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Tuesday, May 31, 2016


 Do we all have our garden planted?  Partially planted?  If you do, what is planted? 

So far I have:

20 tomatoes plants in the ground and in pots. (We usually aim for 35 plants)
Sweet potatoes
Habanero, Jalapeno, Cubanelles and Green Peppers
Red leaf, green leaf and some bitter lettuce
Butternut squash
Italian zucchini

I think that is everything so far.  Oh and we have seeds in...kale and broccoli rabe.

And what have I used so far...


Sage..fresh sage is a must in this recipe.

All the different kinds of lettuce and the spinach.  I used the parsley trying to re-create my mother's chicken nardizzi.  I was moderately successful.  I planted plenty of parsley to keep trying.  I used the sage for an awesome pork recipe by Elizabeth Minchilli.  More information and pictures about those two recipes will follow.  If you can't wait for the pork and sage and tomato recipe, check it out at the link below.  Fresh sage from your garden people is the key to this recipe...oh and good pork.

She is also a great food tour guide of Rome but that is a story for another day.

What do you do with mint that grows like crazy?  Well, Mint Julips of course.  I don't make Mint Julips but the boy does.  I make chocolate chip mint ice cream.  So delicious. 

You all know I believe gardening, farmer's market and locally sourced food is the healthiest way to live but what about those time when you need something decadent?  My go to is usually ice cream.  However, I keep thinking about the most delicious hot dog in the world.  I had it this past weekend and it was heaven.  I was so focused on the dog I didn't even think about pictures.  

A local equivalent?  Fred's Franks in Wakefield, MA, right on Lake Quinapowett near Route 128.  I spent just about a whole summer eating hot dogs from Fred at lunch..meeting and listening to a friend in distress.    They needed  a friend and someone to listen.  I was more than willing.  The side benefit was the hot dogs.

Check their hours before you go to make sure they are open. 

Not everyone can get to what is your favorite hotdog?  No, disgusting is not an answer. 

Monday, May 30, 2016


It is Memorial Day.  Can there be more than one moment?  I don't think so.

After a busy weekend of good eating (best effing hot dog of my life; not that I eat a lot of hotdogs mind you), friends and family,
Monday was a day of reflection.  A Memorial Day ritual of mine is to go to the Civil War and the Vietnam War sections at Pine Grove Cemetery.  My visit to the Civil War section became a little frantic today when I couldn't find the grave of my great grandfather Charles H. Pendexter.  Ultimately, I did find it but not without a frantic facebook shout out and not without getting soaked in the rain.  I was soaked to the point where I thought my phone was died...problem was I wasn't wearing my glasses. 

There was another gentleman visiting his relative...and we talked a little civil war and family history.  He even reflected on the fact that the males in his family had all served in the military; he had not.  He said it was around the time of the Vietnam War and it was his biggest regret...

Photos from the Civil War section of Pine Grove Cemetery...

The great uncle of the gentleman I
chatted with today.

This character is Charles H. Pendexter.  My Dad is Charles W. Pendexter.  I am not sure if I've ever told the story as to how I came across this photograph.  The picture is in the Great Hall of the Grand Army of the Republic Building in downtown Lynn, MA.  I was visiting one day and the caretaker of the building helped me find his photo.  He mentioned that they had found some glass negatives.  CHP was one of the negatives.     

The Vietnam section of the cemetery is emotional.  I remember the war as a young child. 

Vivid pictures on TV. 
Bombs and hatred. 
Emotional scarred men returning from the jungles of a foreign land.   
Men returning to their country only to be rejected and spit on. 

There are always people at these gravesites.  I do not take pictures.  It is very much a time of reflection.  It is a time to be respectful of loss.   

We send our young men and women to war.  Some come home and some do not.  When we make the decision, we need to be very sure it is the correct one.  We need to be very sure that there is not an alternative to war.  Some of these men and women do not return home to their families.  Anguish, pain, and lives lost.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I've not been posting much but I have been trying to make sure I've been working out as best I can.  I've been staying away from the bar but I have been doing a number of kettlebell workouts (among other things).  I am slowly starting to feel better.  My routine included more rest than usual and lower weight while maintaining a level of fitness. 

Having a very own chin up challenge...has made it easier.  I take my bands down to Gowdy and amuse the neighbors.  What I've started to do on either Saturday or Sunday is to take my bells with me and do a work out outside.  Saturday morning was brutally hot...lots of sweating.  Here is what I did...

Stretching and therapeutic exercises...those hips need to be stretched out.

Chin ups...3 sets of 5 with 3 bands.  Next week I plan to progress to just two bands. 

Warm up of snatches.

Then 3 rounds of the following with two 12 KG bells...

3 double cleans
1 double press
10 double swings
3 body weight squats (weights still do not feel right.)

Between each round, I did overhead carries. 

The next time I do this complex, the plan is to do as many rounds as possible in 10 to 15 minutes and to skip the carries. 
Then 3 rounds of the following on each side...

1 - one handed swing
1-  press
1- snatch

3 - one handed swings
3 - presses
3- snatches

5 - one handed swings
5- presses
5 snatches

I did farmers carries between each round.

I need to thank Pat Flynn for his simple, easy and effective workouts.  I always need to make modifications because of my knees, hips or feet but they always work and always leave me in a puddle of sweat. 

His website is
Check out this video:

And to those who hang at Gowdy Park...could you please clean up after yourself?

And where should you go after a sweaty workout?

Toasted almond ice coffee.
Need I say more?

If anyone wants to joint me at Gowdy for a work out, give me a shout out!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Call me lazy...

Erin Brown wrote this loving and beautiful book to her daughter.
You can purchase the book from Amazon.  Wise words.

Monday, May 23, 2016


The boy and I started the garden a little too early but that is how we roll...he likes to start early and he likes to experiment.  I go along because our yield is usually pretty good.  I am the one who takes care of the fruit trees/bushes...strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and grapes.  The fig tree doesn't look like it survived the winter or I took the burlap off too early.  I am not quite ready to give up and I am not ready to show a picture.  I don't want anyone telling me, it didn't work out. 

Here are some pictures of our progress.  You may see a lot of bare spots and spotty grass...typically we don't grow much grass.  The point is to grow as much food as we can. 

Many of the plants are started from seed, some from the vegetable such as potatoes, and some are purchased.  Some experiments work.  Last year we tried artichokes...didn't work.  This year I've started seeds for small Italian zucchini.  They were found in markets in Rome.  They are small and sweet and many times stuffed.  They are beautiful.  Maybe it will work, maybe it won't.   

Gardening with the boy always makes me smile!  I am
thinking my new hat from Asbury Park is a little small.

First in the ground was the broccoli and then lettuce and spinach in the pot.

I think the sweet potatoes were planted a little too early but the same thing happened last year and it turned out well.  These were purchased.  I have 9 in all. 

The fruit...


 And my grapes which I love more than anything...

More pics of veggies...



My lime bush...hey, if you are going to drink
Tequila on the rocks with a little lime why
not grow your own.
And then there is the experimental patch...seeds from fruits and veggies.  Who knows how this will turn out.

Every yard needs their lawn ornaments...


Miz roll in the dirt...
and then another.  Her official name
is Talulalulu. 

Last year this type and color plant attracted several hummingbirds.  It worked last year.  Let's try it again.

The boy and I started gardening together when he was very young...