Fresh Fork Week #7

Friday, July 13

I am a little late posting about this week because we were too busy enjoying my in-laws visit this weekend. The very good news is that we were able to eat a bunch of the basket over the weekend.

Here is the haul:

Red Potatoes – 3#
Beets w/ tops
Peas – 1 qt
Cucumbers
Blueberries – 1 pt
Zucchini/Squash
Candy Onion
Whole Chicken

We ate the red potatoes with 2 different dinners over the weekend roasted with a candy onion. By the way, roasting veggies in general are amazing!! I don’t know why I don’t do it more often! The onions were really sweet and yummy. We roasted some zucchini also with a little bit of salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese on it. Next time I think I want to broil them a little bit more to get them a bit crispier. We roasted the beets for a salad to go with dinner last night and they were yummy too. It was an experiment as both Shirley, my mother-in-law and I had never done it before. However, I realized that beets shrink down a lot and I should not cut them as small next time. Other than that they turned out great! We made the chicken on the Traeger grill last night and it was very good! We will eat the rest of the items raw.

Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork Week #6

Friday, July 6

Here is our haul from this week:

And the details:
Broccoli
Green Beans
Cherries – 1 pt
Green Onions
Kale
Zucchini/Squash
Lettuce
Chicken Patties

We will eat the broccoli and green beans as sides. I am making a yummy snack (think smoothie bowl) with the cherries using almond milk for a treat for tomorrow. I will use the green onions, some zucchini and some other veggies I need to use up in a stir fry for lunch today. I will use the kale in a soup this week as well as for a new twist on avocado toast because I’m a little bit obsessed. The lettuce will be for salads and the chicken patties we will make for jerk chicken sammy’s for tomorrow’s dinner. Also on deck today is a blueberry peach cobbler that is from skinnytaste.com so it is totally a healthier option.

Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork – Week #5

Fri, June 29

Last Friday in June!! How did that happen?!! Well, anyways, as summer is starting to pick up speed my Fresh Fork game is strong!!

Here is this week’s basket contents:

And here is the detailed list:
Cabbage – 1 head of green
Cucumbers – 2
Blueberries – 1 pt
Zucchini/Squash – 2
Snow Peas – 1 qt
Candy Onion
Pickles
Kielbasa – 4
Bonus – 1 pt of cherries (since we didn’t get strawberries last week)

This week we (well really I) will devour the blueberries and the cherries since I’m really the only one who likes those fruits! Tragic, but great for me! We will use the snow peas, and onion in a stir-fry. We will eat the kielbasa for dinner one night with grilled zucchini/squash and a side of the delish pickles (I think they are fermented so that should be interesting). The cucumbers will be used in salads or just eaten for snacks. I will make a slaw out of the cabbage to take as a side for a concert at Blossom. I think that covers it. Oh, and for those keeping track – I used the rest of the rhubarb that I had frozen to make 2 more loaves of bread this week. Can’t keep my hands off the stuff!!

Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork – Week #4

Fri, June 22

Here is today’s wonderful bag!

Here is the list of the good stuff:
Radishes
Green Onions/ Scallions
Summer Squash – 2
Cauliflower
Candy Onion
Broccoli
Lettuce
Strawberries – 1 qt (they didn’t have any strawberries this week (boo!) so they will have an additional item in next week’s bundle.
Ground Beef – 1 lb

I will use the following in salads: radishes, lettuce and green onions. I will probably grill the summer squash or use it with the candy onion in a stir fry. The broccoli we will steam and I think I will rice the cauliflower. We will use the ground beef for tacos.

You might notice that there are some additional items in the picture beyond the ones listed above (in the back). That is because last week (week #3) we were on vacation so we had credits to use! The way the vacation program works is that you get 4 weeks to “take vacation” and you get credit for that week that you can apply to additional items. Some items are totally different and some are just duplicates of what are already offered in the baskets. So, since we had vacation last week we had credits to use. I decided to get the following 4 things:

Crazy Monkey Granola – Chocolate Peanut Butter
Spinach Linguine
Maple Sorghum Breakfast sausage
Peach Jam

I have already eaten half of the granola so that is that. No judgement please, it is summer and it is really good!
Mike made the sausage into breakfast sandwich patties that Zach likes. We will eat the spinach linguine with salads tonight with salads and enjoy the peach jam on toast and English muffins.

This will be an easy bundle to consume!
Happy Eating!

Fresh Fork Week #2

Here is this week’s haul!

