showing just how often I’ve laughed, smiled, frowned, squinted, raised one eyebrow, etc.  Wrinkles aren’t a problem for me that needs fixing, but I’ll still go ahead and use this product to see if it works.
  • Traditional Medicinals Herbal Tea Samples – 16 bags / $4.99 – (Two bag sample, value of $.16)  I’m big into tea, so even if I don’t quite buy into the health benefits these teas say they have, I’m still going to use them!  It’s still summer though and not quite warm tea season, so I’ll have to report back on how I feel about them later.  The dandelion root tea is the most interesting to me becase the information online says it’s basically THE tea for the coffee lover since it’s darker and somewhat bitter.

Total value comes to $59.66 with over half of that being the MyChelle wrinkle treatment.  There are a bunch of coupons inlcuded on the product card that expire at the end of the month or later, an improvement over last month’s box.  Overall though, I’m rather pleased with what arrived in this month’s box and am looking forward to the next one!

Sepia Saturday 295: Bridges, Fog, Buses

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Another Sepia Saturday, and we’re inching closer and closer to the big 300!  In case it’s not clear, the two men in the picture above are sitting on a bridge which fits me into the theme this week.  On the left is Harry Oscar Frederick “Fritz” Powis (1903-1972).  On the right is Alfred Herbert “Herb” Powis (1892-1926).  This is one in a series of three photos taken at the same place with different configurations of people, obviously marking the occasion of Herb returning from the Army after World War I.  From a date on one of the other photos, these were taken March 1, 1919.  Herb married Junua Goldie Patchin on 25 April 1918 in a quiet, small ceremony just before leaving for war.  The local newspaper reported, “The young couple slipped quietly away and it came as a gerat surprise to their many friends and relatives.”  From Herb’s obituary, we learn, “He entered the Army in June of 1918 and he was a Private in Headquarters Co., 162nd Infantry.  He was active service in France for nine months and was honorably discharged from the Army May 1919.”  I haven’t been able to find out much about his time in the Army, but the obituary points to an illness that he brought back during his time abroad.  His death certificate indicates he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at age 33.  I can’t imagine his family thought much of the Army after his service abroad is what killed him slowly and painfully.  Below are the other two photos in the set.  And now?  Now we cross the bridge and look forward to the next Sepia Saturday!

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One Local Summer 2015 – Week 16

PASTA!  One of my favorites.  We had a few leftover jalapenos from prior dinners and husband thought, hey, jalapeno pasta!  I thought hey, that sounds like a fun thing, until I realized, later, that when you puree jalapenos, you basically make liquid pepper spray and aerosolize a little bit of it into the air when using the stick blender.  Suddenly, it was not such a fun thing.  However, already having the jalapeno puree in progress, I soldiered on and finished the pasta which did lend a nice spice to the dinner.  Not something I’d do again (I learned my lesson the hard way).  The sauce was made from local tomatoes in a gigantic batch along with peppers and onions.  The plate was completed with pork Italian sausage.  It’s a pretty basic, classic sort of meal, but this is comfort food to me, coming from an Italian background.  Add that now almost mandatory tomatoes and cucumbers salad and a glass of wine and that’s a meal!

Tomatoes – Full Circle CSA
Cucumber – My Garden
Flour – Mill at Anslema, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Jalapenos – Charlestown Farm
Tomatoes – Clover Hill Farm
Peppers – Clover Hill Farm
Onions – Clover Hill Farm
Wine – Chaddsford Winery, Proprietors Reserve
Non Local – homemade vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil