Monday, April 27, 2015

Another awesome Spring Tonic - #3 - at Crack In The Sidewalk Farmlet was enjoyed last night.  As usual a scrumptious meal and drinks - farm-to-table - some of it foraged; all locally grown or raised - four fantastic chefs - two amazing mixologists - and a volunteer crew of servers from Empire State South that took wonderful care of everyone!!!  So here we go.

First was the Crack In The Sidewalk Spritz - white wine with herbs foraged and grown by Crack In The Sidewalk Farmlet sweetened with local honey.  along with hors d' oeuvres called Lazy Day triple cream gougeres - spruce tips, blackberry capers, lovage, and Kimball House garden honey - OMG - I just wanted to grab that tray away from the server and have them all to myself!  However, I took a bite out of mine before I thought to take a picture, thus the wild-eyed picture of Mr. Jack LOL


 Next was a rum drink with lemon balm and herbs and tiny pink flowers floating along with the first course of wild Georgia duck shumai, lardo, morel confit, fermented mushroom glaze, and shiso - kind of like stuffed pillows of spicy rice over greens - YUM!  Unfortunately I ate mine and so did everyone else before I thought to take a picture LOL

Then came a foraged Crack In the Sidewalk green salad with handmade ricotta from Decimal Place goat's milk with wild ramps and spring pea tendrils - I could eat this every day!

Now it was time for the All Spruced Up St. George Terroir Gin, spruce, pine, rosemary, lemon, and bitters along with the next course of blue catfish stew, crosnes, alliums, nettle dumplings, and funions - it was so good!

Then a wild boar and venison Sharma with sunchoke Rita and pickled salsify and fresh naan with sumac - AND - along with that a dish of morels, lacinato kale, divalia onion, flying dragon citrus, cured goose egg yolks, and - AND - yes, there was more - couscous, stinging nettle, burnt garlic, swine cress, oxeye daisy, and tabouli - are you full yet?  LOL

Here comes the Wild beer from the Wrecking Bar:  A black saison brewed with local honey, mugwort, dandelion root, dandelion leaf, ale hoof, yarrow, and stinging nettles from Crack In The Sidewalk Farmlet.  To top it off was a gorgeous - almost too pretty to eat but nah - we went to town on it - Mille feuille, with wood sorrel and elderberry creams (i.e., a handmade puff pastry filled with a bright green cream that was so light and tasty) - I just wanted to keep eating!

Thanks so much to Kellie Thorn and Shanna Mayo - mixologists supreme, and Angus Brown, Jeffrey Wall, Ryan Smith, and Terry Koval - the best chefs in Atlanta, for making this evening memorable.  Also thanks to Melonie Tharpe for hunting our wild boar and venison part of the meal.  And of course to our daughter and son-in-law, Isia and Chris from Crack In The Sidewalk Farmlet - we could not be more proud of what you've accomplished!!!

This yearly event helps the double SNAP program at Community Farmers Markets as well as the Giving Kitchen.  This is always a fun event and I hope if you're ever in Atlanta during April you'll be able to attend.  Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's a bright beautiful day today on Earth Day and as promised, I took some pictures of my backyard garden today.  We used vintage windows that had been removed from a craftsman style home, fastened them together with flat brackets, and put stakes at each side of the windows. Because we had a little opening at each corner, we used pieces of a roll of white wooden fencing to tie the corners together.

So left to right shots here with a garden "gate" between.
We sunk two posts and hung a screen door for the "gate".  I painted the top of the screen but didn't realize that it wouldn't show unless we had something dark behind it.  So I painted a thin piece of wood black and nailed it to the back of the door.


 So what have I planted?  Two inch Strawberry corn (for making popcorn on the cob right in the microwave!), Blue Jade corn and Patisson Panache (pattypan) squash, Fin de Bagnol string beans, Green Arrow shell peas, several types of eggplant, several types of peppers, and about eight kinds of tomatoes - small and large.  Everything organic of course.

And...I'm trying straw bale gardening for the first time (some eggplant and peppers planted in them).  Let me tell you - the ants LOVE those straw bales.  When I am pulling the wheat straw that is growing, I have to be really careful!
And just for good measure, we have a beautiful Japanese maple in the front yard that has been a haven for birds (and squirrels) for several years.  Four bird feeders, a bird bath, and their very own chandelier LOL  So I had to make a sign to hang in the tree (not that any of them, especially the squirrels, need an invitation)!
So I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Cooper garden and I'll post some updates when everything grows (you notice I'm having an optimistic day LOL).  Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So where in the world did the last year disappear to?  Beats me and I won't even try to explain my absence. 

Many new and wonderful adventures happened though.  In June, 2014 I became acquainted with Isagenix and that has completely changed my life for the better!  For the first time in over 20 years I have energy to spare and my new healthy lifestyle has given me better health than I thought I could ever have again.  I truly believe that it saved my life.  If you would like to get fit, lose weight, age with better health, and find financial freedom - click on the link above and contact me.

With that energy, I then could look forward to retiring - which happened on March 31, 2015!  Yippee!  Bells and whistles going off all over the place!!!

My backyard garden (which I might add grew beautifully last year) has been expanded and we are just about done with the fencing and gate - pictures to come in the next post I promise.  It's a most whimsical and wonderful garden.

I'm just now beginning to get used to the fact that I'm free to do what I want when I want and not rush through every weekend doing chores so that I can be ready for a work week to begin on Monday.  I have so many ideas and plans that I'll be sharing with you as soon as my mind gets them a little more organized.  HA!

And with that - I'll leave you with this thought for the week

What will you do this week to be of value?