We have:
Spinach
Green Onions
Rhubarb
Strawberries – 1 qt
Broccoli
Lettuce
Pork Chops -2 pack

The biggest challenge for this week, besides the rhubarb, is getting this all consumed before leaving on vacation late Tuesday. It will happen, however, mark my words! We will eat the spinach, green onions and lettuce in salads for lunches. We will have the pork chops tonight for dinner with the broccoli and I’ve already been digging into the strawberries. They are amazing!! Now, let’s deal with this rhubarb. I’ve never eaten or cooked rhubarb, so this is a new one for me. I’ve never even eaten the quintessential rhubarb pie! At the truck yesterday I noticed they had rhubarb bread for sale (like quick bread) and that peaked my interest. I will have to do some research and see what sounds good!
Happy Cooking!

Fresh Fork Summer Share 2018 – Week #1

Fri, June 1, 2018

Yep, its that time again everybody! Fresh Fork is back in action and this week is week #1. Today was my first day for pick up! For those who aren’t familiar, Fresh Fork is a food co-op that provides locally grown produce (all grown within 75 miles away) and other food with convenient pick-up locations in cities around NE Ohio. We participated in the co-op a couple of years ago and liked it, but did not always use all the food, in spite of my valiant efforts. This summer since my job schedule changed and I’ll be home for June and July I thought we could try it again since I’ll be home more to cook! I plan to blog about the basket each week and share what I plan to do with the food. This will be fun and hopefully help me to be more accountable too!

It is cool because all of the food is given to you in this cute reusable bag.  You just bring it back with you each time and they switch them out.  Very green.

Here is this week’s small omnivore bag which is what we get. They also have large bags and vegan and vegetarian bags.

This week’s small omnivore bag contains:
Asparagus – 1#
Kale – 1 bunch
Hydroponic Lettuce – 1 sleeve
Radishes
Spelt Berries – 2#
Drinkable Yogurt – 1 pint
Whole Chicken

 

This week we will eat the asparagus steamed and the kale and lettuce raw in salads. The drinkable yogurt will most probably be used in combination with a smoothie. The whole chicken will be cooked on the Traeger grill and the radishes will be used a few ways – on fish tacos, on salads and maybe sandwiches. The spelt berries are the only stumper here. I think I will steam them in the rice cooker to use with the chicken as a rice substitute and perhaps use some as a pasta substitute. They will probably not get eaten during this week, but we shall see. Happy Cooking!

Cleveland Marathon 2018 – 10K

Sun, May 20, 2018

So I signed up to run only the 10K this year as my winter training time was wonky due to the “great basement flood of 2018” in January (treadmill was out of commission – actually destroyed due to water). But I thought I could definitely get a 10K in. My attitude for this race was just to have fun and enjoy it! I even bought a sunflower headband at the expo to wear to celebrate the occasion.

The good news was that the night before the race the weather prediction for the day was great…coolish with upper 50’s to low 60’s in the morning with rain ending by like 6am. So with that as the prediction I left my large black garbage bag at home (not even in the car) and headed downtown in my shorts and short sleeved shirt. As I got closer to downtown I noticed something on my windshield…uh, misty rain? Excuse me? Ah, yes, it was spitty rain. You know the kind. It was not an all out rain, but a constant drizzle of wet that is just annoying. I reassured myself that it would surely let up by race time.

I pulled into my parking space by 5:30am and waited before I had to go find a potty (again). The rain was not really letting up at all and I cursed the fact that I didn’t have my garbage bag. The garbage bag is the perfect thing to have with you before races like this:  they keep the rain off of you, (and they do provide a bit of warmth, but then you can just rip them off and toss them aside when they are no longer needed.  I wasn’t really cold, but again…just annoyed by the wet.  I made my way to Quicken Loans arena to use the facilities and begin the hangout hour before the race started at 7am. I was thankful there was a dry place to wait.  I started talking with a woman who was also by herself. She was running the marathon that day (her fourth) and she was my age. We kept each other company before the race and headed out to our corral at 6:40am. Still raining. All the runners were talking about how unexpected the weather was that morning. There was a fog around some of the buildings. We were all in the same boat, but that was little comfort as we just stood there and waited for the race to start.  It felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life.  Every now and then I would wipe the water off my arms and again, curse my doggone garbage bag on my kitchen table at home. Couldn’t I just will it me somehow or travel back in time to get it?!  It suddenly became blurrily clear to me that a hat would have come in clutch right about now as I looked through my rain spotted glasses. My new race buddy gave me a dry tissue which I promptly stowed in my race belt for later. I planned to use my shirt as a wiper at first before it got totally soaked. The worst was just waiting at this point because even after the race started at 7am those of us “back of the packers” had to wait another 20 minutes to just get to the start line. Torture!

Lauri
Glad to be done!

Finally we were at the start and I bid my new friend good luck and farewell. I kept thinking to myself how glad I was that I was only running 6.2 miles this time. She had to go 4 times as long!! Gulp. I kept all those thoughts to myself and tried to pump her up.

