Monday, October 28, 2013

What I Saw: Fall in Prospect Park

On Sunday, Jon and I decided to head down to Prospect Park and go for a run. We planned to start at the top of the park and make our way down to meet up with a couple of friends who live near the park. The day was clear and the weather was cool. This is my favorite time of the year to run.

We didn't go all that far - just shy of two miles - but at the end of the run I felt really winded. I had no idea why until I looked at the stats. We were running way too fast.

We caught our breath and met our friends and continued to make our way around the park, this time at a more leisurely pace. The park is a total jewel in the middle of our busy borough. My friend told me that moving closer to the park allowed for a huge change in her quality of life. And not just for her but for her sweet dog as well.

We made our way up and out of the park and spent the rest of the afternoon brunching and catching up. I love days like this!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Saw: The Oyster Festival at Oyster Bay

This weekend Jon and I headed out to Long Island for the annual Oyster Festival. This has been an annual tradition for one of our friends and this year we decided to join in the festivities.

The trip started with a looooong ride on the Long Island Railroad. They had a special going for the festival weekend where a round trip ticket included a voucher for three oysters. Jon didn't want his and neither did a friend of ours who joined us on this adventure from Brooklyn. That left me with nine free oysters! The line was long but moved quickly. They had a crew of people shucking those oysters like mad. The oysters were delicious and no, I didn't share.

 Our long time Oyster Festival attending friend decided to join the oyster eating contest. Can you guess which one he is?

He didn't end up winning but ate nearly 100 oysters in less than three minutes. The winner consumed over 170 oysters and lived to see another day. 

Sidenote: Is my husband not the most handsome thing ever? Love this guy.

There was a plethora of non-oyster foods to choose from at this festival and soooo many people. We had arrived early on the advice of our friend and by the time we were ready to head home the line for the LIRR was outrageously long. Thankfully we got on the train and headed back to Brooklyn, a little tired and dazed from the entire experience but happy to have gone on this little adventure.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Sweet 34th Birthday

Saturday night my brother and sister-in-law hosted a birthday party for me in Ohio. They got the bonfire going before the sun went down and we were well equipped with the goods to makes infinite s’mores.
Did you guys know that jumbo marshmallows exist in the world? Well, they do and they totally change the s’mores game. Also to try – s’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Will blow your mind.
Also on the menu was an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen (there are no Dairy Queens in Brooklyn!) so I was extra happy, although that could just have been from all the sugar I consumed.
Seriously though, it was a great evening and I felt so lucky to be able to spend it with some beloved people who I don’t get to see too often. And yes, s’mores absolutely taste better when they are consumed on your birthday. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday Supper

We arrived back to Brooklyn on my birthday. Our flight was delayed so I was a little nervous that we would be late to our dinner at North Brooklyn Farms. We rushed home and then headed straight to Williamsburg for a beautiful and delicious outdoor dinner, underneath the glow of the Williamsburg Bridge. 
The three course dinner was made from the vegetables grown in the garden and was absolutely delicious. The wine was flowing and the conversation was lively. Sharing this experience with my husband and friends was definitely the best birthday gift I received that day. 

Week 41

This weekend we traveled back to Ohio for a wedding. We also had a birthday party at my brother and sister-in-law’s home the night before we left for Brooklyn. They made sure to have a bonfire burning the entire night. 

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What I Saw: Apple Picking Upstate

We loaded up the car with our friends and headed upstate for some antiquing and apple picking. No luck on the antiquing for me. (Apparently if you live in an apartment with limited space your antique shopping impulses are strongly curbed.) But there is always room for fresh apples and produce that you've picked with your own two hands.

We returned to Lawrence Farms Orchards, the same place we went apple picking last year. This year the trees were completely laden with apples that had were sweeter and full of flavor. My friend told me that the milder winter allowed for a better and more bountiful apple season this fall. Jon and I didn't purchase too much produce as we are working through our farm share but we made sure to grab several varieties of delicious apples. Also, I discovered that red cabbage is surprisingly beautiful. 

See? Beautiful.

Week 40

We headed upstate for some antiquing and apple picking this weekend. Fall has definitely arrived and it is glorious!

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Bounty

Jon and I recently took over a friend's CSA farm share. This is our second week and I'm fast realizing that I need some help in figuring out what to do with the tremendous amount of produce that we'll be receiving now through November.

I’ve always loved the concept of the CSA (that stands for Community Supported Agriculture) but have always balked at the price of joining one. The cost broken down is actually a little less than $40 a week but the amount of money to buying an entire season’s worth of food up front always made my head spin. I was also hesitant to join because you do not get to pick and choose what comes in your  weekly share. You receive what the farm is growing at the moment and what is in season. Picking up this farm share at the midway point seemed like the right amount of commitment for the two of us. 

We've received a ton of produce - spicy arugula, crisp romaine lettuce, a crap ton of beans from which I made a couple jars of pickles (SO GOOD and really easy - the recipe I used is here), kale, apples, pears, tomatoes, concord grapes. I mean, this is a lot of food for two people to eat, right? I've been eating salads like a mad woman and researching recipes to put this food to good use. 

I now know that I love tomatoes. I used to hate them but now I know it's because the tomatoes in the grocery store are absolute crap, just mealy and tasteless. The tomatoes from the farm share are sweet and full of flavor, a totally different beast when compared with the ones I've been avoiding for the majority of my life. Washing and prepping these vegetables is a huge ordeal but it gives us a good chance to evaluate everything that we have to get through during the week. Two weeks down and six more to go. If you have any recipes you think would be useful, please share!