March 19, 2013

December 31, 2009 Another Year

Filed under: General,◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Friends — sharon @ 3:35 pm

New Years' Eve
Older and deeper in… Well, it’s been quite a year. We are thankful that business has not been as bad as it could be. And that we are warm inside despite this morning’s dusting of snow, not hungry, and relatively healthy. We’ve made our donation to Feeding America, and we’ll make more, I think, because the need is so great.

I can’t believe this blog is now 1 1/2 years old. I had hoped that having a blog would make me more productive, more communicative, even more creative – and it does provide a certain amount of pressure to produce something (anything) meaningful, that someone besides us will actually care about. I’m not sure we’ve been very successful, and I know we’ve been at times neglectful, but the blog has not always been the first order of business. Perhaps the year to come will see us more loquacious, more inspired, even more profound!

The folks on the farm are hunkered down in the cold snowy weather: Our garden chicken,
New Years' Eve

And one of the fluffier neighbors.
New Years' Eve

Since we are inside and warm, we plan to stay that way, celebrating marking the passage into the new year curled up here at home, probably sound asleep at midnight. I know I’ll be crossing out dates for a while, as usual, but otherwise will neither curse nor welcome the passage.
New Years' Eve

And we’ll all be looking through the chilly mist that hangs in the air, hoping for that first glimpse of a spring thaw, ready to go round the seasons once again.
New Years' Eve

Happy 2010 to all our friends, readers and customers. We’re looking forward to getting to know you all better in the coming year!

March 18, 2013

September 22, 2009 Shades of the Night

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Food,◦Friends,◦Gardens — sharon @ 3:03 pm

There are a number of plants in the nightshade family, most prominent among them the potato and the tomato. Late last night, President Obama was on the Late Show with David Letterman, and accepted a gift from an audience member – a heart-shaped potato. Did you see that dinky thing? That was no potato, that was simply an aberration! At least, that’s how it appeared compared to our potato, posted on this blog back in April:
lovin' potato

Now that’s a heart-shaped potato! I knew I should have sent it off to the White House!

In other nightshade news, there are two new appearances of Tim Stark on the net. One is from NPR’s Science Friday on the subject of late blight, the same problem that caused the great Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century. This year it’s wreaked havoc upon the tomato crops in the northeastern US.  And there’s another video just up on youtube. It’s an intro for a video chefs tour of New York city being produced by the website Much of the video is filmed at Tim’s farm and at his market stand in New York, at the Union Square Greenmarket. Here’s the intro:

Can’t wait for the rest of the tour! Thank God that many of the tomatos have so far escaped the blight. I’m not tired of them yet, nor have I frozen enough to last me over the winter.

August 30, 2009 Big Tomato Time

Filed under: ◦Family,◦Food,◦Gardens,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:30 pm

This year I planted a tomato with a very colorful name: Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter. I guess it’s called that because Charlie’s tomatoes produced so well he could pay off his house?? Tim has been raising these for years, but I never tried one in our own little garden before. All the tomatoes took their time this year, but this one’s finally here, and worth the wait.
Radiator Charlie's

These tomatoes may not be exactly round, but they are BIG! Not too big, but this one, for instance, weighs in at 1 pound 10 ounces, and you certainly don’t need too many slices for your sandwich. In fact, you may have to make a little bit bigger burger than usual, or you could lose it under a slice like this.
Radiator Charlie's

The juicy, meaty slices you see above were consumed with our baked salmon last night. Mmmmmm. But it took until lunch today for the two of us to finish just this one tomato!

March 17, 2013

August 10, 2009 Tomato season revisited

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Food,◦Gardens — sharon @ 3:53 pm


tomato timeAs we do every year, we’re again celebrating tomato season. Because of a cool, wet spring and early summer, the tomatoes were late to arrive here, but are now ripening in great numbers. And today Tim, our resident farmer and tomato guru, was once again on the CBS Early Show, sharing his tomato expertise.
Here’s the story, complete with a couple of his favorite recipes.

And here is the video:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

March 15, 2013

June 6, 2009 Today in the garden

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Food,◦Gardens — sharon @ 2:32 pm

Today we spent the morning selling at our local antique market, so didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend gardening, but this afternoon did manage to put in a few basil plants among our tomatoes. After that, I went to the field to see what I’d find for dinner. It had been rainy all this week until today, so I hadn’t been looking, and was amazed how much everything had grown.

We had stopped on the way home and bought a fresh tuna steak, so tonight’s menu is blackened tuna served on a bed of steamed rice over arugula. with creole mustard on the side – we picked two different kinds of arugula in the garden, but I think we’ll use the wild variety with this dinner because the flavor’s a little stronger and nuttier. The regular is on the left with the lobed leaves, the wild on the right is more deeply notched and jagged.

