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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blooming Glen Beet

I just found out about a relatively new blog by our friends at Blooming Glen Farm, the CSA here in Blooming Glen.  It includes all the goings-on at the farm, some really tasty-sounding recipes and some beautiful photography. 
Some of the wonderful produce from Blooming Glen Farm
(courtesy of The Blooming Glen Beet)

Read about the blog (and another local food blog) in this Bucks County Taste article and visit The Blooming Glen Beet here.

If you're a member of Blooming Glen Farm, I hope to see you at my two visits during pick-up on Tuesday, July 12 and Friday, July 29.  I'll be making some tasty dishes using all the wonderful goodies grown at the farm.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Some food stuff from the weekend...

Jake, my parents and I went to Owowcow Creamery last week (MB went out to eat with some friends, so we needed a treat, too!).  Really, I think this is the best ice cream I've ever tasted.  So good.  I know you want to know, so I'll tell you what we got.  Jake got half Chocolate-Covered Pretzel and half Mango Sorbet.  Mom got Blueberry-Lemon and Dad went with Blood Orange-Raspberry (excellent!).  I got Chocolate-Fudge-Walnut (really dark chocolate) and Chai (incredibly yummy).  If you haven't been there, go!  Now!
Greater Shiloh Church Choir at Joyful Noise IV.
On Saturday, Joyful Noise IV, our church's charity music festival benefiting the Quakertown Food Pantry, went off with flying colors.  Beautiful weather, incredible music, great food (those Blooming Glen Pork sandwiches are soooooo good).  Final numbers aren't in yet, but I'll let you know how much we made for the pantry.  The Quakertown Food Pantry served well over 15,000 individuals in 2010, so lots of people will reap the benefits of our festival.
Ceili Rain rockin' the tent.
How does your garden grow?  We've gotten a lot of nice, sweet peas and a few green beans.  It won't be long before we'll have squash and tomatoes.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Joyful Noise IV

You may remember when I wrote about hunger in our country a short time ago (click here for the article).  In it, I wrote about Joyful Noise IV a charity music and arts festival that is coming up this Saturday, June 25.  (I know I wrote about it about a month ago, but it doesn't hurt to remind you!)

The event is held at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Applebachsville (in the suburbs of Quakertown), 837 Old Bethlehem Rd, Quakertown, PA, 18951.  Gates open at 10AM and there will be fun and music running all day.  There is NO cost, but you are encouraged to bring food items to be donated to the Quakertown Food Pantry as "admission".  All proceeds from the day--from the sale of raffles and food and by "passing the bucket"--will be given to the Pantry.  In the 3 previous Joyful Noise festivals, over $16,000 have been donated.

Come out and see some beautiful classic cars at our car show.  Find out about the historic church building with a church tour.  Kids' activities run all day.  Take in the work of many local artists and crafters.  Buy raffle tickets for a variety of great prizes.  And don't forget all the great food there to sustain you throughout the day: pulled pork, burgers and dogs, waffles and ice cream, fresh fruit salad and much more.

But music rules the day.  You'll hear a wide variety of musical styles and performances throughout the day--culminating with Ceili Rain, an incredibly energetic Celtic-rock band that will lift your spirits and get your feet moving.  Click here for my other post that tells more about the other performers.

So bring your sunscreen, a chair or blanket, a big appetite and get ready for a full day of fun for a great cause.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Wild Maine Blueberries fresh off
the bush.
It's blue, it's straw, it's rasp!  It's Super Berries!

If you've been reading my blog for while, you may remember me writing about blueberries (Wild About Blueberries and The Wild Maine Blues) and strawberries (Time for Strawberries! and Outstanding in the Field). 

As you know, fresh fruits and veggies are necessary for a healthy diet.  From May (when strawberries start showing up) and through the summer, berries are a delicious and easy way to eat local, healthy food.

Berries are full of antioxidants, which fight cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and heart disease.  Juice is fine, but most experts say that eating the whole berry is better for you--you get all the benefits of the fruit (fiber, for instance). 

These tasty little morsels can be used in so many easy ways:  Put them on cereal or on top of yogurt (OK, on top of ice cream, too).  Create yummy smoothies with them or simply grab a handful as a snack.  I don't know if "normal" kids enjoy this, but Jake loves to eat frozen berries (especially blueberries).  A healthy way to cool down on a hot summer day.  And it's fun to have a blue mouth afterward, too.

So next time you're looking for a healthy snack, try these little fruits that pack great healthy punch! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dragon Fruit

Have you tried dragon fruit yet? 

This fruit, also called pitaya or pitahaya, is cropping up in all sorts of applications these days--from sauces to vodka to tea, among other things. 

