Posts Tagged 'photos'

June @ the Garden

At Community Garden, an entire plot plundered.
Hmm…sounds like it was personal.

Here are some recent photos of my unharmed garden:

I am working on bordering all the paths with rocks from Hadley.

Nasturtiums, Lettuces, and Sunflowers. Broccoli and thyme in the background.

Leeks, cucumber, bell peppers, and a cosmo that came back from last year


One of my beautiful peonies!
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2009 Garden Tour

Saturday, I attended the 16th Annual Friends of Forbes Library Northampton Garden Tour with Katie, Mom, and Grammie.  This year’s only tying theme appeared to be Goshen stone work.  We made it to 7/8 residential gardens before I had to report to work.  I learned some new vocabulary along the way:

potager – a French kitchen garden

espalier – to train a (usually fruit) tree to grow on one flat plane, often against a wall in a symmetrical pattern, with careful pruning

bosquet – a formal planting of trees in a gravel court

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Show Off

I can’t believe I’ve never been to the Trading Post of South Amherst before now!  It’s in the same building complex as the Moan and Dove.  The ladies are really nice and cut me a deal on my purchases, probably because they want me to come back.  But also because they really liked my new “retro” glasses:

I bought them at Fabulous Fanny’s while I was in NY, and I went through hell to have the correct size shipped to me!  Guess which Bardian works there?

Anyways, here is my new mirror from the Trading Post mounted above my bureau.

Here comes a myriad of photos of new things.
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Stout Cake

My good friend Dave turned 21 on Wednesday, which happens to be our weekly LOST get-together night.  He doesn’t really like straight up booze, so I made him the next best thing: a Guinness cake.  It’s my most successful layer cake to date!  Probably because I used a couple of useful tricks:

– Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper.
– Bake cake layers at a lower temperature for longer.  They will be flatter and easier to stack.
– Freeze cake layers for up to an hour before stacking/frosting. 

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Other updates:

– It’s been one year since my beloved cat, Boo, passed away. I still think about him when I cross the Calvin Coolidge bridge and spot graffiti on the parallel Norwottuck Rail Trail. It read “EB U R THE 1 4 ME 4EVER + ALWAYS ❤ BOO” until recently, when it was altered to say, “EB U R FREE ❤ BOO”

– I’ve been regularly dipping into my precious perfume samples…ever since I learned to open the vials without spilling (more difficult than you’d think). I tried Serge Luten Fleur d’Oranger today, and I realized I’m not as fond of white florals as I once thought. I wore Piguet Fracas to David Sedaris and Caron Tabac Blond to Esselon Cafe.

– I’ve also been enjoying wearing my new $30 prescription glasses from The prescription is a little off, but I probably deserve that for being such a cheapskate.

– I am building a wattle fence and trellis for my garden. Stay tuned.

2009 Spring Bulb Show

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils

And now, a few photos of the 2009 Smith College Spring Bulb Show.  But first, a little background:  All the bulbs are potted by Smith students in the Horticultural department as a lab exercise and forced into bloom simultaneously.  For two glorious weeks in early March, you can enjoy the colors and scents of thousands of flowers in the Lyman Conservatory: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, jonquils, freesia, peonies, anemones, crocuses (croci?), forsythia to name a few, punctuated with Walter Crane illustrations….Perfect while it’s still muddy and kind of cold and lackluster outdoors.  I went twice to perk up my winter soul.  Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Actually, it’s over now, so just forget it until next year.  (Man, I am really plugging Smith lately, I should probably just go to grad school there already.)

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Glutton’s Guilt

What recession? I was spoiled with two delicious brunches out this weekend. If I had the patience to set up yet another e-account @ Yelp, this would be my review of Sunday brunch @ Green St. Cafe:
The cafe is found on the periphery of the Smith campus. It’s owned by partners, one of whom is unfailingly rude to customers – Luckily, if you go into your dining experience expecting ‘tude, it can actually be quite funny. The staff was building a splendid crackling fire when my party sat was seated. We were stationed in front of a dreadful mural. However, Green St. made up for this aesthetic faux-pas with completely handwritten menus and bills. As usual, the meal began with a basket of carby goods, a generous four samples each of the following: cheddar and chive biscuits, citrus muffins, and slices of sourdough. This is accompanied by a pot of cinnamon butter, crunchy with sugar crystals! I had the onion and Gruyere tart, which came with a Boston lettuce salad and a simple dressing; K had Eggs Benedict with thick slices of ham and unreal (realer than real) Hollandaise sauce; M1 had lemon ricotta pancakes, and M2 had the Gruyere and broccoli omelet with potatoes. Superb.

I didn’t bring my camera to document. Instead, here are some pictures of the owners’ garden, where much of the restaurant’s produce comes from. I took these on the 2008 Friends of the Forbes Library Northampton Garden tour.

Towards the end of the meal, a mime arrived! He performed by the wine bar (where my friend Ella sometimes plays on Saturday nights). Also towards the end of our meal, our conversation turned to the economy, and Keith and I brought up some of the lessons we learned from Chris Martenson’s The End of Money: The Crash Course, a radical special we caught on PBS a couple weeks ago.

I strongly urge you, whoever you are, to watch this despite the seemingly dry subject matter and the obsolete presentation medium. In sum, Martenson argues that the next twenty years are going to be nothing like the last twenty years of exponential growth. The trend of exponential growth means living beyond our means, and with it an ever-increasing debt we Americans can never pay back. We can ultimately default (i.e., the end of money) or make profound changes in our lifestyles to live sustainably. I think it’s really compelling based on what happened in Martenson’s personal life: he terminated his position as VP at a Fortune 300 company and moved into a more modest home. In his own words:

I grow a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, and raise chickens. I’ve carefully examined each support system (food, energy, security, etc), and for each of them I’ve figured out either a means of being more self-sufficient or a way to do without. But, most importantly, I now know that the most important descriptor of wealth is not my dollar holdings, but the depth and richness of my community.

Which reminds me! My goal this summer is to eat produce exclusively from my garden plot.

Escape to Sugarbush Mountain

On Tuesday morning, I headed to Warren, Vermont for a mini ski vacation at Sugarbush.  Google Maps’ route sent me directly over two mountains with warped dirt roads and cautionary signs (snow tires are required!).  Fortunately it was sunny, and I entertained myself with This American Life podcasts.  After cracking and ruining my orange ski boots, I sorted out my rentals and lift ticket, and I met up with Uncle Dave, Auntie Lu, and my cousins Chris and Mike at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak Village for a day and a half of skiing.

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