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Summer Solstice Party 2017

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81 in July

The summer solstice weather could not have been finer. 81, sunny, perfect river weather.

kerosene distribution

Post river, it was time to light the fire.

2017 solstice fire

Lighting

The fire was perfectly constructed by JC.

The moon was full.

Children of the fire

Thanks to all who came.

How Does Your Garden Grow: 2017 Edition

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It all started with the third and final corn plantation.

The garden, now features a Sycamore annex

5 hours of gardening today, making up for lost time

corn

Hot pepper looking weak so far

Husk melon

Husk melon

Russian sunflowers (for putin)

Summer squash

gourds and flowers

Tiny watermellon (one day this will be a 20 foot in diameter plant)

Giant pumpkin (smallest plant in the garden)

mini-pumpkins

tomato land

zuchini

tomatillo (first time for me in 30 years)

Sweet peppers (also looking rather skinny)

beans

two varieties of sunflowers

cucumber. lost three plants so far, this is the only survivor

onion and shallot land

corn from the back

brocolli

beets and radishes

brussel sprouts by the strawberry patch

There’s more, but that’s where we stand on June 9th. Two weeks and the beach will render this garden completely different!

Sailing in New York City

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Sailing was just what the doctor ordered on a sweltering day in the city (90 degrees in mid May!). Gorgeous and fun. Amy captained the boat under sail as we cruised up the Hudson.

 

Jack took the helm at the top of the ride.

 

 

 

Champagne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Barley at the helm.

 

 

 

 

No fun was had!  No fun at all.

 

 

 

 

Hiking Sgurr an Airgid

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Sometimes when you are in Scotland you need to hike up 2700 feet to see what you can see.

And here is how you get there.

2700 feet from sea level in 5 hours. Shew.

For more about our trip to Scotland, see the pictures from our visit to the ancestral castle Eilean Donan. And if you stay in Kintail, stay at the Kintail Lodge.

Roast Beast and Yorkshire Pudding

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Rare roast beef with Yorkshire pudding is one of my very favorite meals of all time. Heck, we’ll even have it for no apparent reason! Happy today day! Here are a few tricks to making a delicious beast.

Yorkshire pudding though incredibly simple ingredients-wise takes a couple of tricks. Trick 1: Start with warm ingredients and beat them to frothy. Cold eggs and milk will not work properly. Once the batter is beaten, refrigerate for at least an hour covered. (This allows the flour to do its gluten thing with the egg.) Remove from the fridge just about when you put the beef in so that there is time for the batter to slowly warm. Trick 2: cook it under the beast.

On the beef front, start with a standing rib roast. Don’t get it tied, rolled, or cut from the bone. The ribs provide lots of flavor.

Season the beast simply with an entire head of garlic, peeled with cloves sometimes cut lengthwise then inserted into the beef with a paring knife and a finger. Liberally apply lots of pepper and some salt.

Pop it in an oven preheated to 550. Immediately turn it down to 350. Plan to cook the beast 17 minutes per pound and no more.

Beef roasting at 350 (about 90 minutes in)

Beef roasting at 350 (about 90 minutes in)

Before adding the Yorkshire batter, turn the oven up to 400 and beat the batter to froth one more time. Remove some of the drippings below the beef to make gravy with (put into cast iron skillet). Add half a stick of butter under the roast to compensate. Then pour the batter around the beef.

The batter will rise if all is well.

Yorkshire on the rise under the beef

Yorkshire on the rise under the beef

Remove the beef on time, and check the temperature. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes.

Finished cooking and now resting. Rest your beef before carving!

Finished cooking and now resting. Rest your beef before carving!

Yorkshire with beast removed.  The drippings are ultra delicious.

Yorkshire with beast removed. The drippings are ultra delicious.

Serve to family and friends with a nice Cab.

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Et voilà.

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Shenandoah by Helicopter

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Today was a good day for a helicopter ride.

Morning field with amy

Morning field with amy

It was all Hollis’s idea. His helicopter too.

Control console

Control console

Sycamore Ghost

Sycamore Ghost

Beautiful day for flying

Beautiful day for flying

Visibility high

Visibility high

Shenandoah River

Shenandoah River

Fall colors from the sky

Fall colors from the sky

Incredibly fun. Now we want a helicopter again for the first time since 1993. Thanks Hollis!

Ritt Dietz Live

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Remember that Wisconsin gig? Me either.

But maybe these pictures will jog our collective memory??? Mr Ritt Dietz, it is a pleasure to play music with you. Big love.

Ritt Dietz and friends (including me on the fiddle)

Ritt Dietz and friends (including me on the fiddle)

If I Had a Boat covered by Ritt Dietz

If I Had a Boat covered by Ritt Dietz

Ritt's band includes Wilder Dietz, his very talented son

Ritt’s band includes Wilder Dietz, his very talented son

Had a blast playing fiddle in Wisconsin

Had a blast playing fiddle in Wisconsin

My bet is we’ll be doing this again!

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