Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Laughing Stalk

I went to one of my favorite Co-op's yesterday.  The Seward Coop in Minneapolis.  They happened to be having a CSA fair showcasing the multitude of Community Supported Agriculture farms in and around the Twin Cities.  A CSA is a local farm that typically grows and sells, in shares, produce to people like me on a weekly basis.  I have often thought about doing a CSA, I love the idea of supporting local farms and produce, but I've been intimidated a bit prior to now.

Usually, with a CSA, you sign up for a summer's worth of vegies, and it comes delivered in a box once a week.  I have taken shares for friends when they were on vacation - it's great, except that often the box is full of greens I'm not sure what to do with and the pressure is on to get them cooked before they go bad.  So I've opted for the farmer's market.

Yesterday, though, I was introduced to a CSA in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin that has a build your own box program.  I enjoyed talking to the farmers and signed us up for the summer.  The way it works, is I paid for a share - there are three choices, and I chose the least expensive to start, and I can choose my produce each week from a list they will email me and pick it up at the Midtown or Uptown farmer's markets in Minneapolis.  I'm in love.  I can support this new, small farm and choose vegetables I know I can cook each week.  

The CSA is called The Laughing Stalk Farmstead and I'm looking forward to a summer full of great produce.  I'll pass along some of my recipes as the summer progresses.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keep Those Plates Spinning

I know I've been a bit absent from this blog of late, but I am glad for a few minutes to be back this morning.  As I mentioned, we had a marvelous trip to Europe and I truly enjoyed being away and exploring new cities with my family.

As it always happens, though, coming home has been a bit crazy.  Work is great, but I've not really caught up yet, so I'm burning the midnight oil to do that.  I went to an excellent weekend conference on the Enneagram last weekend, which I enjoyed, but felt like I had no time for anything else.  The kids are off and running with spring sports and the end of the school year, so I'm feeling a little panicky about summer plans.  In short, I empathize with the character above - I'm just trying to keep all those plates in the air.

I'm working today on breathing myself back down and putting it all in perspective - It will all get done, but I want to be sure I enjoy it along the way.

A little rant this morning, I think all of us at this certain age are experience some form of the plate spinning, so if you have suggestions or ideas to share on how to keep them up or just let some break, let me know.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh What a Trip

We arrived home on Saturday night from an incredible trip.  We took the boys to Paris and London for spring break.  It was truly a once in a lifetime trip.  We saw the sights, ate great food, walked our feet off and generally had a marvelous time.

In Paris, as Charlie said, it was all about the sauce.  The food was great and we tried a number of good cafes and a couple of real restaurants.  I marveled at the skill of the chef at a tiny restaurant near our hotel called Le Petit Tournneau - she cooked incredibly fresh, tasty fare in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp - an amazing feat.

We took the a bike tour in each city - the Fat Tire Bike Tours - an wonderful way to see the city, especially with two teenage boys - we rode, learned great history and had a ball.

In London, we went to see two terrific shows - Oliver and Sister Act.  We all enjoyed every minute.

The icing on the cake was having breakfast with Rick Steves.  We were enjoying our last breakfast at our B&B (The Aster House, a lovely place in South Kensington) and low and behold Rick Steves sat down next to us.  He was staying there and we enjoyed a lively conversation about both Paris & London.  The boys are hoping a couple of their suggestions make it into the 2011 London book - we'll have to see.

I'll post more pictures later this week, when we get the camera hooked up.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Paris in the Springtime

I can't believe it, but we are leaving in a few hours for Paris.  Bill and I are taking the boys for a wonderful trip to Paris and London.  

I've just hit the excitement point.  We've been planning the trip for months and are all grateful for the opportunity to take this fabulous journey.

I have been in work like crazy to get ready mode and just sent my last email prior to the trip.  I am proud of myself for not committing to being available while gone or bringing a bunch of work with me - this is new for me, and I must say it lowers the anxiety level of the time away.

I do, however, have some shoe anxiety I need to resolve in the next two hours, so I'm off to my favorite shop to see if I can find a great, comfortable, inexpensive pair of black flats - how likely is that?

Anyway, I'll blog and try to post pictures of our trip and look forward to sharing the details when we get home.