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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Crippled collie?

Gladys and me, circa 1989, Winston-Salem, NC. Photo by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard I don’t think I’ve ever explained on this blog the meaning of my domain name, There once was a crippled collie. Her name was Gladys. She was born, as I recall, in 1981. She was active, athletic, extremely sweet, and not the […]

Apple pie from Levering apples

Here’s an apple pie from the Lodi apples we picked yesterday at Levering Orchard. I like simple, classic pies, so, as with this summer’s blackberry pies, I used one of the classic recipes from the 1943 edition of Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking.

Levering Orchard

Ken climbs a cherry tree. Today we drove to Levering Orchard in Ararat, Virginia, hoping to pick some cherries. Unfortunately we were a week or so too late for this year’s cherry crop, but we did pick some peaches and some Lodi apples. Levering Orchard has been operated by the Levering family for three generations. […]

Best pie I ever made

My lattice is a little free form, isn’t it? But it tastes just the same as a geometrically perfect lattice. In my family, the reference and standard for good cooking — a standard that is almost impossible to meet — is the standard set by one of our grandmothers. She made amazing pies. Today I […]

Black helicopters??

I am fascinated by conspiracy theories. I figure that there’s always something to be learned from a conspiracy theory, even if the only reality to be learned about is the psychological tendencies of some of our fellow Americans, not to mention their political intentions. So here’s my contribution to a pretty popular conspiracy theory: black […]

Mr. Groundhog and the Mmes. Turkeys

Two mother turkeys with their broods strolled through backyard this morning. Ken took the photo above out the kitchen window. A groundhog family lives just inside the woods at the back of Acorn Abbey. The groundhogs frequently snoop in the garden, but they can be seen just about any early morning or late evening eating […]

Yet another day lily

If I planted 10,000 day lilies, it would never be enough. Above is the first bloom from a yellow day lily in a group of new day lilies that a friend sent me as a gift a few weeks ago. The astonishing thing about these lilies is that they’re blooming generously in the first year, […]

Straw bale gardening update

The straw bale gardening experiment looks good so far. The plants are developing normally and look healthy. I expect to get the first tomatoes and zucchini squash within four or five days. There are 12 bales this year. If the experiment goes well, I’ll at least double that next year.

Euell Gibbons

My photo of Euell Gibbons, foraging on a North Carolina strawberry farm around 1973. Seeing an opportunity to add a nice detail to the photo, I remember sprinting up from behind Mr. Gibbons to get a photo with the ducks in the background. Most of us who are interested in simple living and growing food […]

What's blooming at the abbey…

One of the new day lilies, planted from sets just a few weeks ago My common day lilies, or railroad lilies, that I planted two years ago Blacked-eyed Susans, which I planted from seed last year and which are blooming for the first time Rose of Sharon Gardenia Spiderwort More day lilies. Can you espy […]