Farm to Jar: Happy Kitchen Madness

The post title is inspired by my friend Deb Di Bernardo and her "Farm to Cup" philosophy for Roast House Coffee. They work to develop personal relationships with the people who grow the coffee they roast and with the people who ultimately drink it. (And their Ride the Edge blend debuted at this year's Bike to Work Week Spokane tastes wonderful--go find some!)

It's the personal touch that makes all the difference.

Today we had an intense "Farm to Jar" day. We took off around 9 a.m. for Green Bluff in search of raspberries (not quite ready last week) and cherries (in abundant supply). We're so lucky in Spokane to have over 30 small farms in a 12-square-mile area an easy, beautiful drive from downtown, along with farmers' markets in different neighborhoods several days a week.

The young 'uns picked like troopers, although they were disappointed not to find Bings hanging in clusters like grapes the way we did last week at Hansen's. Plenty of pie cherries though! And plenty of stupidity on my part--went off without putting on any sunscreen and paid the price for four hours of picking in the hot sun.

Once home with pounds and pounds of sour cherries and raspberries I went to my happy place: making good food for people I love.

The kids retreated to the cool basement, where they watched movies and pitted the cherries.

Meanwhile I steamed up the kitchen: got bread dough rising; made two batches of raspberry jam; started dough for homemade pizzas to be topped with veggies from Thursday's South Perry Farmers' Market (Facebook page); baked a cherry pie; baked the pizzas; baked the bread; and wrapped up a long, hot day making sour cherry jam.

When we bite into a slice of fresh bread with fresh jam we'll taste that personal touch.

More than 7 Links: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Thanks to ProBlogger Darren Rowse’s 7-Link Challenge, I’m back in the blogging saddle after a monthlong gap created by vacation, its catching-up aftermath, the Fourth of July weekend, and various other excuses. Good thing I have that day job.

This looked easy when I first read the list but has turned out to be work. It would be even more work if I were to take that 7-link business as a constraint. I didn’t.

Your first post: Actually my first three posts since apparently I hadn’t yet figured out how to create posts as their own individual pages for archiving…. A fairly lame start to the whole enterprise, really, with wildly varying tone and topic.

That’s what you get when you start a blog just to find out how much work it is to write a blog, rather than having decided on a purpose, a voice, and a central theme. Oh well. Maybe I can serve as a bad example for beginning bloggers so I feel useful.

As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, it's also quite amusing to read a two-year-old statement that I'm on Twitter "very seldom." How was I to know?

A post you enjoyed writing the most: This one is a toss-up. I note that these are all family posts; I write about public policy, bike commuting and active transportation and a lot of miscellany but clearly I like my quirky and quotable family members best. Contenders are:

A post which had a great discussion:

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written: Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs on Twitter) writes far too infrequently on her personal blog. A (Sort of) Sentimental Post that I Tried to Make Less So is a beautiful meditation on parenthood.

Your most helpful post

Public sector communications job applications 101 and its Twitter twin Real-time reviews of job applicants, or, I can be brutally honest. Just watch.

A post with a title that you are proud of

Social media: Drinking from the firehose, being the ocean and Sweeping generalizations are always false, Mr. Professional Traffic Engineer (yes, I totally get the oxymoron—it’s deliberate)

A post that you wish more people had read: Again, tough to choose.

As I paged back through my archives I thought of other categories not worth linking to, but quite evident in my blog:
  • Posts of no possible interest to anyone other than your own mother (and her only on a good day even before she got dementia)
  • Posts demonstrating that you have not yet settled on any kind of consistency in topic or publishing schedule necessary to attract honest-to-goodness readers and subscribers
  • Posts demonstrating that doing a round-up of links to blog posts you find interesting is a guaranteed way to get zero comments, at least on this blog
  • Posts with recipes even though this isn’t a food blog
  • Posts demonstrating that apparently at some point I changed my title capitalization style without noticing, despite having been a copy editor in one guise or another for the past 20 years, and that even though I have now noticed this I’m not going to spend the time to make it consistent
  • And posts like this one demonstrating that after nearly two years I still can't get consistent spacing or typefaces in Blogger because I get tired of poking at the HTML crap created by Word copy/paste as my eyes get older and I should just give up and switch to WordPress but instead I just give up and go to bed. G'night.