The run itself felt pretty good. I got into my stride and felt good. During the first couple of miles as I noticed all the thrown off shirts on the side of the road I started thinking.  I could grab one of those and use it to wipe my glasses!! After I came upon my third group of discarded shirts I said “carpe shirt”, spied a cotton blue shirt that looked like it still had some dry spots and claimed it for my own. After I used it to do the deed I decided to keep it for later so around the waist it went and it became a new part of my race garb for that day. Yep. You see the wiping of the glasses was just a quick fix because 2 minutes later they were covered with rain drops again. Between the rain and then the humidity fogging them up I could really not see s**t during this race.

This year’s shirt

So much for just having fun during this race!! I mean I actually considered talking my glasses off and running without them. Ummm, those of you who know me well know that I have a bum eye AND have a really strong prescription and cannot do really anything without corrective lenses. But I had to choose the better of two evils – regular blurry vision, or blurry vision with fog and raindrops. I decided to keep them on and just go for it. I was actually beginning to feel proud of myself for dodging all the potholes which were now filled with puddles until it the inevitable happened. I splashed both full feet into a huge puddle as all the runners around me groaned “ooohhhhhh!!!!” collectively. After I uttered a few choice words I just laughed and was grateful, yet again, that I was only running 6 miles that day!  I used my trusty adopted shirt about every 3 minutes or so and slogged myself to the finish. I didn’t even get a look at the clock for my time (go figure).

Other new headbands for the collection
Adopted shirt (Trusty blue, as I like to call her)

I grabbed a Mylar blanket, banana, and chocolate milk (oh yeah, and the medal…def looked for that) and headed to my car. Of course I got lost finding my car too, but eventually got there and drove home. In addition to my family greeting me at home in the kitchen, what else was sitting there mocking me on my kitchen table? Yep, the black garbage bag. It will forever have a permanent home in my glove compartment.

 

 

 

Time: 1:11:09; 11:29/per mile
Age group: 45/149
Female: 631/1294
Overall: 1230/2182

 

 

 

Frostbite Prediction Run 2018

Frostbite Prediction Run 5K
Munroe Falls Park
Sponsored by SARC

First race of 2018! I love this race! This is my fourth year running it and it gives a fun twist to a race. The way it works is that you predict your finish time when you register and then the 10 folks who come the closest to their predicted times are the winners! It doesn’t matter how fast you are! No watches or timing devices are allowed – on your honor. This is the only race in which runners like me could actually place! In the past three years I have not really come close to my time. The winners usually are within seconds of their predicted time which is crazy!! The other cool thing about this race is that there is a big pile of freebie clothes on a table and at the end of the race people can grab something from the pile. Basically everyone leaves with something so it is fun.

It was chilly this year at the start of the race – 20 degrees! I had predicted 35:15 when I registered, but I changed it to 34 minutes flat the morning of the race because of how I’d been running on the treadmill lately. The roads were a little snow covered, but not much. I have not run outside much this season because of very cold temps so I wasn’t totally sure about how I would do.

I felt pretty good the entire race. There was one slippery spot that I noticed on the loop that we ran twice, but other than that it was uneventful. I also walked a little bit up one of the hills.

As I came into the finish I felt like I was close to my time. I looked back at the clock (they don’t have it facing the runners for obvious reasons) and it said 34:01! Oh, my gosh! “I won!”, I screamed to the woman next to me. I told her what my predicted time was and she said, “oh, yeah, you got really close!”. So cool!! Of course this is the year that I placed. I could not stay to hear the results as my family had an appointment that morning so I had to get home. AHHHH!! I chatted my friend who ran the race to see if he could pick up my gift card, but he had already left! I found the race director to find out if I could still receive my prize if I was not present and he said yes. He also let me take something off the freebie table before I left which was nice. Of course it wasn’t confirmed that I had made the top 10 when I left as not all the runners were back yet so I left not knowing for sure if I made it.

Medal and cool long-sleeved maroon shirt
Sweet long-sleeved shirt from Vertical Runner from the freebie table

I kept checking the results that morning, but they were not posted. Then my friend texted me to let me know that I came in 5th!!! Yahoo!!!!  I had predicted 34 minutes flat and my finish time was 33:56!  I was 4 seconds off my predicted time!!  Here are the final results with my name listed. I will admit that while I was excited that I actually placed in this race, I was disappointed that I wasn’t there to hear my name called and get some applause. I’m not ashamed to admit it! Runners like me don’t usually get the chance to “place” in races. I called Ritches Sporting Goods to give them my mailing address so they could mail the $10 gift card to me. Of course I also have bragging rights!! But you better believe that I will make plans to stay to hear the results at next year’s race. That will inevitably ensure that I will be at least a minute off my predicted time!! Ha!!!