This is the fruit of a cactus "tree" and is cultivated mostly in Vietnam and Central and South America.  There are some farmers who are growing it domestically, mostly in Southern California, but it's not the easiest thing to grow.

Because they are native to hot regions, the flower of this cactus blooms at night so it isn't burned by the hot sun.  So it must be pollinated at night--otherwise the flower will fall off and not form any fruit.  Bats and moths take care of the pollination in it's native lands, but here in the US, pollination often must be done by hand by the farmer--a time-intensive and tedious process.

Still, dragon fruit is showing up in many high-end grocery stores.  It's fairly expensive because it is delicate and shipping without bruising it is difficult. 

The look of the fruit--usually red on the outside, but also can be yellow--would make you think you're in for a real taste treat.  The name doesn't hurt either.  The reality is, though, that the fruit is rather mild with a taste that is hard to describe.  Some say that it is a bit like kiwi or strawberry or pear or melon.  The fruit must be peeled before eating the inside (usually white, but sometimes pink, speckled with black seeds). 

Let me know if you've tried dragon fruit.  I'd love to hear how you describe it's flavor.  For more information, read this article from the New York Times.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mysteries of the Grapefruit

A sweaty boy pondering the
mysteries of grapefruit.
So last night we were eating dinner and having been drinking grapefruit juice, Jake asked a logical question:

"Why are they called grapefruit?  They don't look like grapes.  They aren't the same color as grapes.  They don't taste like grapes."

I honestly have never really thought about it before.  I mean, a grapefruit is a grapefruit, right?  Why is a banana called a banana?

Anyway, the reason apparently is based on how grapefruits grow on trees.  They often grow in clusters that remind you of a bunch of grapes.  Some say that it comes from the look of immature grapefruits that are green and look more like grapes than when they're ripe.

So there you have it, Jake.  Any more questions?

Oh, by the way, "banana" is from the Arabic word for "fingers."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


One of the best springtime veggies are peas.  Whether you like English peas, snow peas or sugar snap peas, this is the best time of the year to eat them--when they're incredibly sweet and tender.

Peas have been a staple of many culinary cultures for thousands of years.  Dried peas are great sources of protein and sustained much of Europe in the Middle Ages.  Soon, the English developed a variety (now known as English or garden peas) that were eaten in their immature stage. 
English peas from our garden
We are growing them in our garden for the first time and they're doing very well.  You don't eat the pod in this variety, but what's inside is well worth the work.  The peas taste as sweet as candy.  They're just as good raw as cooked--and you definitely don't want to overcook these little gems.  If you grow them yourself, keep them on the plant until you're ready to eat them.  Their sugars rapidly turn to starch once picked.  That's why you don't see these peas in grocery stores unless frozen.

 Snow peas
Snow peas are the flat pods with tiny peas inside.  The whole thing can be eaten and they can be very sweet and tasty--again, if they're picked close to the time they're eaten.  (Although this isn't as critical as with the English peas.
Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas are actually a relatively new variety.  During the 1970's, people wanted the sweetness and plumpness of the English pea and the convenience and crunch of the pea/pod of the snow pea.  So the sugar snap pea was developed as a combination of the two.

Whatever variety you favor, this time of year, you won't have to be told "Eat your peas!"

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tussock Sedge Farm

As I told you yesterday, we went to a farm tour/potluck dinner at Tussock Sedge Farm in Blooming Glen on Wed night.  It was a lot of fun and very informative. 
                                    Photo courtesy of Lynne Goldman/Bucks County Taste
Lynne Goldman of Bucks County Taste and the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (who sponsored the event) was there and wrote a great article about it.  Once you read about this farm tour, you'll want to attend the next one on July 6.  (Unfortunately, we can't make it.)

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The last time that Jake and I went to the Philly Zoo, it was a frigid day in January.  It was actually a pretty nice time to go (if you could brave the cold) because there weren't many people there and the animals that were out, were pretty active trying to stay warm.

4 months and about 85 degrees later, we went again on Tuesday.  This time, it was crowded with lots of school trips, animals doing all they could to stay cool in the shade.  But it was still a nice time--especially with a cold strawberry ice cream to make things feel good!

We went to a great event sponsored by the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance last night--the first of their summer farm tours.  This one was at Tussock Sedge Farm here in Blooming Glen and home to Henry and Charlotte Rosenberger's grass-fed cattle.  A very nice time--a tasty potluck dinner (the beef was pretty good, too) and an interesting time learning about the Rosenberger farm.  It didn't hurt that it's about a 45 second drive home, too.  Read more about these tours here