Throughout the summer and now into fall, every Tuesday afternoon my daughter, our dog Addie and I have taken a 10-minute drive to historic downtown Loveland (Ohio) to visit their large farmer’s market. In addition to fruits, vegetables ….
…we’re also looking for something good for supper. In the past we have had slices of Greek pizza, croissants stuffed with vegetables or ham/cheese, Thai noodle salad, chocolate filled croissants, cheese pastries, etc. This time, my daughter picked up a small pumpkin for later use, croissants to be served with some good Swiss cheese, apple dumplings and a Chocolate Bobka.
Since our shelter dog Addie is afraid of men, shy around women and too enthusiastic around other dogs, I walk with her on the outskirts of the market while my daughter shops.
On the way home, we stopped off at a park in our neighborhood. While my daughter took Addie for a long walk on the primitive trail, I found a bench in the back of the historic 1906 Meade House which is headquarters for the Cincinnati Horticultural Society.
Even though the flowers are starting to fade a little now, they are still gorgeous all around this graceful old home.
We came home to a delicious supper served on paper plates so there would be no cleanup required. We had croissants with cheese and the rich delicious bobka – saved the apple dumplings for another day. I had remembered Chocolate Bobka (or Babka) from an old Jerry Seinfeld TV episode. We had no idea how utterly decadent and scrumptious this is.
We have just three more times to go to the farm market before they close for the season. I wonder what we’ll find next week.
We completed the last of the once-a-week vacation days that my daughter and I have enjoyed this month. I’ve had medical problems the past year that have been manageable as far as going out for lunch or dinner, but have not allowed me to stand and walk long enough to browse through antique shops. Since I’m better, this is what I chose for our annual fall vacation. Fortunately, my daughter also loves antique shops and has patiently been the driver and dining companion. For the last day, I chose a location that is about an hour from our home – Waynesville, Ohio. The village was founded in 1797 and was an important Quaker settlement. There are still over 200 historic homes, most of them in the shopping area of several blocks and side streets. We stopped for lunch at the Hammel House Inn which was built in 1799. The original brick walls are still visible and the fireplace is homey and charming.
Our table was near an open window where we could look out onto the long front porch.
We had a lovely lunch. I chose the English Grille. The salad with strawberries was especially delicious.
My daughter ordered a Reuben sandwich and the cheerful and efficient waitress took our picture.
We don’t usually have dessert, but couldn’t resist some really good quality vanilla ice cream with just a drizzle of chocolate, pecans and whipped cream.
In just a two-block area, we visited three antique stores. The Olde Curiosity Shoppe is one of our favorites.
I found three items to add to my collection – a baking dish and pitcher with the poppy motif that I love and a Roseville bud vase in the freesia pattern which was reduced in price because of a chip that I didn’t mind at all.
There’s also a great quilt shop, Fabric Shack, which is familiar to a lot of my quilting friends around the country because of their excellent online service.
On the way home, we stopped off at a farm market called Hidden Valley to check out their very well stocked rustic store.
There were even a few animals to see…
…and we bought some fudge and cookies to take home.
I’m glad that my daughter and I were able to share these days and enjoy so many beautiful things that southwest Ohio has to offer.
My daughter and I are continuing to have one day a week this month as a staycation day, lunching and then visiting an antique shop in the Cincinnati area. This week, we went to lunch at a restaurant we’ve been enjoying for over 35 years. This beautiful place is located in the equally beautiful village of Mariemont. Mariemont was founded in the 1920s as a planned community village and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007. The area has houses built in the English architectural styles from Norman to classic Georgian. The Mariemont Inn is a Tudor Revival which opened as a hotel in 1929 and the restaurant is named after the term the founder used to describe the village – a National Exemplar in practical town planning.
There are two large dining areas plus party rooms and several areas like this beautiful lounge.
My daughter and I always order a favorite turkey and dill crepe when we have lunch here. The potatoes are simply wonderful – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
We left the gorgeous Mariemont Inn ….
