Monday, August 31, 2009

an august dinner

Tonight, Eric and I whipped up a yummy, local dinner in about 23 minutes.
Yup. I'm very proud.

He had the brilliant idea to saute some green peppers we picked up from Suburban Harvest earlier, a red onion I got from one of my favorite local growers (organic, too!) and some local garlic. The smell of cooking is so amazing when you haven't really cooked in a while.

We used this super yummy whole wheat with flax seed pasta and that amazing jar of olive and caper marinara sauce.

It was sooooo good. The best part was getting a clove of garlic (he only halved them) in a bite. Oh, the goodness that is sauteed garlic...

And the salad was super yummy too. How's this close up action of the perfect peppers??

Don't walk, run to your local farmer's market and pick up some dinner! There's nothing better than super fresh veggies. Especially when you met the person who grew them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To market, to market...

Here are some photos that I took of the setup we had for the Suburban Harvest/my jellies booth at the Plymouth farmer's market last Saturday. I had so much fun being there, except that it was unbearably cold. Seriously. We were in a wind tunnel. My hands were super freezing and I had my hood up the whole time. But, Gabe and I had a super awesome time and I met a lot of cool people as well as saw a lot of people I already knew. Most from work.

we put the plants all on the ground; they made a nice display there.

the whole shebang

my jellies!

michigan milled baking mixes.

peaches and nectarines!

I'm excited to go again this week!


I have just bought two babies.

Unlike most moms, I will take them to school and quite probably to work when I have a lunch break.

I will have to feed them to make sure they stay awake, clothe them so that they don't get too dirty.

They will be my constant companions, keeping me up all night and begging me to play with them.

I am ready for this motherhood.

I have fallen in love.

The Open Sea...

I think that whale watching was more amazing than gliding for me. Even though flying is much more remarkable than being on a boat, there's just something about the ocean that called to me. That sounds kind of lame and cheesy, but it's true. I felt truly calmed standing on the deck of the boat and looking out into nothing but water and sky. I took so many pictures of the light. Light from the sky, interacting with the surface of the water. The clouds were amazing. The sunset was beautiful. Being in the ocean, 20 miles from shore, the sunset is one half of the earth and ensuing blue and gray is the other side. It was strange going from one side of the boat to the other. I just can't get over the ocean.

Can you feel the gentle lull of the calm sea?

Monday, August 24, 2009


These are all the photos I took while we were in the glider! It was such a cool experience. There is no engine, so all you hear is the wind on the wings. It's really like you're flying. In between thermals, you would move downward, then when you hit the next one it would go back up toward the sky! It was totally like a roller coaster. The pilot was really cool, too. He's been flying gliders for 30 years and even races them in Phoenix in the winter! Since gliders don't have engines, we were towed up by a Cessna. It was pretty sweet!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


As some of you know, I've been very obsessed with jam and preserving lately. It started in June when I made a batch of strawberry freezer jam and fell in love. I decided that I could really do this for myself, and maybe friends and family. When I started telling people about it, especially my customers at work, they were asking if I intended on selling it. I got a lot of, "I'd buy a jar!"'s. So, I decided that maybe I would sell it. But how?

That's where Suburban Harvest comes in. Katie and Jason (and Gabe, of course) are such truly awesome people, first of all. After I had been in a few times and had made a couple batches, I mentioned to them that I was making jam all day. They had the brilliant idea to sell it at the farmer's market, since they were going to get a table anyway. They can't sell it in their store unless I make it in a commercial kitchen that is licensed by the Health Department. While I keep my clean and everything, mine is not licensed.

So, I've been making jam every chance I get, going to the farmer's market religiously, and talking it up to all of my customers. And they have been to theirs! Well, we found out yesterday that I can't sell it at the market either, unless it's been made in a commercial kitchen. So, all of this jam that I've made (about 30 jars) needs to go somewhere.

I've decided to open up an Etsy shop devoted to jams, jellies and other canned goodies.

And Katie and Jason have been amazing enough to offer use of their licensed kitchen to me. Which means anything I make there can be sold at the market! It's kind of a pain to schlep everything there and back, but I think it'll be totally worth it. I hope, at least! I'm going to try to get another couple of batches in during the next couple days before the first market so that I have stock on the first day.

Today I decided (quite instantly and serendipitously) that I would start photographing for when I list things on Etsy. I did a round of Red Onion with Lemon Zest jelly (top four photos) and a round of Golden and Purple Plum jam (bottom two photos). The sun was quite bright, but I don't think it's too bad... I will probably end up reshooting at some point, but I thought it would be good to get some practice in.

I would really like to know what you think of them as product shots. Especially you, Matt! I'm no product photographer (studio was not my strong suit), but I think I can manage. If you have ideas for future shoots (colors, background, anything!) let me know. Please? I get my biggest inspiration and motivation when I have conversations.

I've gotta say, I'm totally loving the Red Onion jelly in the shot glass! It looks so cool. Do you agree?

P.S. Can you even imagine taking a shot of jelly? Gross!!

P.P.S. I promise in non-shot format, it's really really good!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Begin Day II

On our second day in Maine, we ate at a pizza and sub shop called, yup, Peppers. The service and food were good, and the place was pretty cute. We were kind of in a pinch. Oh, it was also wonderfully cheap for the area. I would return. But, I think I would get a hot sub. Eric's smelled so good!

