Monday, August 31, 2009

Reunion Travels

The Sunflower Fields Wall South Dakota Famous For The 5 Cent Cup Of Coffee
The Plains of South Dakota are dotted with grain crops and cattle which benefit much of the nation. The sunflower fields glow radiantly with heads facing the east. Wall Drug which is an eporium of everything a traveler needs, could use, could want, or probably never heard of, paintings of the Old West to view, and is all wrapped under one block of rooms. Advertised from a radius of several hundred miles, travelers are lured with the 5 cent cup of coffee. Incidentally the coffee was pretty good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Monument Of Our Democracy

The Monument Of Our Democracy
We spent last week in Keystone, South Dakota celebrating with fellow members of The 10Th Ordnance Battalion who served in Germany during their service in The United States Army. The occasion marked the 50Th year of discharge. I will blog this week the sights and experiences of the week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mitchell South Dakota

Mitchell South Dakota
The Corn Palace of Mitchell South Dakota may sound a "little corny" until you learn of the significance of its purpose and history. When Lewis & Clark came to Mitchell they said that man could not make a living on this soil. Today some of the most successful farmers till this fertile soil and corn is the main crop. The building is decorated with murals of 12 different shades or varieties of corn and four grasses at the cost of $130,000.00 a year. The design is applied on black roofing material and the corn is nailed to these murals. The 2009 murals will be placed in September. The building serves the community as the concert hall, gymnasium, community events, and for the annual Corn Festival being held August 26 to 28 which brings in name entertainers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meet Gino

The Waterfront Park
Gino Cacciavillani
Evenings at the Leamingtom City Docks and Park provide a pleasant setting for the residents to gather. We met Gino, his lovely wife Rose, and son Michael. Gino joins other musically gifted residents who come to the waterfront to share their talents entertaining the people as they spend an evening in fellowship.
Gino and his wife shared their story with us. They both lived in the small village of Agone, Italy. When Gino was fifteen the family immigrated to Canada and have been greenhouse farmers which they continue today. His father bought Gino his first accordion at age fifteen. Because of its limited keys and Gino's desire to become more accomplished, he received another accordion when his father sold their home in Italy at age eighteen. When Gino was fifty-five he purchased a keyboard. After ten or twelve lessons Gino continued to teach himself. Today he plays and entertains and is widely known throughout the area for his talents. He and Rose are such a unique couple.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Leaminton City Docks / Marina

Flowers In Abundance Plentiful Petunias The Lake Promenade The Fireman's Challenge Mama Duck With Seven Of Her Nine Ducklings
Thirty-two miles across Lake Erie is one of the most complete and beautiful Marinas on Lake Erie. The Leamington City Docks beautify the grounds with such flowers and horticultural designs. Leamington Canada is dubbed "the Tomato Capitol Of The World". Heinz has a huge factory that processes ketchup and pickles. We arrived the last day of The Tomato Festival. It had to be 95 degrees and 95% humidity.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

Formerly Known As "The Jake" And Now Known As "Progressive Field"!
The Skyline View Of Cleveland "Slider" Visits Our Section
Thursday was a great day to visit the Ball Park in Cleveland. We paid extra to have seats in the shade. The shade lasted for a very short time and so did peace and tranquility. Several Day Camps brought the kids to the only matinee game of the month. Near the end of the game when "Slider" was at the perimeter of the field about 100 kids yelled "SLIDER". "Slider" waved and soon appeared but not before several groups left. "Slider" got mobbed and then some peace was restored. I am sure the kids did not know the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 4 to 1 but they will never forget this day!
Incidentally the name of the field has nothing to do with the Indians Team and their record. It is the name of the insurance company that paid big money to name the stadium.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Austrian-Style Potato Salad

