I have written several times in this space about the difficulty in rooting for two teams. Hard for me not to like the Nats, the team I've been going to see 12 to 15 times every year and watch on TV almost every night. Hard for me not to like the Phillies, the team I rooted for since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Some would argue you can't really do that. Those people can cram it.
I've been reluctant to post of late about the Phillies' playoff run, for fear of--I shit you not--jinxing it. But I'm going to post something about it now:
I'll post something more coherent tomorrow.
Colin Powell (commencement speaker at F&M, spring 2009!) displays a smattering of honor for once.
Remember that Michael Pollan article on food policy from last week? Obama's read it.
Two of my favorite subjects collide on the Daily Show: the candidates on the World Series.
?estlove of the Roots tells celebrity encounter stories.
Note to Phillies: AVENGE HIM!
Michael Pollan's piece "Farmer in Chief" has been rightfully making the rounds this week. Highly thought-provoking, both in the article itself and in the comments that follow. I've been planning more backyard planting for next spring, for many of the same reasons Pollan outlines here.
Batman and the Penguin forecast our contemporary debates. No mudslinging, I say!
Although I haven't written anything previously, it shouldn't surprise you to learn I am excited about this Philadelphia Phillies World Series trip. I did notice this particular bit of nose-picking while watching the NLCS. Here are some Phun Phacts about your '08 Phils. Why Can't Us?
Things I didn't get to post Friday: Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman on the McCain health care plan. And Ezra Klein makes an interesting point on the Obama tax plan: most Americans don't actually know anyone making $250K per year.
Due to circumstances, I may add to this on Monday. But for now, here are some good quotes:
"These people have fabricated imaginary monsters that, at some level, they know aren't real and yet they've put those monsters in charge of their lives. They're driven by fear and hatred -- fear and hatred of things they know don't really exist. They are, for whatever reason, choosing bondage to that fear and hatred and it's making them miserable. It's stunting their humanity. It's confining them. It's wearing them out. They need help."
Is it just me, or do the champagne celebrations after the first round of the baseball playoffs feel sort of forced? I can understand busting out the bubbly after clinching a playoff spot, and after making the World Series, and most definitely after winning the whole thing. But finishing off the first round... I dunno. Still a lot of work to do. Do football, basketball and hockey teams get out cases of champagne after winning in the first round of their playoffs? I think not.
This weekend, we headed out to my in-laws' place between Winchester and Berkeley Springs, and while we were out that way we headed up Route 522 to Brannon's Orchard, for what has become an annual pilgrimage.
It's the time of year when you can get good apples at your local farmers' market or most grocery stores, but if you are serious about cooking up apples in quantity, Brannon's is worth the trip. We got a $9 sampler bag, which includes red and golden delicious, galas, romes, and yorks, piled to the absolute top of a brown paper grocery bag. This came to almost thirty pounds of apples, at the absurdly low price of thirty cents a pound. Compare that to the $1.79/pound or $22 for a half-bushel at northern Virginia farmers' markets, or even the folksy tourist trap that is Virginia Farm Market back down towards Winchester. Obviously with gas prices being what they are, you can offset that savings pretty quickly, but if you have business out towards Frederick County, they are absolutely worth stopping for.
What to do with this mountain of apples on my counter? Last night I sautéed a few in butter as a side dish for grilled steaks: a couple with brown sugar for the kids, and two more with onions and curry powder for the grown-ups (an old Frugal Gourmet number). I've already run a batch through the dehydrator, which is a great way to store apples for the winter. Peel and slice the apples, and give them a quick toss in a bath of water, lemon juice and cinnamon. If you are not so fortunate as to own a dehydrator, you can dry them in the oven on its lowest setting, but keep an eye on them. Another long-term storage option is applesauce, and seeing as the October issue of Bon Appetit has a big article on canning, I expect to fill some jars next weekend.
And then there's the pies. Oh yes, there shall be pies. One of my favorites is this cinnamon crumble apple pie, which in addition to being delicious, only has a bottom crust, and a crumb topping. Thus you can get two pies out of one package of Pillsbury pie crusts. (Yeah, I use those. You probably do, too, so quit rolling your eyes.)
The other bounty of the weekend: It was harvest weekend at the in-laws' pumpkin patch. Mostly they grew Gladiators, pictures here, suitable for carving. But I did get a couple of varieties more suited to cooking. A friend from New Zealand tells me that in her part of the world, they eat pumpkin boiled and buttered as a side dish, much as with any other type of squash. I'm anxious to try that one.
Brannon's does not appear to have a web site or any Internet presence whatsoever, so I can't tell you their hours. You should probably go while it's daylight, and in the next couple of weeks. Here are directions from DC.
The Swedish Chef sure does love him some firearms.
I have not joined Facebook, mostly because I feel like I have enough crap to do as it is. Also, because of stuff like this.
I don't argue politics as much as I used to, because of these 60 million yahoos. Republicans like their candidates dumb, after all. You too can debate like Sarah Palin! However, their time of running on the Iraq war as a strength thankfully looks to be nearing an end.
What else happened this week? Oh yeah, the bailout. Would've been nice to have all that Iraq war money for that, eh? Par for the course.
I was never a big Paul Newman fan, but I am after reading this.
Lastly: Good News, indeed!