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Monday, July 30, 2012

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy!

It's the end of July and we've just finished our third week of the Cape Cod Fish Share.  Mr Madley and I split the fish share with another family who split the Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA with us.  The grain share isn't collected until December, but we are enjoying the fruits of the sea now.

The goal of the fish share is to provide the freshest local fish in a sustainable manner.  Fish is delivered to CSAs/farms in the Valley on Saturdays in Amherst, Easthampton, and Northampton.

On our first week of the fish share, we delighted in monkfish tail -- a soft, sweet fish that we roasted with garlic, salt, and pepper.  This was a first for us and monkfish, but it was delicious; it had a definite similarity to scallops.  Also received were filets of sole, which we have yet to partake of (they're wrapped and frozen).

For our second week, we were delighted with fresh scallops and swordfish.  These we skewered and grilled with local vegetables.  We brushed a Dijon mixture onto the fish for a little extra kick.  Seriously delicious -- one of my favourite fish dinners yet.

This weekend we received lobster.  Our split share consisted of 2 lobsters -- just enough for us.  We steamed them up in a steamer pot of sea-salt water.  Unfortunately, we don't have any handy lobster-eating utensils, so we broke out the hammer and pliers; they actually worked pretty well.  We paired the lobster with fresh corn on the cob -- a tasty summer dinner.  We felt like we were on a seaside vacation.

We're looking forward to three more weeks of interesting, yummy fish (don't know what we'll get -- it's almost always a surprise), and we certainly enjoy eating so well on summer Sundays.  You, too, can participate in the Cape Cod fish share -- registration is currently available online for the late-summer share, which is slated to begin in late August.  There is also an autumn share.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to enjoy fish from our eastern shores!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Saturday Events

Lots of big local Saturday events this week:

Barstow Burger Fest (Hadley)
Grand Re-opening of War Memorial Pool (Amherst)
Mo Willems @ the Eric Carle Museum (Amherst)
Perfect Spot of Tea (Hadley)

For details, check the calendar page and click on the event links.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Butterfly in the Bush

This is the butterfly that visited my butterfly bush today.  Isn't it a beauty?  (Click on the picture to expand the view.)

(Photo taken through the window.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Barstow's Burger Fest 2012

Just a few weekends ago, Mr Madley and I enjoyed participation in the Barstow Longview Farm's 4th anniversary celebration.  It was a hot day, so we got ourselves a nice cold milkshake (the milkshake of the month was strawberry cake batter) and then hitched a ride on the wagon to tour the farm.  Barstow's is a dairy and beef farm -- thus, they have lots of cows.  The farm tour began in one of the cow barns, with the pampered mothers-to-be; through that barn to the amazing compost piles and the corn silage, down to the milking-cows barn (where we saw some adorable day-old calves), out to the methane digester (which will provide lots of electricity by the time it's finished), and on to the new red young-calf barn.  Along the way questions were answered and stories were told, and I'm pretty sure everyone along for the tour enjoyed themselves.  After the tour we taste-tested Cabot cheeses, visited two of the ambassador cows (that's what I call them -- they're the friendly cows that frolic out in front of the farm), and enjoyed music by Appalachian Still.  There were also games and face painting and bubbles for the littler ones.

If you missed the birthday celebration and/or the weekly tours at the farm last month, don't despair!  Barstow's is having a big Burger Fest next week (Saturday, July 21) -- with their own beef, which is absolutely delicious -- and with more farm tours.  Plan to go; it will be worth it.

Hope to see you there!

For a wonderful short history and commentary on local farms, check out this quick video interview from Keep Local Farms with one of the Barstows .

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Colour of Sky

For those of you who don't know, I'm renovating my kitchen, mostly myself, and that takes up a good deal of time.  Thus, blog posting has taken a bit of a back seat until the majority of the kitchen work is complete.  And so, to hold the gap in the blog postings until I can pull something together, here is the beautiful sunset from the other night.
Enjoy.  Sweet summer dreams.