ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


Old City Falls, Strafford, VT

1-Old Town Falls

I rate waterfalls based on three different factors: 1) the effort needed to get to the falls, 2) the reward once you get to the falls, and 3) the fun you can have at the falls. All three factors contribute to the memorability of the falls. For some falls, I expended a lot of effort, and got a huge reward and had a lot of fun. I call that a win. Other falls didn’t take any effort at all, but were also not rewarding nor fun. I still call that a win.

There are also two paths to get to a falls, you either climb up to them (an “A” shaped hike) or you climb down to them (A “V” shaped hike). I’ll use this system to evaluate each of the falls in turn.

Effort: A moderate “V” shaped hike into a ravine. The ravine was deep enough that it was almost wholly in the shade, even at 11am when we arrived.

Reward: OK. The falls were lovely and there weren’t too many people around.

Fun: Good! There was plenty of rock scrambling, shallow wading, and flat rocks to sit upon.

Pidi and Daisy’s Assessment: Lots of fun smells and shallow water. People were nice and kids weren’t afraid of us. The rocks weren’t too slippery. Daisy went runnoft and had an adventure.


Waterfalls of Vermont Road Trip

Following the MHCDS Residential, Pidi, Daisy and I took a road trip to explore waterfalls of Vermont. I needed some much-needed rest and time away from technology and work. I think my dogs had forgotten who I was, and I had dark circles under my eyes.

Why waterfalls? I saw a listicle.

Pidi Daisy Addi Waterfall

We saw 9 waterfalls over 3 days. I will profile each waterfall for the next few days. However, today, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the overall trip.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 8.03.32 PM

First, water is as powerful as stone. The whole theme of a waterfall is the slow erosion of rocks by water. At any point, the rocks seem hard and the water more soft. But both are patient, and over long timelines, beautiful things can happen.

When walking in the woods, the sound of the waterfall is distinct from all other noises in nature. The sound changes as you get closer to the source, and as it echoes through the trees and off rocks. For most of the hiking we did, the sound of the waterfalls was a lure down the path, drawing us closer to our destination.

Dogs love nature and water. Pidi and Daisy were happier than I have seen them in a long time. I think I was also happier than I have been in a long time. Nature. The antidote to overwork.


Leave a comment

35 Pints of Jam on the wall…

Sam and I took the day Thursday to go to Edgewater Farms and pick strawberries to make jam and other good things. We ended up picking 48 pounds at $2.50 per pound. The strawberries this year are the most flavorful, plump, beautifully ripe berries that I have ever picked. With berries this beautiful, it is easy to make fantastic jam.

However, that was not in the works. (/foreshadowing) I had to go to an important meeting and left Sam with a boiling pot of jam and 36 empty jars. Unfortunately, I think the berries were so sweet and wonderful, there wasn’t enough acid to setup the pectin. The jam didn’t set.

Rather than eat strawberry syrup on our toast, I opted to take the 4th holiday to reset the jam. Gigantic PITA. One unintended consequence – resetting the jam requires additional sugar, lemon juice and pectin. I had to add so much that I ended up with an extra jar of jam after resetting. So 35 pints of jam.

2016-06-30 10.03.27-1


Kimchi is done. Time for Korean BBQ.

2016-07-04 18.06.26

I declared that the Kimchi had fermented and was ready to eat! That means a celebration with Korean BBQ. I put the grill basket directly onto the charcoal to generate maximum heat.

The side dishes were:

2016-07-04 17.35.55


The best pie… EVER

Strawberry Icebox Pie from Cooks Illustrated is the best pie I have ever eaten. Icebox pie is a gelatin-based pie with fresh fruit in a pie shell, topped with strawberry whipped cream. It has all of the qualities of a perfect dessert:

  • Ripe strawberry flavor really shines through
  • Pieces of real fruit
  • Cold, refreshing and you eat it when its hot outside.
  • A positive uplifting note at the end of the meal.

I do one minor variation. I substitute goat cheese for cream cheese in the whipped topping. The slightly goaty and tangy flavor is unexpected in the topping and is a wonderful complement to the fresh strawberries.

My mom used to make these pies when she worked at Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant in Dayton, OH. Seems like it’s still on the menu. No way it can be this good.


  • 2016-07-02 18.35.142016-07-02 18.35.50