Sunday signage

(073:  Feels like cotton.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve seen all sorts of things sold at the various summer festivals held around here and most of those things sort of fit in with the festival somehow.  I haven’t yet figured out how sheets (even if they feel like Egyptian cotton) fit in at an Italian Festival.  It seemed more flea market than festival to me.  But hey, a guy’s gotta earn a living somehow.  With the high unemployment rate here in Ohio, and the loss of all those manufacturing jobs, sales isn’t a bad way to go.

I wonder if he sold any sheets that day?

M and I went to Blossom last night.  We had hoped some of our friends might go with us, but they wimped out.  That might be unfair.  I’m sure they had other things they needed to do since in some cases they’re just in town for the weekend.  Still, I’m sorry they didn’t make it.  The weather, which had been stormy throughout most of the day, turned out to be lovely.  We hit a few rain squalls on our way to Blossom but once there it pretty much cleared up.  I can prove it:

There were not the usual large number of people there.  Saturday nights at Blossom are  pretty well attended, especially on the lawn.  I’m sure the off and on rain storms throughout the day played a role in that.

M and I had a lovely time.  We set up our blankets (we layered since the ground was wet) and picnicked on the lawn.  By the time we finished eating our dinner the music had started so we sat back and just enjoyed the music and what turned out to be a beautiful evening.

(The Blossom cup holder.)

Last night’s concert included George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  In a letter to a friend, Gershwin wrote about it:

I heard it as a musical kaleidoscope of America, and of our vast melting pot, of our national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness.

I’ve never been a fan of Rhapsody in Blue.  I didn’t expect to enjoy it much.  Perhaps I never really listened to it before.  Or perhaps it was the way the Cleveland Orchestra performed it, playing the original jazz band version.  Whatever the case, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The pianist, Inon Barnatan, was fantastic.  Bravo!

Some of the other music the orchestra performed included Richard Rodgers Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady, Cole Porter’s Night and Day, and Gershwin’s Final Ballet Sequence from Shall We Dance.

Because the night was so nice we rode home with the top down on the convertible, going through town(s) rather than taking the highway.  (Riding in the convertible at high speeds is brutal.)  I especially like the back roads at night and looking up at the stars as we speed along.

All in all, it was a great evening.

Sunday Signage

(060:  Club sign and reflections.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve been busy, busy, busy, but thought I better stop in to solve the mystery of the fireworks photo from yesterday’s post.  The smoke in the original photo looks a lot like a flag to me.  The stream of light to the left is the flagpole.  But that’s me.  Apparently you all see many other things.

Yesterday was a full day.  It started with a good Muscle Max workout in the morning and just kept going until I fell into bed exhausted sometime around midnight.

When the weather starts to warm up here in the Bogs and spring is truly here, it seems like a long wait for the strawberries at Hilgerts to come in.  Perhaps it feels that way because of the long winters.  We’re all craving something fresh and sweet and locally grown.  Then, what seems like all of a sudden, the strawberries are ripe and ready for picking.  We fill up on the wonderful, sweet, deliciousness of the strawberries for a few weeks and then, what seems like all of a sudden, the raspberries and peas are ready for picking.  The process continues throughout the summer and into the fall, usually ending with apples and cabbages.

I bring this up because yesterday was the official start of canning and freezing season for me.  I picked up a peck of wax (yellow) beans at Hilgerts yesterday.  I was prepping, blanching, bagging, and freezing beans until about 9:3o last night.

(Wax beans.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The beans are gorgeous this year.  They were just picked, and nice and tender.  I hadn’t originally planned to have beans for dinner last night, but decided they were so good that we should eat some while they were still fresh.  We made up a big pot of new potatoes (also purchased at Hilgerts), ham, and beans.  Delicious.  I hope to get back to Hilgerts tomorrow to pick up some more beans.  Maybe green beans this time.  Or more wax beans if they still look this good.  The broccoli should be coming in soon.  You probably won’t hear much from me when that happens.  I’ll have 17 lbs. of the stuff to blanch and freeze.  It usually takes me about 2 days to get it all done.

This morning M and I took a walk as part of my plan to get in shape for all the hiking we plan to do when we go to Colorado.  I invited M along for the company.  He’s my favorite walking and hiking partner.  We walked 2 miles.  Not a lot, but today was a rest (or easy) day for me in terms of my exercise schedule.

(View of the pond from the road.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It was a nice morning for a walk.  There was a little more traffic than I was expecting.  I guess we must have been out during the time when most people are on their way to church.

When we returned home the plan was to do a little yoga, cook breakfast, and get on with our day.  At the end of the yoga workout M remembered that the Budweiser Clydesdales were going to be parading down one of the streets in Akron as part of the Italian Festival that’s going on there this weekend.  (I’m not sure what link there is — if any — between an Italian Festival and Clydesdales other than the selling of Budweiser beer at the festival.)

I turned off the stove and off we went to Akron.

(The Clydesdales.   Photo © 2009 by Robin)

We did get to see the Clydesdales, but not as scheduled.  Or someone posted the schedule (and the route) incorrectly.  The local newspaper had it wrong.  It was an hour later and they paraded a little further up the street, right in the middle of the Italian Festival with the food and drink vendors crowding both sides of the street.  Pretty poorly planned if you ask me.  The poor horses were crowded in between all the people trying to see them as well as the vendors.  It made it difficult for anyone trying to see the horses as well.  I hope the person in charge of that poor planning took note so they can do a better job next time.

(One unhappy horse.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Breakfast for us, as it turns out, was a big salad and a bowl of pasta.  M had the cheese ravioli with pesto and I had farfelle with brown butter and basil sauce that also included sundried tomatoes and prosciutto.  Yummy.  The garlic bread was not so yummy.  It was burnt and hard and dry.  I was hungry enough to eat it anyway.  I was happy to see they had some real Italian food at this festival.  In years past it looked like all they had was the usual carnival food, Italian sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers being the only nod to Italian food in the line-up.

And now I’m off to shower (finally!) and blanch some more veggies.  After that it will probably be time to start dinner.  I’m making a spicy cauliflower and potato curry tonight.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.