Hurricane Irene can’t have all the fun

Here in the Northeast, we’re bracing for rough weather. Up in the Hudson Valley, we won’t have it as bad as people on, say Long Island, or the Outer Banks, but power outages are still a definite possibility. So what’s a powerless girl to do on a rainy day? First stock up on candles (tapers … Continue reading

Bulbs That Defy Critters

Soon (late September) you can start planting your bulbs for next spring’s enjoyment. My favorite supplier is You won’t believe the variety available–it’s a real collector’s catalog–and the service is terrific and the prices reasonable. In the Hudson Valley, as in so many places, the deer, rabbits, and chipmunks love their bulb snacks–both the underground and … Continue reading

How to can peaches.

Peaches are one of my favorite canned foods, especially during those cold winter months when the snow is blowing against the window, but inside you are just pulling a shortcake out of the oven with an open can of peaches on the side. The best part is that canning peaches is relatively easy! Before you … Continue reading

Open Gardens IV: Secret Garden

What makes this secret garden so magical? It’s set lower than the main floor of the house, so has a “sunken garden” feeling. The color scheme is deliberate and warm–notice they stick steadfastly to autumnal (sometimes hot) colors, which I love. The garden is packed full of plants. There is some soothing repetition of plants, but there are … Continue reading

Garlic vs. Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic is so satisfying to grow and handle. Individual cloves can be the size of a golf ball. Peeling and slicing is a breeze. However, it’s not truly garlic–it’s a kind of leek–and it’s not as flavorful as garlic. But I like to grow both. A friend is using elephant garlic instead of onions to impart flavor in cooking without giving him the heartburn … Continue reading

It’s time to start canning!

Canning season is here, which means it is time to get those supplies out of the closet. For you beginners, this post should help guide you to get the supplies needed. The first step is to determine what you want to can. Depending on what you want to preserve you will either need a boiling-water … Continue reading

Fair Food: Orange Shakeups

Fresh-squeezed lemonade or orangeade (also called shake-ups) are the highlight of the fair for me. They are rather hideously expensive, which is silly, since they are so easy to make! You will need: Orange Shakeups 1-2 oranges per person sugar water ice a martini shaker Roll oranges (or lemons, or limes) to release juice. Cut … Continue reading

Antique Tractor Pull

They are more entertaining than you might think. The antique tractor pull was basically our whole reason for going to the Ulster County Fair (featured yesterday here) because Chad and I both love old tractors. Chad grew up with them and while I didn’t really, I have strong familial connections to them and first got … Continue reading

County Fairs

Do you go to your county fair? Does your county even have a fair anymore? If you’ve never been, you should go. County fairs (and many state fairs) are an excellent mix of carnival rides, fried foods, agricultural displays, and 4H-y, home-makery type contests. You know, the kinds that win you a blue ribbon? If … Continue reading

Raspberry salsa

After spending the afternoon in the berry patch, I had to decide what to do with my red and golden raspberries. I decide that this was a great opportunity to try something different, so I decided to make raspberry salsa. This recipe will make you realize that you have many more taste-buds than you imagined! … Continue reading