Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Esther's Grapes

Grapes grow very well in this part of Connecticut.  The first fall at Hangman Hill we noticed wild grape vines covered with dark purple grapes growing in the trees and on the rock walls that line our property.  The smell was intoxicating and we made grape jelly by the quarts.  We just enjoyed the last jar only recently (and yes it was still good!).

It is that time of year again and just this morning we caught that scent as while walking to the garage en route to work (this is one benefit of a detached garage).   During a walk this evening we met Esther, our neighbor just up the road on Hangman Hill at the Cool Breeze Farm.  She insisted that we take some of her cultivated grapes. She had been canning grape juice for two days and was looking to share the joy!  It must be a good year, the grapes taste as good as they look.    Esther and the grapes are two of the many things we love about living on HHR.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dinners at the Farm

Last night we attended Dinners on the Farm  at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, CT.   Dinners on the Farm are a series of dinners sponsored by local chefs and host farms to raise awareness about the importance of supporting local farms in Connecticut and to benefit CitySeedConnecticut Farmland Trust and Working Lands Alliance–a dedicated group working to maintain Agricultural viability.  It was a beautiful evening, and we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers, followed by a tour of the farm and a six-course dinner.   We learned a few tips on organic gardening during the farm tour and enjoyed seeing chickens, turkeys and sheep living so happily among some impressive looking lima beans, leeks, rhubarb and so much more.  Dinner was prepared from produce grown on the farm and from the local fishing fleet in Stonington, right there on the farm.  It was truly impressive that local chefs could produce six very elegant courses for 170 people when cooking in a field in the back of a truck!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beach Bums

The weather was nearly perfect again this weekend.  We enjoyed a picnic and sunset at the beach with Mark and Jen at Misquamicut.  It was a great evening, the swimming was good, we enjoyed a picnic from Sandy's Market and watched some  surfers make the most of the waves as the sun was setting.

The garden continues to keep us busy and enjoying lots of fresh food.  The okra are particularly impressive this year.  The plants are nearly 4' high and producing red and green okra.  The okra flower is beautiful and we have been enjoying just frying the okra when it matures in a little butter.

On Sunday, while having lunch in the orchard at the picnic table we inherited when we bought the house, we discovered the plum tree that we inherited when we bought the house was covered with plums!  We harvested them and have already enjoyed plum cake, plum crisp and are having stewed plums for breakfast tomorrow.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Wallace

In honor of Wallace's birthday we enjoyed some fine locally made cheeses and a grape tart made with grapes harvested from our own vines here on Hangman Hill.  Happy Birthday Wallace!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Perfect Weekend

The weather this weekend was perfect with warm temperatures during the day, cool temperatures at night and low humidity.  For this first time this summer we had a completely free weekend which gave us time to enjoy the weather, being at home together, and doing things that have been hard to do with the hot humid weather we have had last month.   We did yoga on the deck, took Kokee for a walk, spent time in the garden, planted some cool weather vegetables for the fall, and had waffles with fresh blueberries from the garden for Sunday breakfast.

Some highlights from the weekend included:

Sheri's ride on Friday afternoon with Shawn and Paul

A Mojito on the deck with fresh mint from the garden

Dinner at The Bridge in Westerly.  The Bridge just opened at the former location of Up River Cafe that closed after the March floods.  The food was great, and the service friendly and accommodating.  We HIGHLY recommend it!