We Left our <3 in San Fran!

Angry Birds

Yes, I chose this weird shot...

We actually took a little vacation in February!  Check out the photos from our awesome trip to San Francisco!

Art 40th in NOLA

Obligatory Jackson Square Photograph

I whisked Art away to New Orleans for a 40th birthday weekend extravaganza.  Needless to say there was lots of birding, beer, and eating!

Live Oak Farms

I had cured and smoked a ham for Christmas dinner, but Ken had become concerned that it might not be enough for everyone. I disagreed at first (he had planned on getting a turducken to go with the ham), but decided after I got to SC that a second entree might be a good idea after all.

Christmas Eve dinner was going to be wild sockeye salmon, so I needed something besides fish or pork. After poking around a bit on localharvest, I found Live Oak Farms in Woodruff. Wednesday morning i drove to Charlotte to pick up Carly. Woodruff is an easy detour on the way back to Greenville and taking the wife on a food-related excursion is always a good way to start a trip!

It was an easy farm to find, and we were soon at their store. The only poultry they has was whole chickens and turkeys, so I picked up two 2.5 – 3 pound sirloin tip roasts. They also had farmstead butter and cheeses as well as raw milk. We were really curious about the latter, but they only had it in gallons the day we were there. At a different time of year (one where the refrigerator was not already packed) we would have bought some; maybe next time.

The Parmesan was wonderful – nutty and fresh. The butter was great as well (I used it to saute the green beans Christmas Eve). We also picked up a goat feta that worked well in Friday’s salad; moist without being soggy and with an appropriate amount of salt.

The beef, from Red Devon cattle, was high grade, flavorful and tender. As it should be. I browned it on the stove top, then moved it to the oven and roasted until it hit 125 degrees minimum. While resting it continued to cook and finished at 130. Because of the may things worked out, the oven wound up being pretty well stuffed. This resulted in some uneven cooking, but that fact was actually to our advantage. At least half of the meat-eating adults were the sort who were just unwilling to eat any beef with the slightest bit of color to it; there ended up being enough “medium” meat to satisfy their palates.

Souvenirs from our Trip to NYC

Souvenirs from NYC

Much tastier than postcards.

Local Honey from the Rockefeller Center Farmer’s Market

Alcyone Tannat Dessert Wine; from Uruguay. A port-like wine we had with dessert Thursday night

Vinedo de los Vientos Brooklyn Buzz Mead made from NYC honey

Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey another small batch distiller, I thought about picking up a bottle of this when we were in Denver, but I did not want to have to check a bottle of whiskey and/or let the TSA drink it.  Much easier to bring it on a train from New York than a plane from Colorado.

Bagpiper’s Scottish Ale; a fine example of the style from Pennichuck Brewing Company of Milford, NH.. Not too bitter, low carbonation, and it came in a 1 liter swing-top bottle!

Greylock Gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers; sawe it in a liquor store on Madison Ave; one of my vendors had called to tell me that there was a problem with the credit card I gave him. I decided to test this assertion by buying some booze for my wife. (there was no problem).

And, lastly, the twelve-pound loaf of Lithuanian Rye bread from Silver Bell Bakery in Queens.

[tags]food, travels, nyc, small batch,  artisinal[/tags]

Inauguration Day

Obama Cookie

Art and I made it down to the mall for the Inauguration of our 44th president today.  Art has been in DC for 16 year and I’ve been here for 12 and this is the first inauguration either of us felt compelled to attend.  We’ve attended various inaugural events in the past, but never seen the swearing in of a president in person before.  We met up with my sister Amy and headed down to the mall for our chance to see President Barack Hussein Obama sworn into office.

It did turn out that much of the published information about how to get around was wrong.  The parade route crossover at 12th street NW was never opened, so we had to trek down to 18th street.

I don’t think there will be another president in our lifetime that we feel the need to go to an inauguration, but you never know.  It was cold and there was an insane amount of people, but it was worth it.  I’ve never felt this good after an election, ever!  Tomorrow it’s back to work, but today was an amazing celebration of our country.

[tags]1.20.2009, obama, inauguration, i was there, washington dc[/tags]

Spring Grand Adventure

No other way to describe last weekend but a grand adventure.

Can you smell me now?

We set out on a spring Ramp hunt. As you can see from the picture of Art lounging in the Ramps, we found plenty. But…we also found this sweet little toad
Toad on Guard

who posed for a few pictures and then lead us right to:
Fruit of the Forest

That’s right – $50/lb morel mushrooms. That shot is actually of the exact morel mushroom the toad was kind enough to draw my attention to! We found about a dozen more.
Thanks be to the heart of the forestmebeli

There was also a good deal of cooperative wildlife that day, including this snake who posed for several shots.

