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Posts Tagged ‘Local Food’

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Roadside stands, farmers markets, seasonal enterprises – they are the heart and soul of summer in the Midwest – and probably in your neck of the  woods as well.

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I didn’t buy the Speciality Basil Bouquet (top photo), but, I couldn’t resist taking a picture. The arrangements look, and smell, of summer. I grow my own basil along with thyme, oregano, and sage in a whiskey barrel on our deck. I love to step outside and snip fresh herbs for our dinner, and I love slipping herbs into bouquets – or just in a jar of water for color and ease on my countertop.

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The bouquet of zinnias, above was from The Farm, a roadside market not far from our house. They grow their produce on two farms nearby and have a large plot in back of the barn/store where they grow flowers that they sell from the stand. The bouquets are picked and arranged each day and last for most of a week. This bouquet has strawflowers and Billy Buttons, which should also dry well for Fall arrangements.

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Last week, onions, new potatoes, zucchini and string beans were available. One glance and I knew what i would be making for dinner that night and leftovers thereafter – Greek string beans and potatoes! I used some freshly picked mint leaves from another pot on the deck and it was, I must confess, unabashedly, THE BEST Briami  I have ever made!

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Sweet corn is abundant now. I prefer to get corn from Farmers Markets and stands, where I know they are as locally grown and as fresh as possible, but, there are also berries, and fruit, much of which is coming in from Michigan. These yellow plums are quite sweet and juicy.

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What are seasonal delights are you enjoying now?

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imagesI was mullioned, unexpectedly, and through no fault of my own; attacked as I entered the hallowed halls of the public library.

Mullioned. On a bright and beautiful Saturday afternoon, doing what I do best;  accruing as many books from as many libraries as I can, often in a single day. I know, I know, I need help, but, what is a girl to do who loves books and bookish places?

I had several library books to return and made excuses to myself that I should go into the library rather than use the return box available in the parking lot. Yes. I needed to go in, just in case there was a book – or two or more – sitting on the new book shelves or the shelf in one of my favorite libraries, cleverly called “Your lucky day”. There was one waiting, just for me. My lucky day, indeed, or so I thought as I was then lured upstairs and came down toddling down with several audio books to boot.

Heavily laden with a half dozen checked out items, I hobbled over to my car and suddenly remembered a book that Rachel over at BookSnob reviewed that I knew was at a neighboring library. So, what did I do? You know me well. I motored five miles, then around several blocks as I skirted a neighborhood celebration, and into another parking lot in my library hopping marathon. I entered the vestibule, where I checked out the sale books. At 10 cents a book, I just could not pass up the racks and took a quick look.

Restraining myself from grabbing a few books to purchase, I opened one of the two glass doors to enter the library as a man pushed the other one outward to leave. It was then that I was mullioned! That center beam of heavy metal, the mullion, came loose and whacked me on my left shoulder. The exiting man pulled if off, with an “Are you okay?” . Momentarily breathless, I was mostly stunned and it hurt more than a bit.

Still holding the mullion, he called to a librarian, who showed great concern for me, offered me ice – or an ambulance. I could move my shoulder, raise my arm, nothing was protruding. I knew I would have a colorful bruise, but, that I was otherwise alright. Mostly, I was so very grateful that this heavy metal hit me and not a child, who would have surely been badly injured, and I said as much. The librarian was very nice and called me the next day to see if I was okay.

So much for reading in “stile”, wouldn’t you agree?

Would you like to see what I’ve been reading?

 

“Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm”, by Forrest Pritchard was a delightful, informative, and often very funny book that I suggest all who are interested in sustainable farming, farmers’ markets, locally grown meat and chicken,  and the slow rise of a downed family farm should read. It was my lucky day find, which I finished in a few sittings.

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“Laura Lamont’s Life n Pictures” by Emma Straub first came to my attention at A Work in Progress where Danielle wrote an intriguing review about a girl from Door County, whose parents run a summertime theater. When tragedy strikes her family, Elsa Emerson vows to one day flee to California and become a movie star. Elsa does, first marrying an actor from the summer playhouse, then heading for California, where he gets bit parts in movies while she is home, having babies. After meeting the powerful Hollywood executive, Irving Green, at a studio party, Elsa life changes. Irving tell Elsa, who is pregnant with her second child, to have the baby, lose 30 pounds, change her name to Laura Lamont, and come see him. He will make her a star, and he does. The book spans 50 years of Elsa/Laura’s life and the studio system era of Hollywood.

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“Code Name Verity” is a young adult book about a woman who is a secret agent during World War II. Captured by the Gestapo, she confesses secrets to save her life. Or does she? After surviving the gauntlet at the library when I went in to check it out, I’m really looking forward to reading this.   I’ve linked to Rachel’s review of the book above.

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