Yo Turns 65


Nothing quite like staying with dear friends in Leuven.  Yo and Caroline are excellent hosts.  This visit was made even more fun by including a 65th birthday party for Yo.

Here are some pictures from my visit.

I even managed to sneak into the circus on Friday evening.  An incredible show focused on lighting matches, making pizzas, and spinning plates.

The cast of two and the poor “volunteers” who were pulled from the audience.


There was dancing in the kitchen.

And there were homemade cakes.

We even got to try out some mixology for the party.

Rosemary grappa lemonade…let’s call it the “yo-yo 65.”

The birthday king presides.

The actual power behind the throne is slightly capricious.

The site of the party is the back garden with lots of veggie plants.  Delicious food was about as “locally sourced” as you can get.  There were fresh snap peas and strawberries.  So healthy and so delicious.

This gorgeous cake was my favorite.  Banana cheesecake.  Yum.

There was some dancing in wooden clogs yo some truly bad fiddle sawing.

We walked several miles together all using the house as a base of operations.

And we visited the English books at FNAC to compare notes.

All in all about as much fun as you can have in Leuven!

Catoctin Creek: Local Excellence in Distilling

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It was an interesting evening…a fundraiser for the USO at the best local distillery (well, the best legal local distillery anyway).  The dress instructions were vague and a bit confusing.  Something about casual something or other with red and black.  LOL.

So anyway, we wore this.

Our dear friends Donnie and Geri came and we scored the head table with our excellent hosts and good friends Scott and Becky.  Scott and Becky are the powerful couple behind Catoctin Creek.

Scott pinged me and we did the kilt thing!

I love wearing my kilt, and I especially love it when my buddies wear theirs too.  More kilts is what we need to solve global warming.

The kilts and the stills


Romey was resplendent in her red shoes.


The food was good.  The company was interesting. And the 1908 Rye?  Well, you only get to try that once or twice in one 2021 life.

We ran the proof in the back.


Fred Minnick was the MC

Fred did a great job keeping things moving and imparting wisdom about the booze we were drinking.


Geri in the house


More fred


There was cake.


All the hosts at once.


A Paper Plane nightcap back at the home bar ended the evening.


About that Ramen

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Thanks to my friend Rio, a masterful sushi lunch in Ginza at Gonpachi. Best sushi so far this life.

Garden Update: Mid-Summer Bounty Begins

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Rain and sun. Rain and sun. 90 degree days and massive afternoon thunderstorms. The garden is OK with all that.

First real harvest and a vegetarian dinner grown entirely on the property.

Watermellon? Watermellon.

First real harvest. Still waiting for tomatoes to get red.

“We just have beer here.”

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My kind of bar! Proletariat Bar, NYC. Superb beer, kind and knowledgeable service, and perfect conversation. DSCF0473DSCF0483DSCF0482DSCF0485DSCF0476

An Apple A Day..

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Dad’s Apple crop this year was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Unbelievable. Ida Reds.




Golden Delicious



new ladders



81 years old and still farming.

フード, indeed

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The best ramen, tsukemen, cold noo-noos dipped.


the makers of the best ramen in the hippest ramen space in town. Tokyo- Fuunji, thanks.


Some like it RAW – put me on the Sushi Train.

The Conductor.

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Just meat.


Kaiseki – catch it when you can.


eaters, dressed for the part.


Nishiki Market, Kyoto.

Protein Snack this, my friend.


Fabulous fish flakes.DSCF0083.jpg


And the Famous Bento Box. Prepackaged cooked food, room temp. Japan. Train food. Sticky rice superb.


Pineapple + Jalapeño = Yowza

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Somehow an actual pineapple grew here in Virginia. It came due today.

Ripe Pineapple

Ripe Pineapple

Around here, when you get ripe you may well end up in a cocktail.

Put the lime in the pineapple

Put the lime in the pineapple

Pineapple + jalapeño mergerita
2 oz liquified mix of 1/2 jalapeño and a tiny cored pineapple
2 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz blue agave tequila
2 t blue agave syrup
Stir down. Strain into cocktail glass.



YOWZA, that jalapeño is hot

YOWZA, that jalapeño is hot

An Ice Story

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EEK!   Help us!!!!!!!!!IMG_9385.jpg

I’ll Save you!   Chug Chug chug…..IMG_9393.jpg

NOM NOM NOM NOM……….IMG_9381 2.jpg

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