Showing posts from November, 2010

the food coma's over

I will now take this opportunity to answer the questions I've been asked about the Farm's ENORMOUS Thanksgiving feast (previously mentioned in this blog.)
The final number was somewhere around 160 people. Everyone fit in the Farm's dining room and the room connected to it. We DIDN'T wind up spilling into the living room, which was a damn miracle. :)Yes, we did have leftovers. In the days since Thanksgiving, on the menu: turkey noodle soup, turkey pot pie and turkey chili. I am not a turkey fan, so the days following Thanksgiving are torture. What was the secret to my stuffing?!--I've gotten this question about a dozen times. Answer is BUTTER!! Butter makes everything better. If we slathered butter on the world's problems, then things would just seem so much better! No? The recipe I used is Mark Bittman's How to cook Everything. The recipe is below:

Mark Bittman's Favorite Bread Stuffing:1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter1 cup chopped onion1/2 cup pine nuts or c…

things to work towards

"May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand.

May the pain you have known
and the conflict you have experienced
give you the strength to walk through life
facing each new situation with courage and optimism.

Always know that there are those
whose love and understanding will always be there,
even when you feel most alone.

May a kind word,
a reassuring touch,
and a warm smile
be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts
as well as receive them.

May the teachings of those you admire
become part of you,
so that you may call upon them.

Remember, those whose lives you have touched
and who have touched yours
are always a part of you,
even if the encounters were less than you would have wished.
It is the content of the encounter
that is more important than its form.

May you not become too concerned with material matters,
but instead place immeasurable value
on the goodness in your heart.
Find time in each day to see beauty and love
in t…

please don't stop the music

I LOVE Pandora. I use Pandora on the nights when I can't fall asleep. I use Pandora when I am lazying around the house, like today, when it's cold and rainy out.  I use Pandora to play familiar music, but more importantly to find new music which I KNOW I will love. So goes today. I have been spending my post-Thanksgiving Day doing laundry, sitting in my pjs, listening to two new artists who I found on Pandora  and absolutely LOVE:

Gregory Alan Isakov (also plays with his band The Freight)
Young Coyotes

In the rest of my wanderings this morning I've stumbled upon a cool blog, Elbows, that allows people to join and share music in blog format. Pretty cool stuff! I found this play list about the ocean (I LOVE the ocean--FYI). So, check out the play list and check out Elbows' Blog if you LOVE music.
Full ocean-related blog here.

Alexi Murdoch - The Ragged SeaChris Isaak - Winter WavesFanfarlo - Drowning Men (acoustic version)Feist - Sea Lion WomanFrightened Rabbit - Swim Unti…

keeping my mind on what matters


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver

what Thanksgiving really means to me


nearly there

16 turkeys cooked, soon to be carved 50 pounds of potatoes, mashed50 pounds of Farm butternut squash, pureed and seasoned40 pounds of Farm Brussels sproutsover 225 cups of home-made bread stuffing with sage and veggiesrivers of gravy a heaping helping of lentils (for the vegetarians) 300 dinner rolls, heaping plates of butterhuge side salada mound of Farm cheddar, surrounded by grapes and clementinesFarm cider and watercoffee and tea and 36 pies and tarts
This is how we try and feed over 160 people. Remember last week when I said we had a count of 96? Yep, not anymore. Holy cats! Where are we going to put all these people!?

The Kitchen team's harvest report--the reports which each team presents on Thanksgiving, giving all of our visitors an idea of what each team does/"harvest"-- is nearly done. All is well. Now off to bed, in need of some pre-Turkey Day zzzs.


just grateful

"Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am grateful this morning. Grateful for the day off (having worked Saturday this weekend). Grateful to be clean and warm and laying on a soft bed. Grateful for Edith Piaf softly crooning and the cat napping next to me. Grateful for the gloomy, slightly drizzly day, so I can lay in bed and read and not feel like I am wasting a gorgeous fall day. Grateful for my family and friends. Grateful for a job where I have input and can feel like I am making a difference. Grateful. Just grateful. 

Today is one of those mornings where nearly everything I look at causes me to be thankful. I glance at my cork board and see the photos of my family; now inspired to a sense of gratitude for my beautiful nieces and nephews, my loving siblings and parents, my friends. I am thankful and excited for a wedding th…

just another reason why I love Glee

Glee - Singing in the Rain / Umbrella Mash-up

spinach ricotta gnocchi

I was so inspired with Andrea and Taylor's--of AFarmer in the Dell--gnocchi recipe that I just had to try it. TSO and I made it tonight and invited S to join us for a dinner of DELICIOUS spinach ricotta gnocchi, Farm roasted spaghetti squash with sage and my home-made tomato, mushroom, garlic marinara (which I had canned this summer; made with my own tomatoes!)
Here are some pictures I took along the way! Blogger is being lame and I don't want to fool around with moving the pictures, so I give you dinner in reverse: 1. Farm Spaghetti Squash (roasted then sauteed with sage). 2. My tomatoes now sauced.  3. Our spaghetti squash looks like dinner for two with the forks. The rest: Gnocchi from start to finish, step by (mostly) step. The last picture is the actual finished gnocchi (after boiling!)

