I'd much rather read than write so it's not much of a blog...

Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of Summer

It feels every bit like fall. Good weather for going to the state fair, not so good for the tomatoes, eggplant and peppers still struggling to ripen.

We did our first trip to the fair on Friday to see llamas. One of the things I will never understand about The Mister is how he can hang out for hours in the llama barn at the state fair year after year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Spa

There's racing and then there's racing racing. I used to enjoy thoroughbred racing. I will be forever grateful to Point Given for giving me a way to escape the immediate aftermath of the events on 9-11-01. I spent a few days on the Cape that October before I picked up my aunt in Oxford (she was supposed to fly from Logan to Pittsburgh on 9-11) and after a short visit here, I drove her to my cousin's near Pittsburgh.

From Pittsburgh I drove to Ashland, KY where The Mister and I lived '78-'83, and then on to Lexington. I stayed at one of our favorite inns, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, caught two days of racing at Keeneland and visited Point Given and his stable mates, including Seattle Slew and Silver Charm, at Three Chimneys Farm.

It was a beautiful autumn that year and I was lucky to be able to take off the way I did.

Now I find it kind of sad that since then I've come to see horse racing as just another example of excess, another lovely notion ruined by too much money. And the connections of Rachel Alexandra are a perfect example.

As of yesterday, Rachel A. is scheduled to run at Saratoga on the 5th. Despite my misgivings, I'd really like to see her run. But, and this is why I'm trying to sort all this through here, the 5th is also the day the draft horses compete in six and eight horse hitches at the state fair and I always love seeing them.

'Tis a quandary.


First there's the race against late blight. I've picked more tomato leaves than fruit so far this year but weather conditions have suppressed the blight for the last couple of weeks and now I'm just waiting to see if the plants will hold on long enough for all the green tomatoes to ripen.

Then there's the race against the calendar; I'm still waiting on the first eggplant. I didn't have to protect them this year from flea beetles but I think I'll try to extend the season a bit for these beauties with a poly tunnel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Real Heavyweight

At this point in my life I've been routinely shedding possessions rather than adding to them. For one thing, over the past several years now I've limited myself to no more than one new cookbook each year but for some odd reason since I've been doing this the cookbooks have gotten huge. Why??

I tried to avoid buying my own copy of this tome. I borrowed a copy from the library and tried to be satisfied with that but it is just too lovely, the stories, the photos, the recipes, everything about it except the size.

page 578, Special Sablé Biscuits, plain & salted

page 588, Chocolate Parfait
made with Amedei Chuao and a Swiss meringue