Eastern Garter Snake

I can sum up Sunday in one word: Goslings.
The Parade

More insanely cute gosling pictures on Flickr.

[tags]spring, adventures, ramps, morels, goslings, foraging[/tags]

Camping with Bears

Bear Can Mosaic

Nothing like camping and bringing the bears with you. Our bears proved that while bear cans may be resistant for wild bears — the teddy bear has no problem breaking into it.

Pictures from our recent trip to the Adirondacks. A few more on Art’s Flickr account.

1. Carly finds inner peace atop the castle of yore, 2. Wright, Marcy, Algonquin, 3. Atop the Castle of Yore, 4. toad, 5. At the base of the slide, 6. We did a poor job of hiding our bear can, 7. We didn’t know chipmunks could do this!, 8. The largest bear made off with the oatmeal, 9. Rocky Falls, 10. the weaver, 11. reading, 12. 07-08-06 038, 13. The Vodka Drinker, 14. Stuck?, 15. We did a poor job of hiding our bear can, 16. Art, 17. toad, 18. We didn’t know chipmunks could do this!

[tags]heart lake, Adirondacks, camping, bears, flatobear, flickr, vacation[/tags]

Ramps & Trout

It’s spring and that means ramp hunting time.

The Ramp Patch
My Ramp Patch

Prepped Trout
Prepped Trout
Two farm-raised trout stuffed with ramps which we foraged for that afternoon. I threw in some herbed ricotta that Carly had whipped up a few days prior.

Grilled Trout
Grilled Trout
I have had trouble keeping fish from sticking to the grill, so I laid them on a bed of ramp leaves. The ramp leaves burned away and the fish came right off.

After getting the (hardwood) fire good and hot, adding a piece of dripping wet cherry really got the smoke going.


Dinner – April 22, 2007
Dinner, April 22 2007
Grilled Trout stuffed with Wild Ramps and Herbed Ricotta.
Served on a bed of Ramp greens.
Bread: Seeded Pumpkin Bread from Firehook
Beer: Bell’s Lager of the Lakes.

It was pretty much a perfect meal. Just enough food. The beer matched well. The fish was smoky but still moist because of the ricotta. The bread had enough sweetness to complement the ramps.

[tags]dinner, trout, ramps, cooking, local, seasonal, foraging[/tags]

It’s Fall Already?

How did that happen? It’s October? Okay then — Here’s what’s been happening since the last update in August.

When we last left you, Art and Carly had just come home from a lovely summer vacation in the Adirondacks.

For my birthday we repainted (yeah!) and re-organized the front room of the house! It’s the first time we’ve painted downstairs since we moved in 5 years ago! It’s now “Vanilla Scone” and the trim is a dark purple.

Rearranged Living Room       Re-arranged living room       Re-arranged Living Room

Art of course then had a couple of shows. The first was in Alexandria, and then back to Solomon for Annmarie Gardens and then down to Crozet, just this past weekend.

The Booth at Alexandria Arts Festival       Art's New Live Edge Shelves       Photo0045.jpg

Of course, being us we’ve been hitting the farmers’ markets and other local farms in search of seasonal local goodies.

Pick a Peck!       Hmmmm...squash       Goat

Then of course it was time for Holly’s wedding, so we were off to Philly! Not only did we get to enjoy being back in Philadelphia, but also getting to see the whole Drauglis clan in one place — including our young nieces. You can see lots of pictures from our adventures in Philly at Flickr.

Basset's Ice Cream       Art and his cheesetake       Self Portrait

Riley       Lucy       Philly Mural

Our Summer Vacation

We’re back from our trip to the Adirondacks. We went up to Heart Lake again and stayed in a lean-to at the Adirondak Loj. Yes that is spelled correctly. The people who started the lodge were very into the “simplified spelling” movement.

Our shared vacation was very short, but fabulous. The only bad part was that the weather was about 20 degrees colder than usual. It was fine during the day, but dropped into the 30s at night. It was really freaking cold! We did some hiking. We hit Cascade Mountain and hiked to Marcy Dam together, and Art took a solo hike so I could rest.

Of course, we also found a artisan cheesemaker to visit. We visited Nettle Meadow Goat Farm, where they tell you that “happy goats make good cheese.” I have to admit, those were some darn happy looking goats and some pretty tasty cheese. The people were very nice to us, and we even got a great tour of the farm, and met the goats up close and personal!

Here are a few pictures, you can see the rest at Flickr (Vacation 2006 Slide Show).

[tags]adirondacks, heart lake, adirondak loj, vacation[/tags]

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