Monday, September 5, 2011

berries and fried dough

Went raspberry picking yesterday afternoon with my friends Wendy and Diane. The farm of our fruity desires: Gardenworks in West Hebron. It was a muggy, overcast morning at that farm, but the booty was worth it. $3.50 a pound for U-pick berries (and a pound is A LOT of raspberries!), and pick we did. I ended up bringing home around three pounds of the late-summer jewels. I froze four pints in ball jars with plastic lids, and ate the remaining berries fresh. It was hard not to eat them all....I don't think I ever ate a berry as good as those. Nothing compares to the sun-and-humidity seasoned orbs I feasted on while picking in those rows. It was also pleasant being out there with friends, talking, laughing, and getting my mind out of the usual anxieties and stresses anyone feels if they stay cooped up to long. I had not been out since Thursday night and three days of staying home with a bug convinced me I had every disease on WebMD. What I really needed: sunshine, fresh air, laughter, and a Bloomin' Onion.

Yes. a Bloomin' Onion.

After the berries were stored in the cooler in the back of Wendy's car we headed to the charming Schaghticoke (Skat-eh-coke) Fair. It was getting ridiculously hot for September, and both Diane and I kept checking our phones for weather updates. She has a small farm and so do I, so if the upcoming storm the weather apps had been flashing warnings about all morning would be bad, we both had work to do. But the sun stayed out, and we walked around the small fair enjoying the cows, sheep, goats, poultry, horses, and displays. In the NY State Products building one department of Random Agricultural Goodwill that was handing out large 1/2 pound seed packets of winter rye. I grabbed three. I'll cover the entire raised-bed row system I have and let them grow as a cover crop for soil health. I never grew any sort of grains before, but when a gift horse hands you three bags of rye, you say giddyup.

I also managed to eat a third of a fried petal onion (AKA heaven), fried dough with apples on it, ice cream, and lemonade. My quota of fair food is up for the year—and I'm happy to report this morning was back to oatmeal and yogurt—but that was a fine act of debauchery. And as awful/wonderful as the food was, and as hot the evening: it was that time spent outside with friends that made me feel so much better than I had in days (That, and making myself sleep at least 7 hours a night). Not a sustaining remedy, but a good shot of temperance. Everyone once in a while you got to set down the pitchfork and go eat some crap with your friends. Does the soul good.

And as for that storm...what a doozy! Sky went black around dinnertime and what ensued was a few hours of off-an-on pummeling of rain, lightening and thunder. One crack was so loud Gibson dropped his Nylabone and jumped right into my lap on an easy chair. But the power stayed on, and the basement stayed dry, and I felt lucky to be in this place. Safe as houses, they say. They're right.

22 Comments:

Blogger Kathy P. said...

Horribly hot and humid here too - now cool and rainy for Labor Day. A tornado crossed the Thruway yesterday afternoon/evening between Amsterdam and Schenectady. Video here: http://youtu.be/8pWkmTVbqcA It's about 7 minutes long, but fast forward to 5:20 to see the eye-popping part. Hopefully no one was hurt.

September 5, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh my god kathy.... that was terrifying. Was anyone hurt?

September 5, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

There's damage to homes, trees down and power outages in one neighborhood of Amsterdam. So far, no reports of injuries that I've seen.

September 5, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

I love fair foods too and the smells just drive me crazy walking around. Glad you had some enjoyable time with friends.

September 5, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

The gal that shot the tornado video is/was a meteorology major at SUNY Oswego, according to some of her other videos. She has a "good luck" tattoo of the first tornado she ever saw on her back. Good luck indeed - I guess she was in the right place at the right time yesterday, though I'm not sure if there was any safe place to go if the tornado had headed her way.

September 5, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

We grabbed a couple bags of winter rye as well then sat with a couple large lemonades and listened to Hair of Dog (awesome band), great way to wind down the two 15 hours (Fri & Sat) days of horse showning my daughter did there.

September 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

*Hair of the Dog

September 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I would have peed myself.

September 5, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

CJ, you live around here?!

September 5, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Sounds like a perfect day to me!

September 5, 2011 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

Wow! I just posted that tornado footage on FB. That is one brave gal!!

September 5, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I love me a fair on Labor Day weekend! Alas, this year, I just can't do it. I'm glad you had fun - you needed it!

September 5, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

I'm about an hour east of you in southern Vt.

September 5, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

My cousin who lives in West Hoosick, about 15 miles from you, said they heard what sounded like a freight train and went to their basement. When they came out they had trees twisted off in a line that continued over the hill away from them towards the VT/MA border.

September 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

"Berries and fried dough"--just the title made me get all excited and fluttery inside... :)
Glad everyone came out of the storm/tornado scare okay. Stay safe, y'all!

September 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Jen, I think it was much worse south of us, it built up into that tornado as it went down. We just got high winds, some areas lost power.

rain all day today!

September 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

CJ, you guys should come visit!

September 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

I'm so glad to hear that you had a good time, but especially that you got more SLEEP. Young people aren't big on it, but, as you're discovering, it's absolutely crucial. Now, if I could just convince my 17-year-old son!

September 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Three cheers for eating some crap once in awhile! Our big day is coming. We go to a 25-mile flea market/antique show twice a year and it's coming in two weeks. We will stuff ourselves with corny dogs and fried pies. It will be glorious. :)

Everyone stay safe up there! Stand outside your door and blow that mess SOUTH, please!

September 5, 2011 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Firecracker Farm said...

Oooooh. All Things Fried!
Living vicariously.
Did not make it to the fair at all this year.

September 5, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

"safe as houses"

I've always loved that phrase so much.

September 6, 2011 at 2:19 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Some day we'll stop by. I'm not an overly social person but I do like communal get togethers like barn raisings and such.

September 6, 2011 at 10:37 AM  

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