Great New Year’s Eve Race 2017 – Tradition #13

Sunday, December 31, 2017
GNYER 2017 5K, 4pm
Stow High School

This is a bonus Christmas tradition – lucky #13!  I included it with my 12 Christmas tradition list because it takes place during Christmas week and it certainly is a tradition as I’ve done it since 2010!!  And plus, it is my blog so there is that.  I’m the boss of it.  Anyways…

Whew, that was a cold one!  It was a balmy 15 degrees at 4pm for the start of this 5K.  I think this is the race I have run the longest!  I started in 2010 and have run it every year.  It is fun because it is the last race of the year and you just never know what the weather will be!  For example, last year it was 40 degrees!

I was actually dressed perfectly for the weather today.  I had on running pants, two layers of tech shirts (one was my new Patagonia shirt with a hood – should be great for fall weather) and then my running jacket.  I had 2 pairs of gloves – one pair of liners, my gaiter and 2 hats.  I took one pair of gloves off at about 1.5 miles.  I felt pretty good for the entire race – but walked the last hill which is a killer.  My glasses fogged up again which is generally a pain, but more this year because I was trying to avoid the slush.  We got a decent amount of snow the day before and a little bit the morning of the race so the roads were a little slick in parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was happy to see my friends, Chris and Alise who recently got engaged.  Yay! Chris won his age group!  Alise and I were interested to see if we got the “middle of the pack” award. Both of us lost there.  She was faster than it and I was slower!  The middle of the pack woman’s time was 34:18.  I was so close again!  My time was 34:49.  Damn, if only I didn’t walk the hill!!  The prize was $100!!!

Overall I was okay with my time.  I’m definitely slowing down a bit, but hey, I’m still out there, right?!  That wraps up both my Christmas traditions and my races for 2017.  Happy New Year!  Bring on 2018!!

Here are my stats:
Time:  34:49; Pace:  11:14
Female age group: 9/16
All female:  64/111
Overall:  162/234

Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival – Tradition #12

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Now this was fun!  My friend, Marilyn had mentioned this festival to us for a couple of years, but we never were able to get it together to go until this year!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was intrigued by the video on Trinity Cathedral’s website.  Read more about the festival and its history here.  There were two times offered for the festival – 3pm and 5:30pm.  My mom and I ventured out for the 3pm.  We got there about an hour early to get a good parking spot so we took a look around the building commons and even stopped in at the adjacent coffee shop in the basement.  Around 2:30pm we headed upstairs to find seats and I’m glad we did because it was packed!!!

 

My mom was blown away by the church sanctuary.  She kept saying, “I feel like I’m in Europe!” I had been to the cathedral a couple of other times before, but the beauty of this place is breathtaking.  The organ was playing prelude music when we arrived which was totally awesome and loud.  I kept looking for the trumpets, but it turns out that the trumpet sound was  just a stop on the organ for trumpets.  I was totally fooled as they sounded like the real deal!  We just soaked it all in…the place, the music, the crowd, the windows, the energy.  It just felt like magic or the Holy Spirit…or both was all around us.

 

The monks lighting the candles.

Soon the procession began with the marchers (don’t know the actual name) in red.  After they were in the their places around the church the dean/priest of the church gave a welcome and an overview about what was going to happen.  He emphasized that the congregation was not to be merely spectators in this festival,but played an active role with singing parts throughout the event.  Yay!  My kind of thing!

 

 

 

 

The bugle. This one was real!
Sprite riding in on a log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an excerpt from the program explaining better than I can:

“Borne by a sprite into the darkened church, a burning candle symbolizes the coming of Jesus into the world.  The light is given to the Church and remains on the altar beneath His figure.  Then, announced by the fanfare of a trumpet, a noble company of knights and attendants enter in processing bearing the Boar’s Head.  Rooted deep in pagan times when the boar was the first dish served at a Roman feast, the colorful ceremony of the Boar’s Head became a part of the Christmas celebration in the great manor houses of the Middle Ages.  The Church endowed the custom with symbolic meaning and transformed it tot he worship of God.  The ceremony of the Lord of the Manor became a service of praise tot he Lord of the universe.  Ancient ceremonies associated with the winter solstice were combined with Christian traditions associated with the birth of Jesus.”

 

One of the wise men bringing gifts.

Although no one knows exactly who first planned it, the Boar’s Head procession was in use at Queen’s College, Oxford shortly after its founding in 1340 and continues today.  Trinity Cathedral celebrates the 55th year in 2017 and what a place to have it!  As we enjoyed the procession and the spectacle of this event, the familiar Christmas carols took on a new and deeper meaning.

 

 

Even had sheep and a sheep dog in the procession!

The pictures shared in this post don’t do it justice.  You have to come to see and experience it for yourself.  I want to close with the final line in the program because it is said perfectly.  “Let the music, color, aromas, costumes and drama of this ceremony strengthen our resolve that we have the power to light a candle rather than to curse the darkness.”   So true, so true!