Sunday, November 30, 2008

well hello there

I'm safe and sound in Philadelphia, after spending two weeks driving across the country with my sister and a friend. Here are some highlights.

The Salt Lake (Mormon) Temple, Salt Lake City, UT

Red Table Cafe, Fort Collins, CO

New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO
***This is the coolest place to visit, don't pass it up if you get a chance. Wind-powered, employee-owned, amazing beer, free tours***

Omaha, NE
*** This town is way cooler than you think. And we ate at Warren Buffet's favorite restaurant (apparently he always orders the 22oz. T-bone steak with double hash browns and ice cream for dessert, dang).***

City Museum, St.Louis, MO
***This is basically an art installation/playground for kids and grown-ups made out of materials from within the city limits of St. Louis, including two abandoned planes. Amazing***

Chicago, IL

The 55th Carnegie International exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

So now I'm back here in Phila - moving in, eating turkey leftovers, and trying to get back into the swing of things, whatever those things may be.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now it's time for a break

An empty bottle of champagne sits on the table as I write. YES WE CAN! And I seem to have packed and sent off the chord that would allow me to upload photos to this here computer. So with a sense of hope and creeping moving- and interview-stress, I am going to take a break from the blog. I have a going-away party to plan, a drive across the country, and a move into a new life. But you'll see me again soon, don't worry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

School Garden Profile: Pioneer Elementary

Another adorable school garden in Davis, Pioneer Elementary School. The garden coordinator, Carrie, showed me around this great little garden which won a Youth Garden Grant 2006.

Fun features of this garden include this little stage area, which is covered in veggie vines during the school year (so it looks like a little cave!). A great place for the kids to sit and listen to the garden topic of the day before diving into the soil, and a great place to store tools.

Hand-turn composters!

Potatoes growing in old tires!

A sweet little greenhouse!

And a wonderfully organized shed, with so much character!

It's amazing what you can do with a little start-up money. This garden is completely self-sufficient now; they make their money for the year at the annual scarecrow auction and by selling rosemary wreaths during the holiday season. So after an initial investment of capital and hard work, a garden like this can take care of itself. Inspirational.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fire Truck Cakes!

Check out the matching cakes my housemate Crys made for her friend's twin boys! OMG!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Parlor Profile: Tara's Organic Ice Cream

I went to visit my friend Emily in Oakland last weekend and she took me to Tara's in Berkeley. There are a few more ice cream parlors in the Bay Area that I would really like to profile, including Mitchell's and MaggieMudd in San Francisco, and Ici in Berkeley. But since I'm moving in, oh, a WEEK (eek!), I don't think I'll be able to do it. But now you all know a few places to go for your ice cream fix in the Bay Area!

Now, on to Tara's:

Name: Tara's Organic Ice Cream Scoop Shop

Location: College Ave, Berkeley, CA

The Scoop: Tara's was started in Santa Fe, New Mexico and produces ice cream in small batches. Most of their business is done on a mail-order basis (you can purchase pints online). This is the only scoop shop they have as far as I can tell. All of the packaging for shipping, as well as the cups, utensils, napkins and all of that stuff in the shop are biodegradable.

The Flavors: We tried Kaffir Lime Leaf, Comote (sweet potato), Rosemary Pear, and Sweet Corn.

The Price: We each got a small cone with two scoops, for $7.20.

The Verdict: We got black sesame waffle cones, which were very sweet and crunchy, in the best way possible. The ice cream also had a kind of crumbly quality to it with large ice crystals, almost like ice cream that you've mistakenly melted then refroze and eaten anyway (or is that just me?). If ice cream can be light, this is light ice cream. And the flavors taste exactly like what they are supposed to be. Like sweet corn? If you took a can of corn, added milk and sugar, blended it and froze it, it would taste just like this ice cream. There were actually small peices of corn in it. We got to taste a whole bunch of other flavors too, like Basil, Lemongrass, Black Sesame, and Pink Peppercorn (I'm not sure why I feel the need to capitalize all the flavor names). All taste exactly like you would expect, surprisingly. All in all, an 8 out of 10!