AND ANOTHER FINE WEEK IT HAS BEEN…
Boy, we sure can’t complain about the weather. It has been nearly perfect for outside activities. The pups have been enjoying their walks and horses appreciate the nice green pastures that recent rains have provided. Tomatoes that I never thought would turn red have and the cucumber vines are still abundantly full. Oh, what a little warmth and sunshine can do! The rain yesterday was magnificent. I was “forced” to do desk work for the morning and then ventured out when the sunshine finally showed its face. Saturday, September 22, marks the Autumnal equinox, or first day of fall in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere. During the equinox the sun crosses the earth’s celestial equator, an imagined line which stretches from the north to the south. At this time, 4:02 in the afternoon, both hemispheres will receive about the same amount of daytime and nighttime. The name, equinox, is a Latin derivative and means equal night. We’ll begin to see later dawns, earlier sunsets and cooler temperatures.
It has been a few heavy duty horseback weekends. Both fun, but, in different aspects. First, my sister Liz and I headed to Wolf Lake Ranch in Baldwin for some spirited trail riding in the Manistee forest. We arrived Friday early evening to a BBQ of hot dogs and sausages. Thankfully, not knowing that a gourmet meal would be served, I brought a lovely lobster-quinoa salad. Thank heavens for the foresight. All other meals were served family style and were hearty but, not for the faint of heart, as carbs, sugar and fat choices abounded. It was hard to eat “clean” which is what I’m used to. Don’t get me wrong…it was good, everyone enjoyed it. A bell is rung ½ hour before each meal, then, at the time of the meal. By lunch on Saturday we felt like Pavlov’s dogs following a stream of other guests to the dining room. We enjoyed 2 rides each day and had a blast cantering full-tilt-bogey on beautiful trails or just a casual walk-trot ride that allowed us to take in the scenery at a slower pace. There were campfires and hay rides and we met some really interesting women. Liz and I were pretty saddle sore for a few days after…we are not used to this rough and tumble riding. We’ll go back next year for fall colors.
Then, last weekend finished up the last of my competitions for the season with Z. I love to compete for several reasons. The most important it allows me serious one-on-one time with my bud. And, it is very mentally stimulating. You need to be thinking all the time. He and I mutually enjoy riding down the arena’s centerline, halting at X and beginning our 6-10 minute ride before the judge. It is fun. We ended up with ribbons in all classes…lots of useful feedback on our tests and a renewed passion to work hard over the winter and move up, finger’s crossed, a couple of levels next year. And, to qualify for regional’s which are in our back yard at Grass Lake. Yahoo can’t wait.
National Food Safety month continues with reminders of proper food practices. Cleanliness is of utmost importance. Hand washing can be your best defense against spreading illnesses. As are clean work surfaces and food products. Cooking foods to the proper temperature is imperative to assure that the temperature necessary to kill off harmful bacteria has been reached. Use a thermometer to check internal temperatures. Be certain to keep hot foods hot, above 140 degrees and cold foods cold, below 40 degrees, to maintain their safety. Keep raw and cooked foods separate from each other to reduce cross contamination. Wash and sanitize all items that have come in contact with raw food before using again.
Sharon’s in the “front” this weekend so Sean is in charge of some awesome Chalkboard Features. The Bistro Plates are creative and flavorful…Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes are Presented with a Warm Grilled Corn and Bean Salad, Creamy Dilled Cukes and House Made Tartar; Ruby Red Trout with a Herbed Mayo Crust Served over O’Brien Redskins, Skinny Green Beans and Shallot Vinaigrette; Bison-Pork Sausage Wrapped in a Flaky Dough, Baked and Accompanied with a Braise of Cabbage, Apples, Kraut and Fingerling Potatoes and last, not least, Grilled Swordfish over a Barley Pilaf Strewn with Butternut Squash, Sundried Cranberries and Zucchini. Finished with Crispy Fried Shallots and Caramel Butter Sauce. YUM!!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO AND,
WISH YOU MANY MILLION DOLLAR DAYS!!
XO. Mary, Niki, Pico, Picasso and Z