I pedaled to the new Co-op location. It being the first day, the place was packed. I didn’t linger too long–it wasn’t fun to be around so many people all learning how to shop in a new location–but the place is well done. Best part–they now sell beer. I picked up a Stone Imperial Russian Stout. The distributors were still stocking the beer, but I am hopeful they will have a good selection. Stone is a good start, anyway. I even got a free cloth bag for being one of the first 1,000 shoppers. Sweet!
Not so sweet was the bus that close passed me as I pedaled up the hill on Watervliet Avenue toward Central. I already had a head of steam having watched two short school busses run a solid red light a block back. Seriously?! Anyway, back to the bus that mixed it up with me. That’s him in the picture below (taken a block later). I saw him coming too close in my rear view mirror and gestured for him to move away from me. He didn’t get it and instead scowled as he close passed and then pulled even closer when I was at the bus’ mid-point. By then there were no longer parked cars on my right so I was able to move right to avoid getting brushed. Pretty sure he didn’t think he couldn’t cross the double yellow to safely pass me even though there was no oncoming traffic. That, or he doesn’t know or intend to respect the new three foot passing law. Come to think of it, since he was turning left at the corner (see his lane position and his left blinker?), he had no reason to move right at all. Just herding me with his bus. Jerk move.
Not sure I’ll call the bus co. I’ve had mixed success there and the process tends to delay the letting go that is so important to my mental well being. A couple of times I’ve been put into voice mail and received no response. Once, though, they sent a manager to my home to apologize and promise increased training. Overall the CDTA bus drivers do pretty well. The few that do close pass get what I mean when I gesture for them to move away and they move further out. This driver, though, is going to have to get used to seeing more bikes on his route (now that the co-op is open). Bikers who know (a) to ride four feet from parked cars and (b) vehicles need to leave a minimum of three feet when they pass or wait to pass. Deal with it!
That’s enough of that.
Looking at lawn chairs yesterday, I was reminded of a curbside find that had started to come apart. The aged plastic webbing on the seat had started to tear. We even had a package of replacement webbing on hand. I hadn’t jumped right in because it wasn’t obvious how the webbing attached to the chair. I imagined needing to drill holes in the frame and then attaching the webbing using metal screws (which I didn’t have on hand).
A helpful YouTube video suggested the webbing may be held on by reusable clips. I was doubtful my chair had clips because there was no evidence of them. Sure they are tucked under the webbing, but I expected to be able to at least feel them. I am glad I had the urge to investigate. One piece of webbing was ripped through nearly all the way, so I cut it free and was happy to uncover a reusable clip. The clips on this chair are stamped out of sheet aluminum instead of shaped out of steel rod, which is why they were difficult to detect when in place. Incidentally, Lawn Chair USA uses clips from bent steel rod (like the ones in the video) which seem less likely to tear the webbing as it ages. That said, my webbing was tearing on the seating area, not at the clips, so maybe the stamped sheet clips are not so much worse. They sure lay nicely when installed.
With the clips, replacing the webbing requires nothing more than a pair of scissors. I cut lengths of webbing using the old pieces as guides and then pushed a point on one clip through the webbing. Then a quick weave and the clip procedure is repeated on the other side. Slick.
I didn’t have enough webbing to do the whole chair (just a couple of feet short–the roll must have been sold to redo a low-back chair), so I only replaced the three torn pieces on the seat. I’ll probably need to replace more each season, but that’s ok. The job is easy and fun and this chair, with the wooden arms and natty rainbow racing accents (the webbing I added is the blue webbing on the seat), is worth preserving.
Enough of that. Time to start my day for real. Take care.
We get Better Homes and Gardens without paying for it. Not sure why, but the bigger mystery is why a year ago I looked at the first one and why I enjoy each issue so much. It is not a page by page love affair, much of it doesn’t do much for me, but something always catches my eye. This time it was the lawn chairs made in Walthourville, Georgia.
Started in 2010, Lawn Chair USA turns out proper aluminum framed chairs with colorful webbing. They even sell kits to reweb your chairs if you wear them out. Their chairs surely beat the awful ones that come in a bag and seem to be the only game in too many retail towns. I see a couple Lawn Chair USA chairs in our future. You?
Even some of the recipes catch my eye. I will probably give this month’s recipe for Strawberry Coconut Cream Soda a try. I don’t give away people’s recipes without permission, but they share it here. I wonder if the sugar gets well incorporated using their technique. I’d consider blending half of the berries, sugar and coconut milk to get it well combined and then adding the remaining berries and soda at the end. Either way, it sounds delicious.
The weekend gave me a moment to rip Parts & Labor’s 2006 release Stay Afraid. As you can see, time spent listening to this work is time well spent. But for a very few seconds, full volume sound is delivered from start to finish. Good show.
Quieter moments were spent at the community garden. Lacey and I made a picnic breakfast to enjoy there on Saturday morning. Highlight for me was our first use of the vintage Thermos King Steeley thermos. Ours was made in Norwich, Connecticut. New offerings come from China. No photos of the spread (muffins, coffee, fruit and nuts), so this photo of Lacey playing at being a bunny will have to suffice.
