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Monday, August 30, 2010

Rib-a paloooza!!!!!

Well maybe not quite that spectacular, but last night was ‘Rib Night’. Space in the big freezer is always at a premium at the end of the growing season so the ribs in there had to get eaten.

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Now i’m sure you remember our little friend from the greased pig contest on Saturday!!!! Don’t worry, he was not the guest of honor.

Instead some frozen ribs were thawedIMG_0679 and seasoned to perfection with the famous F&P Butt Rub (available exclusively in the F&P Farm Gift Shop). Then they rested all night and morning in the fridge. Our ribs are smoked over hickory for about 5 hours at 250 F.

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The key to our melt in your mouth ribs is the water tray in the smoker. It combines the steam and  smoke together at a low temperature so the ribs don’t dry out.

Now two racks of ribs, a big bowl of Beatrice’s Butter Nut Slaw, and IMG_0682some zesty Lemon Cucumbers (yes we still have some)  was going to be more than we could eat so we invited friends Nancy & Ringo and Maryann & George.

And to top it all off some Butter Nut Bread with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. Sorry that there are no pics of desert since it disappeared to fast for the camera.

Next culinary adventure is Mousaka….

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Day at the Fair

Yesterday Beatrice and i ventured up to attend The Great Pocomoke City Fair. Now don’t let the name fool you. Pocomoke is by no means a ‘city’, but they do have a downtown and some big box stores on the highway.

Now some of you may remember our old friend Larry Ward who is running for something (think big green straw tractor). Well he was at the fair and better than ever.

IMG_0653So, any idea what Larry has come up with this time??????

IMG_0655 YEP, a straw combine. We were so glad that he kept the John Deere colors.

But there was so much more. Like most country fair the 4H club is a big contributor. Beatrice will have lots of pics of the cute little critters. But at this fair we got to witness an old time favorite, that doesn’t happen much anymore. A greased pig contest. Now the simple thing you must do to win is catch this cute little piggy who has been slicked down with Lard. Now no one told this little piggy what was about to happen. That is why he looks so calm for the moment. This video is of the little kids.

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After the greased pig came harness racing which Beatrice will tell you all about.

Another great country fair spectacular is the Tractor Pull. This one was not a ‘sanctioned’ pull. Yes there is a sanctioned Tractor Pull circuit. In fact it comes to Pocomoke every June (we have always missed it). This pull was for antique tractors. WHAT???? you didn’t know folks buy up rusty old tractors and restore them to almost NEW?????

Well they do. Like the sanctioned pulls, they pull in their own weight class and some times add weight to pull in the next higher class. From afar here are some of the pullers for last night.

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This is the sled that they have to pull. It starts out at 15,000 lbs. and gets progressively heavier as you pull. The feat is how far you can pull it without going overIMG_06763.5 mph. The girl driving that antique Allis Chambers is Elizabeth Bradley. She was the winner in her class at 271.5 feet. Below is the video of Elizabeth's winning pull. Hang on to your seats,,,, this is really really exciting!!!!!

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By 9pm Beatrice and i were beat (and i was very full of ‘fair food’) and headed home. Today is ‘Smoked Rib Day’ with some friends. More on this later.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mushrooms in the Yard

Walking around the Frog & PenguINN  yard this week, I found these several varieties of mushrooms growing on the front lawn and in the garden among the weeds (whoops we meant to pull them). Summer weather on the VA Eastern Shore has been very hot and humid  with some heavy downpours and always morning moisture.

After doing an online search and pulling up thousands of mushrooms images, I decided to simply post the photos. Christer, you may already know these as you seem familiar with so many different types through your blog posts. I’m not sure if the same types grow in Sweden as well – my  knowledge of fungi is very limited.

These red mushrooms were growing in the front yard in various groups of singles, doubles and multiples. They were most concentrated around  2 large trees in the front yard.mushroom red (4)    mushroom red (11) Several were cut open as a result of lawn cutting the other night. The pink and yellow colors were very striking.
mushroom gray (8)
mushroom red (6)This is another type found near the above ones also on the front lawn. It was a grayish-brown color with very decorative edges (also nicked by the lawn mower).
mushroom gray (1) Several had been cut open.
mushroom gray (11) This last variety was in the vegetable garden hiding in the large weed patches around the tomato plants. Its coloring is brown and light tan. I tried to get the underside we well, but the mosquitoes were attacking that night.
mushrooms (1) mushrooms (4)While my fungi knowledge is nearly non-existent, I know that we will NOT be picking any of these to have in a salad.

Anyone (hint, hint Christer) please comment if you can ID any of these varieties. Curious minds want to know!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get a Room

Cautionthese photos could require parental guidance (depending on your age).

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unknown 2 bugs (1) DSCF5782 red bugs (1)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What are These Answers

Thanks ALL for participating in the What Are These? post the other day. Possum and Diana got BOTH correct. And, Christer and Chris were 50% right.  (Sorry, Diana, the zukes are done for this season.)

First was a MAGNOLIA bud – here is the resulting flower.

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Second was the leaf of a FIG tree – here’s the fruit.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What are These?

Here’s yet another What is This? x 2 .This time the quiz does NOT include veggies or any thing else growing in our garden.

The photo on the left is the bud; the plant leaf is on the right.

    

 This is a plant leaf from WHAT?

Answers posted tomorrow. NO prizes will be awarded.

