Waiiiiiit for it………

Once again – my typical type of greeting it seems lately – I haven’t blogged in what feels like forever!!!  We’ve been crazy busy (as usual) and our craziness is well documented (surprise, right?)  But now, I’ve removed all excuses for not keeping up.  My computer was a piece of !@#$ making it painstakingly difficult to blog how I wanted.  Some of you may or may not have (yeah right) have noticed that I like to include pictures and videos 🙂  I was trying to blog using a crappy Acer 10″ Netbook with a processor that moves at the speed of tar pitch (and then even slower when I synced it with my phone (that is what I used to take all the pics and videos)  Well NOT ANY MORE MY FRIENDS!  I am now the proud owner of a new laptop AND a GoPro camera, oh yeah — this is gonna be fun!

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Summer CSA — My last package

It seems like it has been forever since I made a CSA post… an actual CSA post in which I did something other than copy and paste what Trevor had said on his website.  This one may be starting out that way, but I do have at least ONE thing to contribute as well – honest.  Unfortunately I missed my week 22 pickup and this is my last package for the season.  I opted out of the winter CSA program not because I didn’t want it but I have a lot going on lately and like many others, things are tight. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Summer CSA!

Summer CSA – Week 21

Week 21 Summer CSA Package

Posted by on 8:23 am, Oct 23, 2012 in Bag Contents | 2 comments

New cheese, rutabagas, spelt flour and rosemary linguini, and more 

I’m very excited about the cheese in this week’s bag.  One of my producers, Aden Keim, had sprung a surprise on me last spring when he told me that he was finishing building a goat creamery.  I was shocked because I had figured he might ask me what I would be interested in buying before just building a creamery.  But sometimes Amish guys skip that step and just do it.

I told him I was concerned that there wasn’t a significant market for Grade A fresh goat milk. It is popular with some nursing women, but other than that I haven’t seen much of a market.  And I reminded him that soft goat cheeses, like chevre, are available from at least 4 different creameries in Ohio, 3 in NEO.

So in July he handed me a sample of his goat gouda.  It was very firm, smelly, and just downright delicious.  It didn’t have any “goat” taste to it.  It reminded me of some of the best cow goudas I’ve ever had.  I immediately put in a large order that took him most of the summer to fill.  This week it is ready and will be in your CSA bags.

In addition to this new cheese, we have a custom fresh linguini coming from Ohio City Pasta.  It is a spelt flour and rosemary linguini, which should go excellent with some roasted cauliflower and a little butter or olive oil.

For produce, we have our first rutabagas.  The rutabaga is essentially a turnip, in fact it is also called the yellow turnip.  After meeting with Parker last night, it is apparently his new favorite vegetable.  He had a very good experience with it this past weekend and his recipes will be shared on the blog this week.  The rutabagas will come with their tops on, which can also be used similar to collard greens or turnip greens.  Perhaps roast the rutabaga and toss it with some sauted rutabaga greens…

For the large customers this week, there will be one choice.  I usually stay away from non-food items in the CSA, but I know most of you also have young children.  This week we have some very nice carving pumpkins available just in time for Halloween.  If you prefer to get food, you can get a bag of the heirloom corn chips.

So here is this week’s full package:

Summer Week 21:

Small CSA Share

  • 1 head either savoy green cabbage or red cabbage (smaller heads)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 to 2 rutabagas with tops, depending on size (some are rather large)
  • 3# bag red norland potatoes
  • Approx 1# onion
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 8 oz piece goat gouda
  • 1 lb Spelt Flour and Rosemary Linguini

Large CSA Share Small contents above plus:

  • 2# roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 package sirloin pork chops, approx 1.5#
  • 1 carving pumpkin or bag of corn chips

Vegan Share (in place of cheese)

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch beets with tops
  • 1 package veggie burgers

I thought that once football had ended things would slow down, but alas… they haven’t.  We’ve had some pretty good dinners lately; spinach and feta stuffed salmon (cheated tho – these were store bought, but DAMN good!), city chicken from our CSA, several Ohio City Pasta dishes, and the old stand-bye’s of cabbage and noodles or Sausage and Cabbage.  Unfortunately I was lazy and didn’t take any pics or list any of the recipes but I did have one BIG surprise.  The spinach and feta stuffed salmon was a hit!  Jeremy loved it, Emily tolerated it but asked for “Grandpa’s perch” instead. 🙂

Spinach and feta stuffed salmon, garden rice and asparagus

Emily picked out the asparagus and chose the thinnest ones she could find.  Jeremy cooked them up his way – soy sauce, seaseme seads and honey.. They may not have looked like much but they were tasty!

