Fresh Fork Week #8

Mon, July 27

I’m finally getting around to blogging about this week’s share. I’m delayed for a very good reason! We had my family in town and so we were busy yapping, eating and having fun! So, back at it to catch you up.

Here is what we got for this week:


And here is the list for those who can’t make out all of these ingredients:
Whole Chicken
Zucchini x 2 (they replaced these with pattypan squash)
Sweet Corn (4 ears)
Red Onion
Candy Onion
Green Beans, 1#
Peaches, quarter peck

I was totally stoked to get the peaches!! And they are good!! We decided to take another shot at doing the beer can chicken. Ummmm, yeah. That was a fail tonight. It kept splattering up and getting a black/burned butt. My hubby is very skillful at the grill so this is quite a puzzle. Let’s put it this way, he does not want to see a chicken in a long time!

The only two things I’ve never used before are pattypan squash and the candy onion. I’m hoping to make soup with the squash (and the leek) and maybe grill the onions along with some other veggies on the grill. The corn had mixed reviews, but the green beans were fantastic!

I had a bonus order this week:

I ordered the above from part of the vacation credits we earned when we were away. I got the following:
1 bag of corn cracker minis
1 bag of peanut butter/choc chip granola
1 6 pack of chill pops (awesome natural real-fruit Popsicles)
1 jar of grape cider (AMAZING!!)

Now I just need to do an inventory of what is left and make plans to use it!

Fresh Fork Week #7

Sat, July 18

Wow! How are we at week 7 already! Time flies when you are on vacation, I guess! For those keeping track, no I did not miss my blog posting for weeks 5 and 6. We were out of town for those weeks so I invoked the vacation credit option for the Fresh Fork program. It is cool because you are allowed to get up to 4 weeks vacation credit during the summer share which means you can take use up to 4 weeks of pick-ups and get credit for them to use for another time or for other products. So we got $50.00 in credits since we missed 2 weeks so I will do some special orders for that credit. I found out (too late) that you need to place your special orders by Tuesday during the week to make sure the order gets on the truck for the following Friday. More on that later…

Here is the share for this week – good stuff!!


Guernsey Yogurt – 1 qt
Tuscan kale – 1 bunch
Red Potatoes – 2#
Green Beans – 1#
Broccoli – 1 head
Cucumbers – 2 ct
Blueberries – 1 pint
Beer Brats – 4 links, appx 1.25#
Dill – 1 bunch

All pretty common stuff this week, but yummy! I’ve never had that type of yogurt so I’m anxious to try it. We will be having dill salmon with the fresh dill – smells so good! One change they made to this list is they substituted a big ‘ole cantaloupe for the broccoli which suits me just fine! This bag will not be a problem to gobble up!!

My Chautauqua Choir experience

Sun, July 12

I can still remember the smell of the place. It was a mixture of old and dusty wood, lavender (old lady) cologne, and perhaps a bit of lake air with just a trace of seaweed. It was usually a bit cool in the mornings underneath the roof and even as girls we would usually have to wear a sweater. My sister and I would often see older gentlemen falling asleep during the service, and every now and then we would spot a spider crawling on someone’s arm or once even a mouse scooting around the floor. Those were all potentials for entertainment for grade school girls in an outdoor/open air church venue like the amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution. But beyond the familiar scents and the funny sights that were regular occurrences there, there was something more to this simple, but beautiful structure of paint and wood. There was a magic that captured my fascination as a little girl and continues to be with me today. Was it the gathering of 6000 people from all around the country and beyond to worship together in one space? Was it the world renown speakers from near and far giving inspirational sermons that would pull at your heart strings? Was it the weekly singing of the favorite hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” that was so magical? Yes, yes, and yes! All of those things contributed to the magic of this special and sacred place. But for me, the epicenter of this magic was the choir. It was not only the singing of “Holy, Holy, Holy” that brought tears down my face, but it was this exquisite descant from the sopranos floating high among the stratosphere, high above the congregation that overwhelmed me every time. As I looked at the choir in awe, wearing my sundress, sweater, and probably a new turquoise ring purchased that day that I would lose a few hours later swimming in the lake (happened every year!), I dreamed of someday being up there – being one of the magic makers in this magnificent place.

Little did I know that I would have the chance to make this dream come true some 35 years later!