Austrian-Style Potato Salad
My favorite magazine arrived last week. Cook's Illustrated is a magazine that brings the scientific reasons as to why the chemistry of ingredients react, recipe diagnosis, great tips and recipes as well as "Kitchen Notes" and "Equipment Corner" and so much more.
If you travel through the Austrian, Swiss-German areas of Europe, cornmeal polenta or a potato salad is ofter served with plate lunches. The potato salad has a creamy dressing and not our usual mayonnaise dressing. I think Cook's Illustrated has cracked the code for a creamy dressing. When the potatoes are cooked, 1/2 cup is mashed and added to the cooked dressing. I will print the magazine's recipe for Austrian-Style Potato Salad. It has a wonderful flavor and I highly recommend this recipe. I did omit the cornichons which are a type of dill pickle.
Austrian-Style Potato Salad
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 large)
peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1/2" thick slices
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
Table salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small red onion chopped fine
6 cornichons, minced (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons fresh chives
Ground black pepper
Bring potatoes, broth,water, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon vinegar to boil in 12 inch heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with a paring knife, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high (so cooking liquid will reduce), and cook 2 minutes.
Drain potatoes in colander set over a large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Set drained potatoes aside. Pour off and discard all but 1/2 cup cooking liquid (if 1/3 cup liquid does not remain, add water to make 1/2 cup). Whisk remaining tablespoon vinegar, mustard, and oil into cooking liquid.
Add 1/2 cup cooked potatoes to bowl with cooking liquid mixture and mash with potato masher or fork until thick sauce forms (mixture will be slightly chunky). Add remaining potatoes, onion, cornnichons, and chives, folding gently with rubber spatula to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cedar Point Amusement Park

Cedar Point, "The Roller Coaster Capitol Of The World!" Anna Describes Her Ride As Awful Scary!
Tom with Anna Seated Between The Two Yellow Spokes
Mary with Anna
Donna, Mary, Anna, Tom, Jacob, Katie, Philip, Susan and Don
Cedar Point Amusement Park, located on Lake Erie in Sandusky Ohio, is known as "The Roller Coaster Capitol Of The World!" When we had a birthday celebration last week, the children wanted to have a fun day together at Cedar Point. Uncle Tom enjoys the rides as much as the grandchildren. His biggest enjoyment was taking his niece Anna for her first roller coaster ride! Anna's least favorite was riding with Uncle Tom on the (email me the name Susan)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Evening In The Park

The Thursday Night Bandstand Concert
The Boy With The Boot, The Symbol Of Sandusky The Clock As I remember From The Early Years Of My Youth A Salute to A Long Time Establishment The Popcorn Wagon On The Same Corner For Over Sixty Years And Still Operating Popping Corn
Another Display Of Horticulture Talent

The Parks of Sandusky Ohio
Beautifully manicured parks enhance the downtown area of Sandusky, Ohio creating the perfect setting for the weekly Thursday evening concert. Many cities that have had retailing move to the malls have not preserved the downtown area. A vibrant Historical Society has been pro-active in restoring much of the history and buildings of the city.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

South Bass Island

Perry's Monument
The Harbor of Put-In-Bay

Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner!

All Aboard For The Island Tour

Last week, two of our children were in Ohio to celebrate their dad's birthday. We spent one day on South Bass Island. Of course a trip is not complete without a dinner at The Chicken Patio. Son Tom took us down memory lane to see the cottage we rented in 1967.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oberlin College

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Mary and Daughter Anna With Friend Alice
Alice gave us a complete but enlightening tour of the Oberlin College Campus on Sunday. Alice is an alumnus of Oberlin College and will be a staff member for the coming academic year. Oberlin College, Ohio's most prestigious College, was established in 1833 and was the first college to admit a woman and also first to admit an African-American.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thirty Years Later

Thirty Years Later
Daughter Mary on the right joins her high school friend Alice in preparation for the first evening of their high school reunion parties. It is the first time both girls were able to reunite with their high school classmates since graduating as both reside in Europe.
Wasn't it the prom night that mothers always ran for the camera before the kids departed???