At home in rural North Carolina with winter breathing down our necks, we emptied our cameras, selected twenty-seven photos and cobbled together the following snapshot of our month.
LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT
Veggies keep marching in the door and we continue filling up our bellies. Bob harvested the last of the peppers before a big freeze and laid them on an old beach towel to dry. We received our first CSA share from Edible Earthscapes. We feel very good about eating food grown in the back yard and next door.
This is a daikon that was grown next door. All were intrigued by it’s unusual size and shape. Just for fun, Camille and Buffy thought they’d try it on for size. The ‘meat’ inside was sweet and firm and were soon turned into delicious daikon steaks, an appetizer or side dish to accent any meal.
Here’s how: Peel and slice into half inch rounds (we quartered this beast), boil twenty minutes in unsalted water or the water leftover from rinsing rice, drain (at this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to eat them. Pan fry in any oil, preferably with at least a dash of sesame oil. When the slices are browned on both sides, remove from heat and splash soy sauce over them, using a lid to reduce splatter. Voila, they are done!
FALLING INTO WINTER
All signs point to winter, from the changing leaves on the trees in town to ice on the water barrel.
PRICKLY PEAR FRUIT
Neighbors Fred and Reda gave us permission to harvest their cactus fruit. Once you get past the tiny spines, there is tastiness inside with a flavor best described as berry watermelon.
THE HAW RIVER
One bright Saturday while Bob was at work, Camille joined a group of people led by naturalist Andy Upshaw for a tree walk along the banks of the Haw River and added a few trees to her repertoire.
THRILLS AND SPILLS
Once again we found ourselves running out to the street in a pack of neighbors in response to an accident. This time it was an unbalanced load of lumber which sent a semi sprawling. The logs buried a row of mail boxes. Amazingly, no one was injured. Camille has been in contact with the Department of Transportation who conducted a study determining that the passing zone and speed limit are within their guidelines and do not need to be changed. As part of the study they examined traffic records for the 1 mile in front of our house and saw that there were 12 accidents over five years.
THE LAST MOW
Malcolm takes care of the last mow at The Plant while the maple tree prepares to drop all of its leaves.
ANOTHER FUN EVENING
Ted and Helen meet Spot, Graham gets a birthday cake and Camille uses a magnifying glass to pick cactus spines from her fingers. Another fine evening, indeed.
THE TOURE RAICHEL COLLECTIVE
We drove to Maryland for a delicious concert featuring a great Israeli Pianist and our favorite African musician Vieux Farka Toure. Once again Bob had purchased front row seats. The guy on the right is playing a calabash. Not shown is the strings guy who played bass and fiddle.
AN IMPROMPTU VISIT
Since we were so close to Mom’s house we drove up and spent three nights in her neighborhood. It was bitter cold but we took the bus to the grocery store anyway. The driver was friendly and warm, jokingly asking Camille when she was going to put snow chains on Mom’s walker because not even blizzards would deter her from riding the bus to the store. Mom was surrounded by happy smiles and conversation and it was great to see her in her element, basking in the glow of friendship and goodwill.
Our next stop was Ned’s neck of the woods. He took us over to Sycamore Island for a little walkabout. The nice lady on the other side used the rope strung across the Potomac to haul us over on a little ferry raft.
There’s something about being on an island that invokes a fairy tale mentality. We moseyed around, half suspecting to stumble upon a treasure chest of gold, feeling like kids.
Supporting local agriculture sometimes requires picking up a paint brush. Bob has been spending a lot of his spare time helping build an office and a cool room in the packing shed at The Plant.
CUTE OLD PEOPLE
Bob bastes the Thanksgiving Tofurky while Camille tries to figure out her newest electronic device. We generally hold a vibrant picture of our youth in mind as we bounce around through our day and are surprised when pictures like these fall our of the camera or stare at us from behind the bathroom mirrors.
THIS MONTH’S QUOTES:
“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.” ? George Monbiot
“Our puzzlement and disappointment about the state of our country reveals something that we do not want to know about ourselves: namely, that we are afflicted with both the world’s highest standard of living and the world’s emptiest way of life.” – Reverend Lynice Pinkard from her interview in The Sun Oct 2014
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ? Epicurus
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