Thursday, September 27, 2012

#435: Nantucket artisan

There are so many folk 
on this island who amaze me
with their creativity.
Here's one at the County Fair:
This is Casey Boukus, a woman
I know from homeschool group.
Neither of us are homeschooling at this point
but we've both been busy.

When my first-born was two I made her a
 Waldorf doll, homespun wool and everything.
It's a thrill to see Casey's still at it.
She also makes the prettiest upcycled clothes.
So feminine.
I've never set foot in 
an Aeropostale or Justice store
(although Justice does have a
 school uniform section, hmmm)
but I'd dress my teens in Casey's creations any day. 
Stop in her Etsy shop and see for yourself.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

#434: Solitary

There are a lot of opportunities
for solitude on this island,
even in the summer, 
when our population quintuples.
Fishing the surf.
Early morning, near Sankaty Lighthouse.

Along the wharf,
past artists' studios,
in the fog.

Walking with a stick
 in the woods.

Even vacationing in Ireland
with your daughter,
solitude can be found.

 Until you turn around 
and face the photographer; 
then poof it's gone.

Friday, September 21, 2012

#433: Birds crashing into windows

It's that time of year,
birds occasionally crash into our house
as it's passive solar with a lot of  glass
on the south side.
We heard a thump and went out to find:

This little guy. 
A red-breasted nuthatch.

Stunned but alert.

Feet for perching,
and for climbing down trees headfirst.
So tiny. So light. So delicately perfect.

'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
outside your Father's care.'

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

#432: Nantucket County Fair

Finally, the Fair!
Every fall, just after school starts, Nantucket
has a tiny county fair.
Here's our livestock entries, 
only four hens this year (the others were molting)
including Bo Cho, the Best in Show hen.

Three little pigs (plus one)
were brought over for Sack-a-Pig.

The kids in the ring enjoyed chasing and catching,
but we felt sorry for the piglets.

On to flowers, nothing traumatic here.

Then to canned goods,
lots of entries this year,
is it possible Nantucket is losing her dependence
on the Stop and Shop?

First Prize, Pickles with Cauliflower.
Don't know who made these, it's anonymous judging.
As anonymous as one can get on an island.

The honey sellers let you try before you buy.

Fried clams, of course.

Ray Owen's giant pumpkin.
Usually there are a dozen or so.
Where are the rest of them???
The giant pumpkin weigh in is quintessential fair fare.
We really missed this!

This year, there was a guy with a chain saw,
making sculptures.
When asked why he does this he said:
"I just got so bored one winter."
I hear ya.

Carrot hugs.

The vegetable table.
David's not a judge but he's dressed for it.
Our sweet potato got an honorable mention.

A tiny fair by the sea,
where we reconnect with friends after
a frenzied summer.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

#431: Island Romance

Taking college kids back to school
is a bit more complicated when you live on an island.
Pile all their stuff in the car,
unload onto the luggage carts
(Steamship Authority personnel  are understanding about 
returning students with lots of luggage),
take a quick picture.
Tobias is staying on Nantucket.
Note the bike--it's about to make a mad dash.

Wave good-bye to home.
I'm taking two kids off to school this trip,
one to Providence, RI, one to Boston.

It's a tradition for family members left behind 
to dash over to Brant Point for final waves,
and blowing kisses.
As we approach the point, no Tobias.

And we've rounded the point,
still no Tobias.

 Tobe's girlfriend, also going back to school,
calls me from the other side of the ferry.

There he is.
He'd ridden his bike to his Kodiak 
and zipped across to Coatue;
shouting and two-armed waving and blowing kisses.

Girlfriends rule.

Friday, September 14, 2012

#430: Sunflowers

 Oh, glory, sunflowers!
So bright and bloomy.

Some so full of seed they can't hold their heads up.

And some so tall they tower over us.

 But of all the sunflowers in our yard,
this one wins my heart.

When only a foot tall, its top was chewed off by a deer.
It sent up a sideshoot, which the deer also ate.
It started a new leader which they, somehow, missed.

 And it blossomed.
Small and scraggly but giving glory to God
in every sunny petal.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us.
We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

#429: Making tomato sauce or soup

First, slice the tops off all the romas.
This works best at a meeting or while watching tv.
A five gallon bucket takes a half hour.
Drop a dozen at a time into almost boiling water for 
one minute. See the cracked skin?
That's how you know they're ready to squoosh.

Squoosh into bowl. Just like milking a cow.
What? You don't know how to milk a cow?
I don't either, I think it's just like squooshing out tomatoes.

Now crush the tomatoes with your hands.
This is best done by a four-year-old kid,
borrow one if you have to.

Drain, the drained liquid makes a great base for veggie juice.
The drained tomatoes can be frozen or...

If you're going all the way to soup, 
run through a food mill.
Add caramelized onions and blend in Vitamix.

 A heart of pecorino romano and it's ready.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

#428: Green Zebra Bruschetta

Green Zebras are zingy.
Not as sweet as red tomatoes but
much higher in umami.
These are ripe. 
You can tell by the yellowness at the stem end.
We took a loaf of Bartlett's own $4.75-a-loaf french bread,
cut it, drizzled evoo on it
(that's extra virgin olive oil for you non-chef types, like me)
and sliced the tomatoes right on top:
Then add brie or feta or extra sharp cheddar.
I like the synergy with Brie the best.
Those who appreciate subtlety can add mozzarella.
See the love?

Ready to broil.
Use low broil setting and watch it like a hawk.

 A locally grown watermelon completes the meal.
Do get one with seeds for after dinner spit-for-distance contests.
First taste.

Scary yummy.
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