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Who KNEW?  Butternut squash can be used for pancakes.
Grenville made these pancakes for breakfast last week, but they’re good anytime – breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish. Serve with maple syrup, honey, sour cream, or applesauce. And, if you try something else that works well as a topping – let us know cause we’re always looking for new ways to enjoy our garden veggies. This is another find from The Victory Garden Cookbook. You’ve probably figured out that this is my favorite vegetable recipe guide.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C cooked and masked winter squash
  • ½ C flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
Beat egg and mix with squash. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to squash and egg. Stir in butter and milt. Mix well and ladle onto heated griddle or fry pan. Cook on one side until bubbles appear, then flip and cook other side. Makes 6-8 small pancakes.
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These were good, but the mashed squash was cold and Grenville had to add extra milk to thin the batter, this made the pancakes a bit too moist. Next time, we’ll use the squash right after mashing it or let it warm up first.

GO get some butternut squash and try it!

Better yet, if you’re in the Frog & PenguINN neighborhood (Eastern Shore of VA), stop in and Grenville will GIVE you some and the squash comes with recipes too!
squash bugThe F&P garden produced a LOT of butternut squash. We harvested this week before the  squash bugs (see photo left) got to them.
More  recipes coming . . .

Cruise Bird Sighting

Birds seen on our celebration cruise – and afterwards.

Dangerous Cormorants?

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Osprey young ready for flight osprey (1)

Pelicans and Cormorantsshack on water (3)Sparrows at the dockP1030370

Celebration Cruising

Old man rhythm is in my shoes
No use t'sittin' and a'singin' the blues
So be my guest, you got nothin' to lose
Won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise?
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise?
Lyrics from Sea Cruise written by Huey “Piano”Smith

This weekend, Grenville & Beatrice celebrated their  -- hard to believe it already – 11th  wedding anniversary and, as promised, Grenville took Beatrice on a cruise. No, not a sea cruise, but a Chesapeake Bay cruise. And no, not to an exotic island, but still to an island – Smith Island, MD. This was a drive and cruise as we travelled 90-minutes to the departure port of Crisfield, MD.

condos crisfield (3)Crisfield was originally called Annemessex after a local river and it was a small fishing village. It was later renamed Somers Cove, after Benjamin Summers. When the business potential for seafood was discovered, the little fishing town grew into a city, due to the efforts of John W. Crisfield P1030142who brought the Pennsylvania Railroad to the town and another name change followed. Crisfield was briefly the second most populous city in the state of Maryland and known as the “Crab Capital of the World.” Today, it’s a tourist destination and hosts many annual events and festivals, including the popular National Hard Crab Derby.  P1030086Crisfield has a protected harbor which encourages fishing and cruising vessels. Crabbers and oystermen bring in their catches of the day via this harbor which is lined by seafood packing plants.  There is a large city pier which hosts numerous events. Our friend, Patty. hosts a great photo blog about happenings in and around Crisfield. Check it out for terrific photography.
BACK to the Smith Island cruise – I digress (as usual). Our ship was the Chelsea Lane Tyler. Yes, Lois, just a tad smaller than Freedom of the Seas.
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The passengers relaxed on the top deck and sides. Some really got into the experience. Meet our local versions of Jack and Rose -- think Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic – use your imagination!
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passengers (5) 2Rose-Jack (1) 1Rose-Jack (1) 3Rose-Jack (1)  2Rose-Jack (4)
We passed lots of ships along the cruise . . .including another cruise ship boarding for Tangier Island in VA (been there, done that).
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P1030210 After 45 minutes of cruising, we approached Smith Island, which is Maryland's only inhabited Chesapeake Bay Island that is unattached to the mainland by bridge or causeway. Smith Island is about 12 miles off the shore of Crisfield. The island was first mapped by Captain John Smith in 1608 and is named for Henry Smith of Jamestown, who was granted 1,000 acres in 1679.  Less than 300 residents live on Smith Island and boats ferry visitors, residents, mail and supplies back and forth from the island daily.
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P1030182Smith Island is a collection of small islands, most of which are not inhabited. There are three distinct communities: Ewell, Tylerton, and Rhodes Point.  Ewell is the largest, and is where the boats bring touring visitors – like us P1030250and the mail boat brings supplies.  Ewell is also where the visitor center and the island's 2 restaurants are located. Finding a place to stay on Smith Island is not easy as the lone motel was closed as so was this B&B – and it was also for sale.
Getting around is mainly by cycle and golf carts; we brought our own.
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Prior experience with rentals on Tangier Island left much to be desired in comfort and rideability.bikes (2)
Many buildings are in disrepair and riding around the island.
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P1030215 Two that are TOO far gone for repairs.P1030220
 P1030159 Some real estate had waterfront access with a welcoming committee.
shack on water (4)  shack on water (1)The Smith Island way of life is tied to the Chesapeake Bay; watermen harvest fresh seafood – crabs, clams, and oysters.  P1030148P1030147
After a day exploring the island not once, but twice, by bike we were hot and tired and ready for a relaxing (and cooling) boat ride back to Crisfield – NOT on this boat P1030161
wake (3) And we got a surprise after docking. Patty, a blogger friend we met a couple of months ago at the Marion Strawberry Festival (she does the wonderful Crisfield blog) and her husband, Larry, were looking for the Boyds.  Larry was at the Somers Cove Marina (where we docked) and Patty was at the city dock and rode her scooter to meet us. We went to dinner at The Watermen’s Inn, specializing in fresh, local seafood.dinner0810 (1) dinner0810 (2) dinner0810 (3)

Dessert was ice cream cones at the city dock where we watched a beautiful sunset – the perfect end to a wonderful celebration!
crisfield sunset (1) crisfield sunset (5) crisfield sunset (6)
An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. 
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