Jeremy.Loved.It

WHAT??? Em’s has fish on her fork, it’s not perch AND she’s smiling??

So, these were from about a week or so ago.  Jeremy has been asking for this again since.  I made it again, but this time in place of the asparagus I gave them the option of soup or mixed veggies — the mixed veggies were nothing but store bought.  But the soup?  MMMMM my first ever pot full of Squash Soup, so  good!

Squash Soup

This was my first attempt at it and HOLY SMOKES was it good!

Here is what I did – all the ingredients are from Fresh Fork, except for the green peppers.

  • Two butternut squashes (one large, one medium)
  • Red peppers
  • Green peppers (from out garden)
  • onions
  • chicken broth
  • sweet potatoes
  • fresh crushed pepper

I chopped up all the veggies and cooked them in a large pot with about 2tbls of butter for about 5min.  After that I added chicken stock to the pot, enough to cover the veggies.  Brought that to a boil and let simmer till all the veggies were softened.  After they were softened I transferred the mixture to my blender and blended it.  I was happy with the consistency of it so I didn’t add anymore broth.  Served it up in a bowl, added a bit of plain yogurt to the mixture and viola 🙂

So – back to my options for veggies at tonight’s dinner.  Emily chose the mixed veggies – broccoli, cauliflower and bean.  Jeremy chose the soup.  Afterwards Emily said she should have had soup as well.

One more surprise for tonight?  The kids and I were out tonight and decided to get a snack.  We stopped at DQ Orange Julius and Emily had her usual chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard wth extra cookie dough.  Jeremy normally gets a flurry or slushy or something but tonight?  Tonight he said, “could I just have a water and have another bowl of soup when we get home for snack tonight?”… why yes kid.  Yes.You.Can.

I’m going to have to get caught up sooner or later.  Football, pumpkin carving party, training runs and best of all?  I introduced the kids to trail running!  We’ve gone for three runs so far; started out first a short 1 miler, then 1.5 miler and finally just over 2 miles.  They love the trails, the mud and stream crossings as much as I do.  Can’t wait to write that post and share those pics and videos!

“ERACING the Past, Moving Forward” (not a typo) :)

“ERACING the Past, Moving Forward”

—- Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run

;

Ok.. I am so stinking far behind! This blog post is really going to suck and will be more of a photo explosion vs. me telling you what is going on this time — you’ll soon see why. Well, here it goes — deep breath and GO!

SUMMER CSA –

Summer CSA Week 7

Fresh Fork Market, Small share contents:

  • 1 dozen pasture raised chicken eggs
  • 1 piece havarti from Mayfield Road Creamery (8 oz)
  • 2 ct zucchini or squash
  • 1 bunch carrots or 1 bunch beets (switching from last week)
  • 1 lb whole wheat linguini
  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1-2 bulb onions depending on size
  • 1 lb apricots

I absolutely LOVE this corn. I don’t know what it is about it but throw that stuff on the grill, and OMG it is fantastic! I’ve really been slacking making dinners lately – again, you will soon see why – so we have been eating lots of things that are quick from the grill. Things like these turkey burger wraps, with tomatoes, some smoked gouda, lettuce, and a little bit of low fat mayo w/ olive oil. Super quick, easy and dang tasty! 🙂

This is how I like to cook my corn

Turkey Burger Wraps and Corn

And to get into why we’ve been so rushed lately….

FOOTBALL!! –

We are gearing up for football season. And it has been confirmed. My daughter, Emily, is the ONLY girl in the entire LEAUGE! Don’t let her playing football mislead you. She loves to get mani/pedi’s, wear cute little skirts, and her “fancy shoes” as she calls them but she is one tough little kid who loves to knock around the boys!

Equipment pickup!! Notice Emily’s fashion sense!

Now that we have the gear it’s time to for more football camps and practices. They had football camp at the High School the past three days. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; starting at 5:30pm and ending at 8:30pm! Did I mention that it has been in the 90’s the past few days? Yeah, it has. Football camp went well and again Emily was the only girl there. I think at first the boys were a little apprehensive about Emily being there – except for the once that knew her. Day one they spent doing conditioning drills, day two the split it up between offensive and defensive drills, then day three they played a 7 on 7 tournament ending with a “Super Bowl” and crowning of an MVP.

Emily — Eastlake North High School Football Camp 2012, Superbowl MVP. Crowned with her own North High Football helmet

That’s right, she ROCKS! I am so proud of her! Her team faced Jeremy’s team in their Superbowl and Emily’s came out on top! Eat your heart out boys! This morning out of the blue my sister emailed me about a conversation she had with a friend the other day.

