Have I mentioned that peaches are my favorite fruit? Each summer, I eagerly await their arrival. A few weeks ago, I bought some pretty good southern peaches (don’t know from which state) at Delicious Orchards. And the other day, I bought a couple of Lori Anne peaches from South Carolina at Wegmans. I remember seeing them there last year but never thought to give them a try. They turned out to be excellent — sweet and juicy. However, my favorites are New Jersey peaches. But I’m picky! For example, I do not like the ones from Battleview. Too fuzzy and not sweet enough. Though I don’t know which NJ farm is the supplier, the ones I like are carried by Wegmans. They just got in the first batch.
A few days ago, when we were having breakfast on the patio, I noticed a robin flying into this bush.
Hmmm… A few seconds later, the robin flew out and off. A few moments later it was back. This time I saw it was holding something in its beak – a twig. Again remaining inside for a few seconds, the robin flew off once more returning with another twig.
Aha! It must be building a nest inside the bush! I’d always thought birds only build nests in trees – and there are lots of those on our property – but obviously not!
The robin departed yet again. I quickly got my camera figuring I might be able to use the telephoto lens to “see” if I was correct. Though it’s hardly the most powerful lens available, it did manage to capture the nest.
When the robin returned, this time it didn’t fly out immediately. What was it doing? I ventured closer to the bush though not too close because I didn’t want to disturb the bird and snapped these.
My guess? It was laying an egg! Via Googling, I learned that unlike most other birds that lay their eggs at sunrise, robins lay theirs mid-morning and lay one at a time each day with a maximum of four.
After a while, the robin flew off but didn’t return. I took one more shot hoping I might be able to see if there was a blue egg in the nest. (I’m sure we all know that robins’ eggs are blue. There’s even a color named after them.) Alas, if there was/is an egg in there, it wasn’t visible to my camera. And there was no way I was going to get up close and personal to find out because I didn’t want to disturb things if there was an egg there.
I haven’t seen the robin since then. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any further activity and will report back with any news. So, stay tuned!
July 4th fell on a Monday. Ergo, a three-day weekend. Not that it matters to Michael and me since we are retired, so every day is a weekend! But for Jen and Louis who are still gainfully employed, it meant an extra paid day away from the office. And that’s a good thing! We let them select which day to come out for our holiday barbecue, and they chose Saturday. A few days before, Jen and I discussed possibilities for what to serve at lunch and dinner. After she checked with Louis as to his preferences (Michael said he was fine with whatever was decided), we finalized the menus.
Lunch was simple and pretty quick: franks and beans. I decided to keep my camera zipped up, so no photos. At least, not of those franks and beans. But stay tuned….
We had settled on chicken for dinner’s main course. I chose to do a whole chicken beer-can style.
I love doing it this way because once you get it ready and put it on the bbq, it requires no tending. Ready in about an hour. However, instead of beer, I used white wine. Since you can fill the container with any type of liquid, the past two times I’ve made chicken this way, I’ve tried first beer and then white wine. Frankly, Michael and I haven’t detected any beer or wine flavor in the chicken. So we’ve come to the conclusion that the liquid makes a bird that is incredibly juicy. Even the white meat!
While the chicken was roasting, we had cups of watermelon gazpacho.
Chicken’s ready! Here’s some of it carved. Dee-licious!
After lunch, we had taken a ride to get Jersey corn. We all agreed these were disappointing as they weren’t very sweet.
It’s a tradition for us to have the “Clairmont Diner Health Salad” at July 4th barbecues. Michael’s mother gave me the recipe years ago. She got it from one of her sisters who lived in Verona, NJ, near the Clairmont Diner. Since I’ve never been to the Clairmont, I have no idea how authentic this recipe is. But it sure makes for very tasty eating!
Before lunch, the topic of pickles came up since I was going to put some out with that meal. Louis said he liked half-sours but not sours. I didn’t recall him every telling me that, so I didn’t have any half-sours on hand. Actually, I don’t like them, but had I known, I would gladly have bought some for him. After all, he is our favorite son-in-law! In any case, the pickles I prefer and always have in the frig are these:
Louis was skeptical about liking them since he thought they’d be like sours. But after a nibble, he promptly fell in love with them. So, of course, I put some out at dinner.
Drinks were lemonade for Jen and me, beer for Michael, and Perrier for Louis.
We kept dessert simple. I still had some of the strawberry ice cream I’d made using the second batch of strawberries Michael and I picked at Battleview Orchards in June. I also made Bing cherry sorbet. Delectable! Delectable!
On Sunday, Michael and I enjoyed a barbecue for two with Missouri-style baby back ribs taking center stage. Again, I decided to relax and not be a slave to my camera.
On Monday, the 240th anniversary of our nation’s birth, Michael and I had franks and beans again. Made sense since there were two franks that I hadn’t cooked. This time, I took photos of them and the rest of the meal.
Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta
Hebrew National Franks
Batampte Sour Kraut and Garlic Dills
Homemade Cole Slaw
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Homemade Bing Cherry Sorbet
New York City
Le Coq Rico
Le Coq Rico
New York City
2nd Ave. Deli
Apella Greek Taverna
The Poached Pear Bistro
New York City
Le Coq Rico
Agern – 2
The Modern Dining Room
Eleven Madison Park (Our Anniversary)
Autre Kyo Ya
Red Hook Lobster
Eleven Madison Park
The Modern Bar Room
Local Smoke BBQ
Koy Turkish Grill
The Summer Solstice 2016 arrived yesterday at 6:34 p.m. That means today is the first full day of summer, the longest day of the year. Looking forward to enjoying a couple of months of what Michael calls “Rozy weather” and eating the fruits and veggies I love best!
Summer in a Bowl (EMP 2015)
Hillary Clinton has done it! She has broken the highest “glass ceiling” by becoming the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. Epic!
Those who know me will tell you that I’ve remained bitter about the 2008 Democratic primary because the nomination was literally stolen from Hillary. After a campaign that was rife with misogyny and sexism, she was actually ahead of Obama in popular votes, so in order to secure the nomination for him, the DNC’s Rules and By-Laws Committee stole votes from her that she’d earned in Michigan’s primary and handed them over to him even though he chose not to be on the Michigan ballot. I was angry that she bowed out and did not insist on a contested floor vote. Despite the fact that she won the NJ primary by 10%, then-Gov. Corzine gave all NJ’s votes – including mine! — to Obama whom I never had any intention of supporting for many reasons and so didn’t vote for in 2008 and 2012.
To be honest, this time around, I’ve been worried that the Democrats would find a way to once again deny her the nomination. They allowed Bernie Sanders to run on the Democratic line even though he never was and never will be a Democrat. And what have he and his minions done? They’ve waged a disgusting campaign against Hillary filled with lies and sexism. Shades of 2008!
Last night, superdelegates gave Hillary just the number of votes she needed to clinch the nomination. And today, Democrats in NJ will give her more than enough pledged delegates to put the proverbial nail in Sander’s campaign coffin!
One of those votes was mine!! And this time, nobody is going to steal it from me!
As I stood in the voting booth and pushed the button that put that “X” next to Hillary Clinton’s name, the bitterness I’ve felt began to fade, overtaken by the joyous feeling I had when I supported her in 2008.