Now I need to go get ready--Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) tonight! I am getting there hours early to get in line for good seats. Nine of us from the Farm goi…

harvesting much

I love the fall. And I love the way our old Farm house seems to change in the fall. With the cooler weather comes wonderful things like sweaters and sweatshirts; a huge stack of wood on our back porch, meaning more fires at our house; raked up piles of leaves and the smell of burning dead foliage; the look of the mountains around, as they've shed their spring/summer skins for the sleepy looking, muted hues of grays and musty browns. I love the northeast winds that blow at the house and rattle it a little in the night's darkest moments, occasionally stirring me from sleep, reassuring me that I am safe and warm inside. I even like Daylight Savings, which seems to layer upon us all a sense of tiredness. Tiredness because it is darker earlier; tiredness because it is getting cooler outside; tiredness from the work I see in the Kitchen's near future when we will produce a huge, spectacular meal.

The Thanksgiving count for the Farm, as of 11am this morning, was 95 peopl…

book art

Crazy book art. For more go here.  I would freak out if I had to search through the color coded books to find what I wanted. I need order and alphabetizing and genres.

late in the season

"Over and Over Stitch"
Late in the season the world digs in, the fat blossoms hold still for just a moment longer.    Nothing looks satisfied, but there is no real reason to move on much further: this isn’t a bad place;    why not pretend

we wished for it? The bushes have learned to live with their haunches.    The hydrangea is resigned to its pale and inconclusive utterances. Towards the end of the season it is not bad

to have the body. To have experienced joy as the mere lifting of hunger    is not to have known it    less. The tobacco leaves    don’t mind being removed to the long racks—all uses are astounding

to the used. There are moments in our lives which, threaded, give us heaven— noon, for instance, or all the single victories of gravity, or the kudzu vine, most delicate of manias, which has pressed its luck

this far this season. It shines a gloating green. Its edges darken with impatience, a kind of wind. Nothing again will ever be this easy, lives being snatched up like …

the eyes have it

I am trying to keep myself entertained tonight while I work at Alternative U Library. The kids are almost to their Thanksgiving break, which means they are all wired and hyper. I want to stand on the chair and shout "SHUT THE HELL UP!! GO STUDY OR BE QUIET SOMEWHERE!!" But, since apparently I can't do that and still keep my job, I am looking at bizarre photos. The first two were found online and the third picture is one I took.

don't buy the underpants

Mummy Dearest has me positively hooked on Natalie Dee, that's who made all the above pictures.

Also, on a VERY unrelated note, found this article about the Kurt Vonnegut Library

artsy fartsy

Today I worked a half a day in the kitchen. 5 hours time spent putting out breakfast; replenishing the salad bar; bringing in breakfast/clean-up; making beef sloppy joes; making vegetarian black bean Faision; making Dijon and mustard roasted Farm Brussels sprouts; boiling 13 pounds of pasta for dinner; setting up the dining room; getting lunch into the ovens and out into the dining room; cleaning up and doing last minute dishes. Busy busy bumble bees today. It was just myself and two other guys, so I went into spaz-mode where I try and do things as quickly as possible to maximize productivity. This always results in one things. Me getting hurt. At least it was only a burnt finger today--a nice, white blister on my middle finger, right below my nail. This is not nearly as bad as the huge blister/burn I got on my arm this weekend while cooking breakfast at home. My favorite fry pan's (favorite because 1. it was my parents' fry pan for years and 2. it is old, yet AWESOME!) handle…

looking for what I thought I remembered

"Fox Sleep" On a road through the mountains with a friend many years ago       I came to a curve on a slope where a clear stream flowed down flashing across dark rocks through its own       echoes that could neither be caught nor forgotten it was the turning of autumn and already       the mornings were cold with ragged clouds in the hollows long after sunrise but the pasture sagging like a roof       the glassy water and flickering yellow leaves in the few poplars and knotted plum trees were held up       in a handful of sunlight that made the slates on the silent mill by the stream glisten white above their ruin       and a few relics of the life before had been arranged in front of the open mill house to wait       pale in the daylight out on the open mountain after whatever they had been made for was over       the dew was drying on them and there were few who took that road who might buy one of them and take it away somewhere       to be unusual to …

my first Farm video and other photos

I promised pictures in my last blog, so here are a couple of gems:

