Mary PoW #52

On a stool, next to the oven. . . nothing good can come of this. She’s definitely one.

This weekly photo was delayed both in it’s taking (taken on Monday 6/21) and it’s posting due to sickness. Now SHE’s the one who’s sick, on her BIRTHDAY. One more picture to go, hopefully at her party on Saturday. My poor baby. Happy Birthday, sweetie.


Adventures in Produce – Week 3

This week’s Adventures in Produce is brought to you by the letter “I”. “I” as in “Illness,” which is the reason this is nearly one week late (and also the reason the most recent Mary picture is MIA). The weekly Mary picture will get processed and posted later tonight.

Broccoli and Pesto PastaCSA Week 3 Supplies

CSA Supplies Received:

Spring Onions

Dish: Broccoli Penne with Pesto Sauce

Recipe as per Kate: “Ummm…there’s penne pasta, steamed veggies, vermouth, pesto, and a little parmesean cheese on top.” Okay, I guess that’ll have to do!

Pat’s Recipe Rating

3.5 stars. Very Good.


Kate used the Broccoli and basil from the CSA to create the previously described yummy pasta dish. OK, if I HAVE to be honest, the basil for the pesto was from basil we already had growing in our garden, but for the purposes of this project, it’s farm-grown basil!

Adventures in Produce – Week 2

CSA Week 2 Supplies - Dill and AsparagusCSA Week 2 Supplies - Swiss Chard
CSA Week 2 Supplies - Asparagus and StrawberreisCSA Week 2 Supplies - Spring Onions

CSA Supplies Received:

Swiss Chard (replaces Spinach lost due to wilting)
Spring Onions
Dill Plant

Cheese and Swiss Chard Pancakes

Dish: Cheese and Swiss Chard Pancakes

Using the swiss chard from the CSA, Kate adapted a “Cheese and Spinach Pancakes” recipe from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. It was yummy, but not fabulous. I do think spinach would have worked better in the dish than the Swiss Chard.

Pat’s Recipe Rating

3 stars. Good.

A Fond Farewell

Early Monday morning my paternal grandfather, fondly referred to by our entire family as ‘Pop’, passed away. He was 86 years old.

My mother loves to tell how I referred to him as “my friend Pop” when I was little. I remember him indulging my juvenile games and fantastical imaginary scenarios on many an evening or weekend when my parents were out. I remember what I now recognize as an amused smile as he enjoyed watching my active imagination. Those many hours and days that Pop sacrificed as my family’s go-to babysitter are precious to me and my siblings.

I remember the outings he would take us on, whether it was something as simple as a trip to the grocery store, or as exciting as fishing at a nearby lake. Most of all, I remember Pop’s willingness to teach: sinking a 20-foot putt (never did master that one!), hooking an eight pound bass (or, more likely an eight ounce Spot), or playing Gin Rummy were only the beginnings of what Pop would teach us.

Pop taught us more by his life than he probably ever knew. And only in writing this do I now realize how much I should have told HIM. Pop taught me about redemption and strength of will. He taught me about giving to the community. Most of all, he taught me how to earn the deep admiration of family, friends, and peers by living a life guided by a close relationship with Jesus Christ.

In these past few weeks, I have been touched by the outreach of Pop’s friends – his ‘extended family,’ if you will. The well wishing through cards and visitors was truly beautiful. I loved reading through his birthday, Easter, and get well cards (I’m fairly certain he didn’t mind) and seeing names I had never heard before. It firmly cemented in my mind the long reach of Pop’s generous spirit, and the humility with which he lived.

We’ll miss you Pop. See you in the next Life.


Adventures in Produce – Week 1

Asparagus Soup - CSA Week 1 DishCSA Week 1 Supplies

CSA Supplies Received:

Spring Onions

Dish: Asparagus Soup

Using the asparagus and the spring onions from this week’s haul, Kate put together the following dish.

Chef’s Note: This recipe comes from my grandmother. I’ve tried other recipes for this soup, but hers is the tastiest. However, like most things she makes, nothing is measured so it’s rather hard to try and write it down.

Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced (I used two of the spring onions, all of the white and some of the green)
1 large bunch of asparagus
Chicken broth (I probably used about 2 cups)
Small amount of light sour cream (I used about 4 oz.)
Salt, to taste
Fresh pepper, as garnish

  1. Coat a medium-sized saucepan with olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, trim and peel the asparagus (rather than discard the woody end, which is a complete waste of food, I use a vegetable peeler to scrape of the outer layer) and place in a vegetable steamer on the stove top. Steam until it is quite tender, but still a nice, bright green.
  3. Add the onions and asparagus to your blender and add some chicken broth. Blend until smooth, adding chicken broth as needed until you reach the desired texture.
  4. Add the blended mixture back into your saucepan and cook on medium heat until heated through. Add the sour cream and stir until worked throughout. Season with salt as desired.
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh black pepper. Very tasty with pita chips.

Pat’s Recipe Rating

3.5 stars. Very Good.


Ironically, I started this as a photography project, but since Kate needed to use the produce to start dinner before I got home from work, the supplies picture is by her.

Winding Down and Starting Up – A New Project

With Mary’s weekly picture project winding down (only 3 more to go – unreal!), I have been trying to decide on a new photography project. I considered a 365-day self-portrait project, but decided that I am not nearly that committed. I’m also pretty sure nobody wants to look at 365 pictures of my ugly mug. Also, a picture a WEEK is challenging enough, so I’m going to stick with that. And for all you Mary and Simon fans, I’ll still post the occasional picture of the kids – you’re not getting off that easily.

As far as a subject for this new project, I want to branch out a bit. This winter, we signed up to participate in Great Country Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. For those of you unfamiliar with CSAs, we pay a fee to have fresh produce delivered weekly during the harvest season. On a weekly basis from now until October(ish), we get an assortment of produce from the farm. Our allotment includes whatever happens to be in season. For example, this week we’re going to be getting asparagus, spring onions, kale and strawberries.

In order to make things even more interesting, Kate and I are going to collaborate on this project. So for our CSA Photo Project (still trying to think of a clever name), Kate will be in charge of coming up with yummy ways to use the produce we use every week. I’ll be in charge of taking a picture of our weekly delivery, and possibly some shots of the things she makes (inspired a bit by the wonderful work from the folks at Smitten Kitchen). We hope to post at least one photo of what we’ve received, and one recipe of what we (er. . . Kate) made with it. Additional responsibilities for Kate include: reminding me to take pictures, reminding me to process the pictures, and reminding me to post to the blog. Additional responsibilities for me include: procrastinating on all of the above. I’m sure this will be a wonderful exercise in marital communication skills.

I am actually really excited about this project, and hope it will be a lot of fun. Look for the first post sometime tomorrow.