The strawberries are small but delicious. The largest and most ripe examples are all pre-nibbled by someone (maybe the baby rabbit I unintentionally sprinkled while watering a few days back). I also picked more radishes and a few garlic scapes and thinned rows of beets and cabbage.
A little more before I let you go–Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner guided me through the very simple process of making my first seitan pastrami. An amazing taste highlighted by fennel, caraway and copious amounts of black pepper.
I didn’t weigh it, but my best guess is I have a two-pound loaf. I’ve seen very small portions, let’s say four ounces, of seitan for sale at the co-op for six or eight bucks. If that is the correct measure of value, I made about $50 of pastrami with ingredients costing maybe a fiver. Magic, I tell you.
Thus concludes today’s public diary entry. Be well.
I wanted greens to go with yesterday’s spicy chickpeas, and the garden isn’t giving up kale yet, but for the last two weeks radish tops have been reliably at hand. I turned again to the Indian Vegan Kitchen and pretty quickly had radish tops with tofu to add to the beans, rice and bread already in the fridge.
I needed a good lunch as I pedaled a bale of hay to the garden (then continued on to the FedEx drop box and the co-op–maybe as many as five feel-the-burn miles). The dry bale I pedaled there earlier in the week was a breeze. This well soaked bale, though, was another matter. Had to be twice the weight and well over the trailer’s limit. I pedaled even more slowly and smoothly and seem to have avoided damaging anything. Sorry, Burley! I’ll be better next time. Like maybe I won’t age hay bales on the side of the house during weeks of heavy rain. Stinky!
I am going to keep this short. I should be outside in the sun. Sweet, sweet sun! Happy Friday.
It is supposed to rain all day today and tomorrow. So far, so true. No lightning so you know the hifi is on. I am going through LPs that came into my collection from I don’t know where. I had set aside some of these records to pass along but wanted to give them one listen. Can’t say for sure I haven’t played them before. It is possible I repeat this procedure every five years. No matter. Eternal sunshine (in my mind).
The keepers? Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys, Greg Copeland, Santana, Dead Boys, Sandy Denny, Joy of Cooking and NRBQ. That’s NRBQ above in 1978! The guy on the left is Al Anderson whom I just discovered wrote Ridin’ in my Car which I first heard in 2010 on She & Him’s Volume Two. I would not likely have discovered this fun for me fact without listening to the original pressing of NRBQ’s At Yankee Stadium. When the album was re-released the song was omitted. More? This album was recorded just south of here at Bearsville Studios. The link is worth a read, so click on it already.
Still to review are Steve Hackett, The Churls and Lindisfarne. I am glad I saved these records as long as I have. Most of them are well outside of my comfort zone but today that is exactly what I want. Too many days I listen to shuffled songs on a one-dimensional collection of music on my iPod.
I can’t sit still through all those records without doing something so I made a labor-intensive lunch of spicy chickpeas (Madhu Gadia’s The Indian Vegan Kitchen never disappoints) and grilled Lebanese flatbread (grabbed from the NYT’s site).
The dough rises for an hour so I started there. While the yeast was eating sugar and passing gas, I put in place all the ingredients for the chickpeas. That dish ended with a ten minute reduction during which time I rolled out, oiled up, spice dusted and grilled the eight breads. A one man assembly line that would have made Henry Ford proud (even if we aren’t proud of him). One eighth of that eaten, all that remains is clean up.
Might need to walk Frida under an umbrella. We miss only two or three walks a year and today isn’t bad enough to be one of them. Correction–Frida thinks today does merit a pass. We made it two blocks, stood for five minutes and then returned home. Can’t say I mind.
Stay dry as best you can.
Although I do 90% of our shopping at the co-op, I stop at a big box grocery once a month to buy seltzer, baked beans, Mrs. Renfro’s green salsa and TP. Used to be a Chopper shopper, but when I found ShopRite sold Victoria Vegan’s Vegan Alfredo Sauce, I became a ShopRite shopper. Precarious loyalty, yes, but the Vegan Alfredo Sauce is pretty swell. I could make it myself, and I have, but sometimes I love just opening a can or in this case a jar.
Enough with the confessions. This post is about beans. Steve’s & Ed’s Original Vegetarian Baked Beans, to be precise.
I was excited to find the can on a shelf at ShopRite. I loved the label and assumed it had been that way since the 50s or so. Legit. The net thinks otherwise. The first use of the brand was in 1992 and it the brand was trademarked in 2008. Hardly an original.
I can only find references to the beans for sale at ShopRite. My best guess is ShopRite creates house brands to sell on their shelves in lieu of simply adding a ShopRite label. Caught me, anyway. I wouldn’t often buy a house brand, but this I snatched right up.
Label said it is distributed by Master Foods in Springfield, NJ. I read that too quickly and assumed the manufacturer was in New Jersey. I now know I have no idea where the beans are made. There is even a URL on the can, www.stevesandeds.com, but there is nothing at that address.
Looks like Master Foods uses the label for other products, too. Here is a not favorable review of their “Original Hot Dog Chili Sauce.” Incidentally, the beans I just ate were fine. Better than I’d expect from a low cost house label. Still, I’ll go back to Bush’s, thankyouverymuch. That concludes my Geraldo Rivera imitation.
Over and out.