A&W

Now that it is somewhat warmer outside, I have the need to be outside in the evenings.  Last night I had the need for some hills to fill my mind and make me feel alive (“The hills are alive. . .”), okay, no, I just love the glacially cut hills of Onondaga County.  So I hiked it down to Cortland (well, I mean drove), and I wanted something to eat, so A&W it was, because I remember coming here as a child, and I wanted to play with the buttons.  You know, as a child, you don’t get to do any of that, being relegated to the back seat.

Here’s the menu:
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I wish I had a photo of the menu from when I was a child!

They still stick the tray on your window, even though the window is a bit slanted:
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You can go inside to eat, but what fun is that?
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Here’s the rest of the bays.
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It was fun to sit there and have someone bring stuff out. Like magic. Like being a child again! And no, there were no roller skates involved!

These photos were taken on my cellphone, so not the best.  I need to start bringing my camera with me now that it is warmer outside.

The Thousand Islands – Saturday

Saturday we got up extra early (why?) got ready and headed for a breakfast buffet (mmmm, breakfast, my favorite meal), which pretty much held us all day long.  We then headed down to Clayton, stopping first at this marine store, where there were various sizes of anchors that had been rescued from the bottom of the river. Here’s some of the smaller ones:

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We then headed to the Antique Boat Museum and the Antique Boat Regatta.
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It was quite windy, as you can see from the water!

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I love the old wooden boats.

We were hoping to go through ‘La Duchesse,’ but it was closed for the Regatta weekend.
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This houseboat was built for George Boldt for living, housing guests, and entertaining.

We then took a nap here, because somebody was grumpy from not sleeping good on the ground (hmmmm, yes, it was me):

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Then we went to Corbin’s River Heritage store, which was so cool! The walls were filled with old photos that could be bought. And there were tons of books, of which I bought a couple.

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Then it was time to get ready for our three hour dinner cruise. Note to anyone wanting to take a dinner cruise – make reservations – that way you get a table by yourself and in a prime location!

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It’s so cool to see so many islands, and the huge houses that people build on them. Don’t sleep walk, you may end up in the river!

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As we were eating we passed under The Thousand Islands bridge:
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After we finished eating, we sat in the bow and enjoyed the fresh evening air:
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And by the time we got back, it was late, so we went straight to the ground and I slept like a log.

First Week in August

I’ve never really been a big fan of August.  Too many family members have died in August. And the minute it hits, my eyes start itching, the air feels yucky, and the worst part is, I didn’t know how cold it was to swim in the evening in August.   I thought September would be the month I wouldn’t be able to swim anymore, who knew August was it?  Unless it really warms up.  So now I have to find another form of exercise.  But I love swimming so much – wah!  And swimming in the pool at the Y is just *not* going to be the same.  Which reminds me, I need to go to Dicks and get a swim cap and goggles so the chlorine doesn’t kill my eyes and hair.

Anyway, we went up to Sylvan Beach for the car show again, and it is getting boring because we’re seeing the same cars every week, so we’ll give it a rest this week, unless Oneida Lake is still very warm and I need to go swimming there.

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This is a sweet Ford Fairlane that we haven’t seen before.

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Don’t you love the simplicity and largeness of the interior, and that bench seat, good for smooching at the drive-in.

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Love the T-Bird insignia on the sweet, light blue T-Bird I showed you last week.

Afterwards, we went looking for the old bathhouse that was converted into something that we had to figure out, and we finally found it!

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The bathhouse was cut in two and made into the Laff House. So of course we had to take the ride, and laughed our butts off because it was so hokey. But as a kid, I’m sure it’s scary as all get out. Or not.

I don’t care, I love the amusement park:
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It reminds me of Suburban Park in Manlius, where my Mom used to take us every summer until it was closed.

We saw the tugboat Urger which I guess is an educational tugboat.
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I wonder what those horns sound like. Nobody was around to “educate” us! But I guess it used to be a steam-powered tug in it’s day.

The tug was sitting in the canal:
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Saw a big, puffy cloud:
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And blazing, hot, sunset:
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Saturday evening we tried to go swimming and froze our buns off – well not froze, but I was shivering even though I was moving. So Sunday we went to the Polish Festival, got sauerkraut and potato pierogies (yummy!), and ate them at the Inner Harbor,

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where we saw a dredge:
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And behind where we sat to eat are these things in the cement:
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An apple,  LaFayette, where I grew up, is known as apple country

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The Weighlock Building in downtown Syracuse.

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Canal Boat

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Salt Evaporation Vats; Syracuse was known as “The Salt City.”

One of the few buildings for boat repair still stands here:
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I took a much needed nap on my new sleeping bag (nice and comfy) and when I woke up, the sky looked like this:
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And this week, I have to get the camera batteries all charged up, cuz we’re going someplace I’ve never been to before!! I’m so excited!

Stella’s Diner

One of my most favorite places to eat (now that Plainville’s Nature’s Faire has closed) is Stella’s Diner.

