Sunday, July 27, 2014

Back to School

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Pretty much a perfect 10. We've had several this week.

L and I enjoyed a very nice bareback ride. I killed more deer flies than I could count. They land behind L's ears and she has this "smack that bug will ya" gesture where she lifts her head up and shows me the fly. I'm expected to smack it. And she gets really insistent if I'm a little slow on the uptake. I find it's pretty funny.

While we had a most enjoyable time I was left with the feeling L was a little bored with our lazy trail ride. So when I got back to the barn I brought us in to the ring to do some schooling exercises. I really don't remember the last time we went in the ring. It has be a couple of years at least. I didn't plan anything hard. After I got her to frame up we did a working walk along the rail with circles in the corners. First to the left, then to the right.

L was not the least bit resistant. She was fully engaged, focused and she concentrated on what I asked her to do. I was impressed. Of course I know this isn't unique. But Canadian Horses are especially well known for being smart and willing.

We did some serpentines and transitions. She got a little on the forehand doing concentric circles but she listened to light half halts. We ended with side passes left and right. We weren't in there more than 10 minutes. She worked very hard. Not physically mind you but she was tired. Always end on a positive note.

And she wasn't bored. We'll have to do that more often!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Corn 2014

Corn's in!

The corn is late this year after the cold wet spring. I had an ear of corn Friday from Hadley. I had heard the Hadley corn was pretty good and was ..ok. Not great. Not bad. The corn from Hadley and Deerfield usually comes in a week or so ahead of the nearby corn.

But yesterday I had my very first ear of native (local) corn.

Saturday 19 July

This corn is from Hanson Farm not far from here. It's good but clearly it's early in the season. I love everything about the summertime. Of course I know all about greenheads but nothing says summertime like corn and watermelon. And clams. And lobsters. And sangria. I could go on. And on.

My first (and last) ear of corn are notable days in my year. Since the season started late I wonder if it will end late? I never noticed before. I'll have to notice this year.

Look what we found yesterday!

Out in the middle of nowhere. A passing bird must have dropped some sunflower seeds. This is a *huge* sunflower ...bush. It's going to have dozens of sunflowers on it. It was a really pleasant find.

A sunflower bush. Out in the middle of nowhere!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Egg Salad?!

For many years I *hated* egg salad. No. *Detested* egg salad. From the time I was a child I'd have to leave the room if someone started in on an egg salad sandwich.

Yes. That's egg salad!

So it struck me rather funny one day last winter when I decided I salad sandwich. So I researched recipes on the web (it's *so* easy) and decided I liked this one here at Serious Eats. There really isn't much variation in egg salad recipes. At the time I ended up wrapping my egg salad in lettuce leaves.

I've had it several times since and always enjoy some variation of that recipe.

I start by steaming the eggs. I get a steamer going at a ripping boil and put my cold eggs in for 14 minutes. Serious Eats says 12 minutes. My 12 minute eggs come out underdone. Maybe it's my steamer. I put them in a bowl under cold running water when they're done and leave them for 10 or 15 minutes. This technique was originally the result of trying to find an easier way to peel hard cooked eggs.

Here. Check this out.

Just about the whole egg slips right out

And I get *perfectly* cooked eggs...

Every time

The recipe:
  • Two eggs, cold
  • Two tablespoons of finely chopped celery. Be sure to get some leaves.
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise. I like Hellmann's Light.
  • Generous dot of Dijon mustard
  • Splash of lemon juice
I mash the eggs with a fork and mix everything together. Sometimes I add some chives. Chives are especially good. Sometimes I include a tablespoon of chopped red onion. Sometimes I add parsley. You get the idea. I need to try a pinch of curry powder some one of these days.

I think it goes especially well forked onto those little Rubschlager rye breads and the radishes are a nice touch. That idea came from Serious Eats. I like my egg salad wrapped in lettuce leaves too. I have to try it on a hamburger bun sometime.

So. Which is it? "?!" or "!?". I looked up the rules. Apparently there is no rule. But people who study this stuff say "?!" is in more common usage. It appears maybe twice as often as "!?".
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