Ok, it's short, but I felt accomplished that I finally downloaded something (albeit short) of Farm goings-on! Some of the bulls/oxen running towards me when I stopped by to say "hi," earlier today.  Our lovely bare apple trees. Notice the bucket on stand--that's for sand, as in sand-your-walk-way-it's-covered-in-snow-and-ice! I can't believe it has been in the high 50s/low 60s all week!  Our Tolkein-esque apple trees!  Hanging with the boys: bulls and oxen. The road home. Note the snow sprinkled on top of the leaves. We had a freezing rain/dusting of snow this past weekend!

life and times down on the Farm

I realized that I haven't written much of Farm life lately, so:

Well, Kitchen life is far less exciting these days due to our lessening fresh Farm produce. I feel like lately I haven't the energy or patience to step outside my cooking box with our routine fall bounty. From the Farm gardens we are getting: kale (dino and curly), chard (Swiss), cabbage, parsnips, turnips, leeks and this week we still had some broccoli. We are now breaking into freezer stores to utilize some things which the garden processed and froze this summer, and are also using store bought produce more and more (insert HUGE sad face here).  Nothing tastes as good as fresh AND recently (like that morning!!) picked produce.

Much to our delight we had a few calves born in the last couple of weeks, taking us to a grand total of 5 heifer (girl) calves, which is exactly what we wanted. Hooray! After Jasmine (you may remember her from here) calved we lost her to milk fever. (Will have to post pictures of the adora…

10 clever urban gardens | MNN - Mother Nature Network

a negligent list

Another gem from Uncle Walt:

"Spontaneous me"

Spontaneous me, Nature,
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am happy with,
The arm of my friend hanging idly over my shoulder,
The hillside whiten'd with blossoms of the mountain ash,
The same late in autumn, the hues of red, yellow, drab, purple, and
light and dark green,
The rich coverlet of the grass, animals and birds, the private
untrimm'd bank, the primitive apples, the pebble-stones,
Beautiful dripping fragments, the negligent list of one after
another as I happen to call them to me or think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely pictures,)
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men like me,
This poem drooping shy and unseen that I always carry, and that all
men carry,
(Know once for all, avow'd on purpose, wherever are men like me, are
our lusty lurking masculine poems,)
Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding, love-climbers,
and the climbing sap,…

library articles #8420

More interesting library related articles (from America Libraries Direct)

Most beautiful college libraries (Univ. of MI made the list!)

Bobbit National Prize for Poetry

Library Journal's Top Ten of 2010 (my question is how? 2010's not over yet...)

New York Times Best Illustated Children's books of 2010 (ditto with my question)

This article mentions the impending close of the Troy Public Library (the city I was living in before I moved back to MA). Such a shame; this library is gorgeous and was always busy when I went there.  :(

How to start a library

San Antonio's real life treasures found

Library Director in Canton tenting out to benefit the Detroit Area Diaper Bank

outside the music box

Growing up I pretty much just listened to my parents music and a sprinkling of popular music being played on the radio at the time. I think, no, I know I missed out on a lot of great stuff, so I love discovering artists who are new to me; artists outside of that box of my childhood/young adult repertoire.

Amos Lee: Black River

the dark sacred nights

I lost a friend in high school, not a best friend, but a friend who I saw nearly everyday; Paul and I had become friends through our activities in the school's theater department. It's funny how, after Paul died, I remember thinking of him every single day for a really long time and wondering, "will there ever be a day where I don't think of him?" And that day came, and perhaps I even wondered at myself the next day for not thinking of him the day before. And then many more days passed, and now my thoughts of Paul are fewer and much farther between: sometimes when I go home and pass not too far from where he died; sometimes thinking of him when I attend the church I grew up in, thinking of that cold winter day and a church packed for a funeral. And tonight I think of Paul after watching Glee--a show I am sure he would have loved.

Sitting and thinking of Paul tonight, I began to wonder if I will ever get to that day when I don't think of my Dad ev…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Trailer 2 Official HD

I just went after work today and picked up my ticket for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which opens next Friday, November 19th. So excited, so excited, doing a little happy dance; can't believe I have been waiting for this since July 2007!! It's time! YAY!

pimp mah alpakah

I don't know what's worse: how much time someone spends putting things like this on the internet, or how much I enjoy finding and posting things like this?
Found all these pictures through a google search of f"funny photos."