We’ll also have asparagus on the side – can’t get enough and there are only a couple of weeks left in the season. But while I was getting the asparagus, I got more as well. See, there’s rain predicted for most of next week as well, so I figured I might as well be prepared. Here’s some of today’s harvest:

And I’m not sure about what we’ll have for dessert, but it’ll include this patriotic assortment:

OK, it’s only patriotic because of the blue plate, but I like how the red and the white strawberries look together on the cobalt blue. Now, will it be vanilla ice cream, or New York style cheesecake?

June 1, 2009 Peony time

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Gardens,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:26 pm

Memorial day, first of June, or whatever milestone you use to mark it, this is the time of year that the peonies bloom. There are long rows of peonies along our driveway, and for the two ot three days from the time that they open until it rains and they’re beaten to the ground, they’re delightful. So today, before the showers and thunderstorms that are in the forecast for tonight and the next three days, was the time to pick some to enjoy indoors. The smell is luscious.


One thing that I never realized until maybe 10 or 12 years ago, was that there are particular vases for peonies. The two shown above, Japanese, show peonies on them along with exotic birds. These belonged to my parents, though I can’t say I remember them from my childhood. I do remember my Dad’s gardens, though, and the peonies that grew at the end of the yard, so perhaps these vases were actually used for peonies years ago. Since the vases became mine, they have yet to pass a springtime without their proper contents.


I found another peony vase among our things, too, not sure where this one came from, except that it’s marked Germany. So while the two that match find their usual place on the mantel, the odd one out will be upstairs, further spreading the scent and color of spring.

March 14, 2013

April 13, 2009 Comfort Food – Potato Love

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Food,◦Vintage — sharon @ 5:42 pm

One of my favorite meals that qualifies as comfort food is one that we make often in late summer, stuffed green peppers. Whenever we can pick them fresh, we’ll make them as often as once a week, in a double batch, and freeze half for later use. This week we’re using the second last frozen batch, and some time in a month or so we’ll use the last, praying for the new crop to hurry up!

With this meal, we always enjoy mashed potatoes too. Getting ready to make them, I reached into the bag of potatoes and pulled out a few, including this one:
lovin' potato
It goes well with the vintage Tammis Keefe kitchen towel, doesn’t it? Gotta love it!

Of course, I couldn’t bear to mash it, but now I have a dilemma – what to do with it? Sell it on eBay perhaps? Slice it thin and make heart-shaped chips? Or is there a way to petrify and preserve it?

March 20, 2009 Spring

Spring is finally here. It’s chilly today, with snow flurries early this morning, not atypical of the first day of spring, but we’re seeing more hours of daylight, and the temperatures in general are rising.

Though spring is our most eagerly awaited and anticipated season, it’s also the one that brings the most responsibility. It’s time to ready the garden for planting and clean up winter debris, and also time to prepare for our spring season of outdoor antique sales as the weekends warm. And it’s a time for beginning new projects, as if we didn’t already have plenty on our plates. Luckily the season brings with it a burst of energy; hopefully the energy lasts long enough to accomplish a reasonable number of the tasks.

Between chilly gusts of wind today I managed to photograph a quilt that I thought was appropriate to early spring both in color and theme. I don’t know if the pattern has a name, or whether it’s supposed to represent anything in particular, but the idea of flowers along with the preponderance of green along with a little Easter purple seemed to me just the thing for today.
spring flowers quilt
spring flowers quilt

With all this greenery, the real flowers won’t be far behind – our snowdrops are blooming throughout the woods, the daffodils are 4 inches out of the ground, and Tim’s already planted carrots and peas in the field.

February 14, 2009 Happy Valentine’s Day!

Filed under: ◦Family,◦Friends,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:37 pm

This little vintage pitcher from Czecheslovakia just sits in our bathroom most of the time, sometimes with an added rose or two from the garden. It’s damaged, and wouldn’t sell for much if anything, but it’s fine for me and the whimsical decoration always brightens my day when I look at it, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s day!
Czech pitcher

February 10, 2009 The future arrives….

Filed under: General,◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Friends — sharon @ 2:12 pm

We’ve been living in the past for so long, little changes seem to take on huge significance in our lives. For years we didn’t watch television at all, then for 4 years or so we watched only a 15 inch black and white. Now that we’ve been using a 17 inch Sony color set for the last 5 years or so, I’m afraid we’ve passed the point of no return.

Living, as we do, pretty far out in the country, and using only the rabbit ears antenna attached to the set, we’ve had to settle for a total of four broadcast channels to get our television fix. With the coming of all-digital TV later this year, and the impossibility of rabbit ears pulling in any channel at all out here in the sticks, we’ve finally entered the 20th century (I know the calendar says we’re in the 21st, but give us time.) and gotten a satellite receiver.

This may explain why we’ve posted fewer blog entries lately, as we play with the myriad choices never before available. After years of running our website with only a dial-up connection, and last year’s switch (finally) to DSL, now this satellite thingy, soon our Luddite friends won’t know us at all. And who knows what will become of us if this awful progress should continue?