And drove a short distance to the Cincinnati suburb of Oakley. The antique store, Duck Creek Antiques, is housed in a building that used to be the Grace A Rush Bakery, in business from 1937 to the late 1980s. Mrs. Rush had a thriving fruitcake business in her home in upscale Hyde Park before she moved to the building in middle class Oakley. I raised my family in Oakley and remember the bakery and the wonderful Grace Rush fruitcakes very well. It’s nice now to browse through the booths of over 150 dealers on two floors in this 1930s building.
I found two items at reasonable prices: A large soup cup with a Dutch motif….
….and a small ironstone syrup pitcher.
Another very beautiful and successful vacation day.
There’s a new park in my neighborhood, dedicated over the Memorial Day weekend. It’s called Home of the Brave Park and at the very center is a gorgeous memorial to our veterans.
The memorial sets in the middle of a large parcel of land that was home to a fireworks manufacturer since 1931. The Rozzi family is famous in our area for spectacular shows and provided the fireworks for the first night game ever played in the major leagues – the Cincinnati Reds vs. the Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field on May 24, 1935. A couple of years ago, the company moved to another location and now their beautiful property is home to a great park that includes a children’s play area with a waterpark, picnic shelter, walking trails, baseball and soccer fields, and lots of pretty flowers, bushes and trees.
It’s a five-minute drive from my home and I have a feeling the grandchildren are going to be spending a lot of time there this summer.
Ever since we left our country home 10 years ago, my oldest daughter has wanted to go berry picking again. She got her chance today when we went to Blooms and Berries Farm near our home in Loveland, Ohio (near Cincinnati). The strawberry fields stretched out in several directions.
My daughter couldn’t wait to get in and start picking….
…and was thrilled with her first ripe beauty.
She picked about three pounds to fill the large bowl we had brought along.
I also stopped at their farm store to pick up a jar of maple syrup to bring home.
While my daughter was busy picking berries, I was sitting in the shade enjoying a nice breeze, but when we got home, my participation began.
Her favorite strawberry dish is Strawberry Shortcake, so I took out about 6 cups of berries to have for supper.
Remove hulls and cut larger berries in half. Place in a bowl and cover with granulated sugar. Let stand for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, cut in small cubes
3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
Whipped Cream or Whipped Topping
Preheat oven to 410 degrees F
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. With finger tips or a pastry blender, work in the butter until evenly distributed. With a fork, mix in the evaporated milk until dough holds together and forms a ball.
Place dough on lightly floured board and knead for a few seconds. Press dough into a circle about 3/4″ thick. Cut with a 2″ floured cutter to form 10-12 shortcakes. Place shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake @ 410 degrees F for 12 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.
When ready to serve, stir strawberries and spoon over split shortcakes. Top with whipped cream or topping.
Refrigerate any leftover berries.
Especially delicious with these fresh-picked, farm-grown strawberries.
For generations, Cincinnati families have been going to Coney Island on the Ohio River for picnics, rides and swimming. Until the mid-1940s, there was a beautiful boat which made the trip, bringing people from the public landing in downtown Cincinnati to this lovely spot just outside Coney’s old riverside entrance.
Then, up the hill and through the stone entrance to a day of fun.
Everyone enters Coney Island these days by car, coming in the main front gate, but it’s still a fun way to spend a few summer hours. I came along with my youngest daughter and her two children to see Lake Como….
….try out the ferris wheel….
…and bounce up and down on The Frog.
The best feature of this old park is the abundance of big, leafy trees and lots of shade. We picked a shady spot to eat the picnic lunch I had prepared – chicken sandwiches on foccacia bread, brownies and our favorite Broccoli Salad. Here’s the recipe for the broccoli salad which is a little lower in fat than the original:
Blend mayonnaise, granulated sugar and vinegar and refrigerate until ready to mix with vegetables.
Blanch broccoli by steaming for just a few minutes – just until the broccoli turns bright green. Place broccoli, bacon, cheese, onion, pecans and raisins in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to mix.
AT LEAST ONE HOUR BEFORE SERVING, mix mayo dressing with salad and refrigerate for at least one hour.