These rocks were already at the campsite. I don't know if someone collected them and left them there, or if they were just there. I collected them all and lined them around the bottom of this tree. Oh, and I put our collected sea treasures from Lamoine's waterfront with them. I loved my little area. I took that small, perfectly round flat rock home :)

These are the boats at Lamoine that I mentioned in the last post. Aren't they wonderful all lined up there? See the boats in the barbor, too?

Also on the second day, we drive into Acadia National Park for a little bit before the glider ride. We really wanted more time in the park than we got (we were only there for about an hour), but we had to get to the airport. I think next time I go to Maine, I'm scheduling a whole day for the park. The view from this spot was pretty much perfect. There are so many islands on the ocean! And the mist... I think I may swoon.

On the Sea

We drove to Maine from Rochester, NY (as you saw previously). We left Rochester at around 8:30am and didn't get to our campsite until.... drum roll.... 3:15am. We couldn't believe it. It was quite terrible. But, the scenery on the way there (New Hampshire and Vermont and NY and Maine) was so amazing. Of course, we were on a mission driving, so I didn't really get any pictures of the way there. We set up our tent and blew up the air mattress with two led lanterns and the quietest voices we could muster, even though we were both so tired and bitchy. The campsites at Lamoine State Park were really nice. There was a firepit, which we never used, even though I thought we would. The picnic table was sturdy and perfectly sized. Even the bathrooms were nice! Individual showers (as in, each shower in a different room!) that were clean and warm. They cleaned the bathrooms twice a day! And everyone there was really nice and quiet and it was pretty much just a great camping experience. Oh, also... it's on the water!!

Barnacles!! I think these were the first wild barnacles I've seen. Unless I saw some in FL and I've forgotten... Lamoine is right on the ocean, in Frenchman's Bay. Love the name! It smelled like the sea and there are all kinds of little boats there. We walked along the rocks, but there weren't really any tide pools. All in all, if you're going camping in Maine and want to be close to Acadia and Bar Harbor, but not overcrowded, stay at Lamoine!

More ocean! I couldn't get enough of it. Oh, the rocks. This is still Lamoine.

Kayaks!! These pictures that are blurred all cool were taken while my camera was in a waterproof bag. I was worried that they would be horrible, but I really quite like them. As in I love them. These are the kayaks waiting for us at a beach in Bar Harbor.

Eric and I in our fatty life jackets looking very excited and much bigger than usual. It was pretty funny helping each other with adjusting the jackets and stuff. Especially at the part when I had to help Eric put his splash skirt on. Heehee.

Paddling out. We both had golden handles. I love that reflection! It was so cool being on the ocean, and in a kayak you're so close. The only thing that would be closer is if you would be swimming. And I wouldn't be up for it out in the bay!

We went with Acadia Sea Kayaks. We chose them because they claimed to be the most environmentally friendly tour option in the area, they only take smaller groups, and their guides are very knowledgeable about local wildlife, astronomy, history and the like. The small group was awesome. There was another kayak tour paddling out at the same time and they had somewhere around 12 people! What a pain. We only had Eric and I and then a family of four. Our guide (can't remember his name) knew the answers to all of our wildlife and other questions, but he wasn't really a conversationalist. Truth be told, he was kind of awkward. I would have liked it if the person who was touring me would have been more talkative. But, even with that, we had a really great time.

We were in tandem kayaks. Eric was in front and I was in back, steering. Before this, I had only been in my mom's kayak and another river kayak, and in those you just steer with the paddles. But sea kayaks have a rudder. It was kind of hard to get used to, but very easy once I did. We circled around two islands...

The sun was starting to go down...

We went by this cove, where the waves were washing over rocks and flowing back out and generally being very beautiful. I wanted to just stop there and be hypnotized. But, we had to keep going. I love the light coming off of the paddle in this photo. Maybe I should cover the lens with a piece of plastic more often! Oh, and also sprinkle water on it :)

Eric liked hunting for crab claws. They were kind of creepy, especially when he tried to pinch me with them! He was very proud of this beast he found.

Once we beached on the island, I could take the camera out of the bag and get some clearer photos. The sky was beautiful. Look at those clouds!

Beached kayaks. We landed on Burnt Porcupine island. All the islands around there were named porcupine, because of the tall pine trees that made them look like the backs of porcupines. There was even Sheep Porcupine Island, where they used to graze the sheep for the summer. Why? No predators!

I want to go back to Maine right now. I could not get over the ocean. I think I have to live close to the ocean some day. Probably the west coast, but I would settle for Maine if that didn't work out... Just look at the contrast between the rocks and the sky. I'm in love.

Eric spent his time on the island looking in every single tide pool. He found some cool shells and part of an urchin. I found a whole urchin! But it got squished in my pocket on the way home, so now it's only 1/3 of an urchin. Still cool.

Back in the kayaks. We paddled the other way around the island, so we could see the sunset. It was really beautiful. I found myself really really interested in the way the light played on the water and the division between water and sky. And just the water itself. The ocean is so much clearer than a lake. I'm just not used to it. And even... I don't know, there's something that is just different.

I mean, really. Just look at that. Need I say more?