Awesome, huh?

Now football is consuming an incredible amount of time, all the while Jeremy still has all star baseball games and I’m winding down BR100 training… Prepare for a photosplash of running pics.

BURNING RIVER 100 MILE TRAINING –

ERACING the past, moving forward….. How appropriate is this slogan for this race as it applies to my blog!

Mike, Margie and Charlie

Mike and I

Wild blackberries on our route

Stopping for a little snack

This week is a taper week so we really stepped down the mileage. After an easy 12 miles in the trails I decided to ride my bike up to Yoga (which I’ve missed terribly because of our long weekend runs) then rode to work, and home; closing out a “quick” 20 mile ride to round out my day.

GARDEN / CHICKEN UPDATE

The garden is doing great! The chickens, not so well. Our last chicken was murdered by a creature in our back yard. This time I know it was a raccoon because I saw it no more than 5 minutes after the attack. I went off and bought some traps and so far I caught a possum, AND another raccoon. And to top it off, I was sitting on our couch the other night, it was around 11:30/12:00am when I looked out our front window and there was a coyote in our front yard!

First capture in the new traps

This has GOT to be the murderer from the other day

Not sure what I am going to do about the coyote, but the traps have been empty for the last couple days. After my upcoming races, I’ll be ready to purchase more chickens. I really miss the eggs. While the eggs we get from our CSA – they pale in comparison.

There is so much more that I want to blog about, hello? You still with me? Kinda all over the place, huh?……. But I could go on and on and on…

Let me leave you with this – this weekend is the biggest race of my life (so far). All my training has been leading up to this, the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run. I have 30 hours to complete this with some of my closest and newest friends. I’ll give all the details in my next post but here is a glimpse.

Entire route – just over 100 miles

Some of us “crazies”

If you are bored this weekend follow me along this journey. Click on this link (Ultralive.net) and enter my bib number 1275. It’ll give real time updates as to when I check into an aid station, when I leave and my elapsed time. Or, if you are really, REALLY bored you could view the runners packet and read more about this amazing event.

Then once this 100 mile race is done, next week I have a 175 mile bike ride to do!!!

Which brings me to my final thought for the night. I am truly blessed with amazing friends and family. To ride the 175 mile bike (BikeMS) I had to raise $250.00. I met my goal the other day and am truly thankful to all those that helped. A close friend of mine, Brian, is also riding with me (actually I am riding with him – he is the one responsible for getting me into ultra trail running and now crazy long bike rides like this!) Please help Brian out with any donations you can make. You can click on this link and it’ll take you to his donation page. Thanks!

What are you doing active this weekend? Are you training for anyting?

Wish me luck!!! Let’s Do this!!!!

These kids never cease to amaze me!

Typically, by the time we get home from work and latchkey, it is about 4:30pm. With fast pitch games starting at 6:15 and us having to be there by 5:45, it doesn’t leave us much time for a good, healthy dinner. Or does it? 🙂

Emily had her second fastpitch playoff game on Tuesday night. We rushed home from latchkey (childcare) and I started dinner. The kids saw me cutting up some peppers and a large zucchini that I picked from our garden the other day.  You could imagine the groaning and grumbling that ensued!  It didn’t last that long tho.  They know that whatever I make for dinner, they eat for dinner – or snack – or breakfast – or lunch…… 🙂

So, I cut up the zucchini and placed it on the grill, brushed it with olive oil and a little bit of season salt.  I brought it in the house and I actually heard a “that smells good”.  So I cooked up some rice and added the peppers to it — again, my plate presentations leaves a little to be desired, but…

Taste is more important, no?

Jeremy had THREE helpings and Emily had TWO!  It was nice to hear, “Dad, could I have more zucchini?”… Why certainly.  Have as much as you want!!!

All of this rushing around was for Emily’s fastpitch, playoff games.  It has been a rough season for her team.  For most of the girls, this is their first year playing softball let alone, fastpitch softball.  Emily has been playing since she was three years old.  I’ve coached her and Jeremy the entire time, up until last year.  This girl’s got some skills, so it made it a little frustrating for her, but Emily being much like myself – usually just goes with it and has fun no matter what.

Emily looking intimidating at third base

Just after hitting her double and stealing third.

After their first playoff victory – 7/11/12

After the loss that knocked them out of the playoffs – 7/12/12

Funny thing is with this loss, the girls were still so stinking excited.  The team they played is a travel, tournament team (meaning they are really, REALLY good).  This was the third time we played them this season.  The first time they beat us by 22 points, the second by 18 and now this time in the playoffs by only 6!  It’s the small victories that mean the most sometimes.