Cut to this spring. Since Zach was going to sailing camp again this year at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center (4th generation camper!), I got the idea that Mike and I could stay somewhere on the lake during the same week. We could enjoy a week at the lake and just make one trip! So after I booked a week at a cottage I began to research more about what else we could do in the area including things at the institution. I stumbled on information about the choir and learned that there was no audition to sing. What?? These people aren’t professionals??!! You just had to have previous choral experience (check and check) and attend at least 2 of the 3 rehearsals prior to the Sunday service. The rehearsals were Thurs, Fri and Sat nights from 6pm – 7:45pm. Oh, my gosh, could I actually do this?? I started letting myself get excited about the possibility of this actually happening, but then I ran into a problem. Our cottage rental was from Sat – Sat (which most are) which meant that we would not have a place to sleep on the Sat night before the Sunday service! Ugh! Well, I wasn’t going to let this stop me! No siree! I started calling places to book one extra night on Saturday so I could make this happen. After being turned down by about 3 places (most have a 2-night minimum!), I finally got a YES from a hotel in Jamestown. Done! I was so excited!

On the night of the first rehearsal I was pretty nervous. I had Mike drop me off 30 minutes early so I could find the place and check-in. The choir regulars were so welcoming and sweet that I relaxed right away. It was extremely organized and I became obsessed with documenting everything.

My music

My folder

Starting to gather

My card

The director of the choir, Jared Jacobsen, was also the organist and pianist for the amphitheater and he was a legend to me. His talents for directing us matched his abilities on the keyboard. He was a m a z i n g.


He kept things running smoothly with just enough humor, information, and inspiration. He did not miss a beat and I was astounded by how we could pick up on the slightest mistake while still playing and directing a choir with 8-part harmony. I was exhausted at the end of rehearsal, but in the best way. I had forgotten how much I loved to sing with a group, not to mention this group! I had to shake the rust off a bit with my sight reading, but once I did that I settled in pretty well. It felt so good that I could actually do this! I told Mike going home that first night that I needed to find a way to sing on a regular basis again. I had been since my early 20’s (after college) that I had sung with a choral group. It made me realize how much I miss it.

I enjoyed the rehearsal so much that I decided that I wanted to attend all 3. I mean, why not, right? I had no idea if I would ever be in the position to do this again so I wanted to enjoy every possible minute. Plus, we were doing this Kyrie piece, by Dobrogosz, that was crazy hard and I could use all the practice I could get!


Sunday morning came and I was ready. I just hoped I could get through the morning without too much boo-hooing. I had kleenex with me just in case. It was fun to see the amphitheater from that perspective.

Starting to gather

Some of the 1st sopranos

Rehearsal before the service

As soon as the organ started with the introduction to “Holy, Holy, Holy” I got giant tears in eyes. I mean I cry during that song in the congregation all the time, so no surprise there. I managed to pull it together enough to really blow out the descant which I can’t describe in words. Let’s just say I was sweating. Ha! The rest of the service went rather quickly. The choir sang a lot so I felt like I was really working the entire time. At the end of the service is when I really lost it. The choir was seated while Jared Jacobsen plays the postlude on the organ. This man is extremely talented as I mentioned, but something about seeing his face as he played rather than from the congregation was just overwhelming and very emotional for me. The loudness of the organ, the complexity of the piece, the perfection with which he played it and then the emotion on his face as he played was too much for me. Words don’t cut it, but the only way to describe it is “beauty in action”. But don’t take my word for it. Become one of the magic makers at the amphitheater at Chautauqua and see for yourself!

Reading Challenge – June 2015

Only 2 books again this month. I’d like to say it is because of all the time outside, but sadly it has been a very rainy June. I have 2 books already in the cue for July and we have vacation too so hopefully it is a productive reading month.

Here is what I read this month:
#16 – Category: A Nonfiction book
Title: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
Completed: June 14, 2015

Okay, this was definitely not a book I would have normally picked up, but it turned out to be really interesting and pretty hysterical. It was all about what we have used human cadavers throughout history. The author did research and visited places where cadavers were used in order to witness some things herself. Admittedly there were parts that were gruesome, but very respectful at the same time. There are probably not a lot of books like this out there. From dissection to anatomy class, cremation to composting, this book covers a lot. A good, informative, and interesting read.


#17 – Category: A book based on a true story
Title: Lucky, by Alice Sebold
Completed: June 27, 2015

Sad. This book was a memoir written by the author of the bestseller, The Lovely Bones. She told the story of her life and her experience and the ultimate survival of a rape her freshmen year of college. Very real, but not overly gritty – honest and true account of her feelings or lack of feeling about her experience. It was hard to get through, but I will not forget it.