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Stella’s has excellent food at a reasonable price, and it totally tastes homemade. My favorite right now, is the veggie burger, home fries (real potatoes with onions) and veggies, mmmmmm.

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Now where can you get food like this nowadays at a price you can afford? And it’s always packed, so we asked one of the cooks (who we know) what time is the best time to go.

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And now that we know, we get right in, mmmmmm. I’m not telling, cuz I don’t want it to be too packed when I’m able to go!

What I Miss

I spent a lot of time in the car on my day off due to a traffic issue on the highway, and listened to “Whatever” where they were asking “what do you miss from years gone by,” and I couldn’t really think of anything, except to be a kid without the huge adult responsibilities, but I hated being a kid because I grew up when parents were really tough on their kids.

Anyway, I just came up with what I miss.  I miss eating whatever the heck we wanted to, and eating whatever we wanted to really didn’t include any junk food except an occasional half-moon cookie or ice-cream.  We ate really good and we ate everything whole, as in whole milk, cheese, etc.   My Mom and I baked bread and cookies and pies and nobody was obese.  We ate three squares, and my parents allowed us to eat whatever we wanted to after school.

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At my grandparents’ home. Wow, it sucks to think three people sitting at this table are gone from us.

So what happened? People told us, don’t eat fats, don’t eat sugars, don’t eat this, don’t eat that, here have this fake “sugar,” fake this, fake that. When I was kid we did not sit around the house playing computer games, txting, watching TV and whatever else. We were *very* active. I know there’s more that’s happened, but let me just say, I miss being able to cook and eat the way we used to.

New Year’s Day Tradition

As I was talking to one of my friends this morning, I asked him what he was going to do with his five year old daughter today.  He said he didn’t know yet.  I told him to start a tradition!  And as I said this, it reminded me of what my Dad’s New Year’s Day tradition was when I was growing up.  He would always make Maple Syrup Candy.  I haven’t made it in years so I don’t have any pics, but I haven’t forgotten how to make it.

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Sugar Maple tree

This also brought to mind another recipe that my Dad liked and we would make every once in a while:  Condensed Milk Pudding.   I haven’t made this is years either, so again, no pics, but I wanted to post the recipe before it got lost.

So what New Year’s Day tradition(s) did you or do you have?

Samuel Forman’s 1812 Home

This is one cool old home, built in 1812 by Samuel Forman, located on Seneca Turnpike in Syracuse:

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It is across the street from Bill’s Inn Fish Fry, where my Dad used to buy fish for us when we were kids, because it was his favorite fish fry. I’ll talk about Bill’s Inn another day. But for now I’ll say, on Saturday night after work, we go there and eat, and I sit facing the old Samuel Forman home across the street. Just because it is one cool, old home:

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Samuel Forman House Entrance

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Hmmm, I wonder if we could take a field trip to this home. I’m going to have to find out. Because the floor plans at the Library of Congress website sure make it look very interesting on the inside.  And I’d like to see what’s behind that oval window.

Saturday Cooking

Part of my Saturday chores are to cook a pot of soup and/or a casserole for the coming week so I don’t always have to cook dinner when I come home from work. I made Winter Vegetable Chowder again. Just because it is yummy. Here it is just after I threw everything into the pot to cook.

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I was looking at the cutting board I was using to cut up all of the veggies for the soup. My Dad and Mom brought it back to me from one of their trips to Vermont a few years ago.

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I use it all of the time. In fact, I need to season it again.

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Since I had a box of Simply Organic Carrot Cake that I wanted to try, I made that too.

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Carrots ground up in food processor. Mmm, orange, my favorite color.

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Even though I like making things from scratch, this was so easy, it took all of two minutes to put together.

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All mixed up and in the pan to be baked!

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Just out of the oven.

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Frosted with “cream cheese” frosting. Cream cheese is in quotes, because I used Tofutti’s cream cheese, which tastes just like cream cheese to me!

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Wanna piece? It wasn’t too bad for a box mix!

Wordless Wednesday

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Lasagne my Mom made a couple of weeks ago (for someone else). Sorry I didn’t get a side view photo when I cut into it.

I’ll provide the recipe for this and my Broccoli Cauliflower casserole, including the sauce, as soon as possible! I hope you enjoy your day!

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Since I was homebound this past weekend from the snowstorm (which doesn’t bother me one bit) I made a Broccoli Cauliflower casserole from one of the vegan vegetarian cookbooks on my cookbook shelf.

I cut up two purple onions (I love these onions) and minced five garlic cloves.
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I cut the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots into bite-sized (or smaller) pieces.
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And even though the recipe says put these all together in a pan and saute for 7 minutes, I don’t do that. My Mom taught me to saute the onions and garlic first until the onions are transparent, like here:
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And then I add the other veggies:
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While these are cooking I work on the sauce:
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These are the herbs/spices for the sauce:
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Waiting for the sauce to boil/thicken:
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And finally, everything in the casserole dish ready for the oven:
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Mmmm, I love this casserole!

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