Last night was my usual Wednesday night run.  This time I went it alone through the trails.  It was such a beautiful night for a run!  I popped my headphones in and headed out for what I planned on as being 10 miles before going to Panini’s to “refuel” aka drink beer and eat bar food 🙂 with some great people.  I went my usual 5.xmile route but accidently made a wrong turn when I was trying to retrace a path at the end we took that was different.  That is when I stumbled upon this.

I had forgotten all about this little section of trail!  I had only been on it once with the kids and that was a long time ago.  I made the wrong turn and as it happens, this loop is approximately a quarter mile LOOP.  I didn’t realize that until I was about 3/4 thru my SECOND time around when it occurred to me that, “hey, this looks familiar!”  I think I am going to add this section into my normal route now.  I also got buzzed by this stinking hawk!

This hawk came swooping down within 5 feet of my head.  Made me jump and say out loud “holy shit!”.  There was a couple walking towards me at the time and they started BUSTING up laughing.  It had to be quite a site!  Here is the data for this run.  I pushed it pretty hard through the trails averaging a 9:00 min/mile pace for almost 12 miles.  I’m supposed to be tapering for BR, but don’t feel I’ve put in the miles, so I am going to do a little more than what my “schedule” calls for but a little less than running an ultra distance on the weekends.  To finish this run I ended up at Panini’s as usual with some great friends.

Black bean burger 🙂 — notice, lots of water and very few long islands this time!

This time I didn’t order a Panini sandwhich, I opted for a black bean burger – and holy hell was it good!  Black bean burger, pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, onions… mmmmmm.

Good luck with your training whatever it may be for and run safe my friends!

One happy, one uh.. well… not so much…..

Tonight’s dinner was a HIT!!! Ok, at least with one of the kids 🙂

Again, I got this recipe from our Fresh Fork Market CSA newsletter.  Tonight’s selection Huevos Rancheros – went off, almost without a glitch.

6/21 – Huevos Rancheros

Well, most of this recipe was from our CSA but I had to modify it slightly….

Today’s ingredients – all from our CSA except for the wraps, eggs, and rice:

  • Garden Vegetable wrap (recipe called for corn tortilla)
  • Garden vegetable rice (really cheated here – the kind you heat in the microwave for 90 sec.  Recipe called for black beans – but I screwed up)
  • A poached egg (from OUR chickens :))
  • Fresh salsa (I used Blaze Gourmet – corn and black bean from our CSA)
  • Chopped tomato
  • Sliced avocado
  • Green Onions
  •  Cilantro and
  • Corn Cracker minis – from Shagbark Seed & Mill Company

This morning I put the black beans in a bowl of water to soak – they are Organic Black Beans from Shagbark, we get from our CSA – and planned on cooking them up when I got home from work.  I knew we would be cutting it close on time because both Jeremy and Emily had games tonight, both at 6:15 (or so I thought) and both in different cities.  Luckily I googled how to poach an egg before I left work because just before leaving I got a reminder text message from Emily’s coach about today’s 5:45 game!  So I left work a little early, picked up the kids from latchkey and headed home.  We got home and I finally looked at the directions for cooking the beans — it said to cook them for 60 min!  We didn’t have that kind of time – that is where the rice came in.  Anyways, I chopped up all the ingredients, heated the wraps a little and spooned all of it down their centers.  Poached the eggs, placed them in the centers and wrapped them up.  I spread a little of the salsa on top and used the corn crackers as a side and DONE!  Jeremy LOVED it and even used his chips to scoop up remnants of rice, avocado and tomato that was left on his plate.  Emily — not so much.  I had forgotten that when I told them about what I was making she asked that I scramble her eggs instead of poaching them.  That was several days ago and in our rush today — completely forgot, whoops!  It was quite torturous for her to eat.  Reminded me of Emily 5 years, uh – 3 years, well 2 years — ok a couple weeks ago!  She whined quite a bit about it – then I had enough.  I told her that this was dinner, I didn’t want to hear another complaint about it and if she isn’t done, she wont go to fast pitch.  Also that she could eat if for breakfast and lunch if there is enough left over on her plate — mean do you think?  I had her mash up her egg and mix it in then we compromised a bit and she ate all of it but the wrap.  Maybe next time I’ll follow the actual recipe and see how well it is received.

So, tell me what you think — those of you with fussy kids.  When they fuss about what you made for dinner – do you make them eat it?