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At The In-Town Ramshackle, We Visit The Back Yard Mediterranean

The In-Town Ramshackle adventure continues.
But back at the off grid passive solar prefab? Work continues.

Back at the prefab...
(structural insulated panels)
are being covered...

The Bachelors, aka Anthony Caprara Restoration and Realty, despite a really bad, debilitating case o' poison ivy, are on the land, at work on the off grid prefab home.

At at The In-Town Ramshackle, I am finally, after weeks of "setting up," beginning to relax.

It is a gorgeous, blue skies, perfect sailing kinda day.
The cicadas sing, a breeze blows, I am already thinking about sailing out to the sand bar...

Pipsqueak 2: "I can't take this anymore. Let's GO HOME." She misses everyone. All 199 inhabitants of Pamplin Cit-tay. We all do, too.

But: Child, enjoy the brief Season Of Children while you can. Your Pamplin and Richmond friends will visit you; but here, home schooled, here is where you have the opportunity, once a year, to have throngs of childrenz. Pirate, sailing childrenz at that.

One thing that has surprised me after leaving Richmond for the off grid prefab home in Pamplin and then to buy the In-Town Ramshackle (in the Chesapeake Bay town where I've spent a lifetime of summers and now share with our next generation pirates) is how...

How there was NO transition for the children to Pamplin. In our hearts, Pamplin (and the still under construction prefab green home) has been home a long time before we moved there. Not once did they look back to Richmond when we left.
Architecture is nothing without community... we have tons of friends and family in Richmond, we love Richmond; but: we're really happy in Pamplin. Deltaville and DC t'ain't bad, either.
Occasionally the Pipsqueaks will say, "When will [XYZ Richmond Friend] come to visit?"

But that's because they're used to all our Richmond friends visiting us on the land, or at the Bay, even when we lived in Richmond.

What I did not expect was how, in the midst of the summer Bay environment they also have grown up in, splashing and sailing and pirating, they still yearn for home, for Pamplin, for the off grid prefab home, for the fields, for their neighbors, their friends there...

And that's ok. But we're not going anywhere yet. There is a strong Bay breeze, cool welcoming pools, sandbars to conquer, and a tiny air conditioning unit at the ready when the 100+ Heat Waves break upon us and my asthma kicks in.

What I thought would be a back-and-forth-over-the-summer I now realize, thanks to asthma, will be "for the season" every year.
But who's complainin'?
I'm in my back yard Mediterranean. With old friends.

Caribbean, shimear-a-be-an.
Who needs a plane ticket to a far-away vacation where you don't know anyone when you can have this, with dear friends:

Pipsqueak 2 had her first Spend The Night Out [Without Her Parents Going Somewhere With The Friends Too] Night Out... In typical pirate fashion, her first Spend The Night Out was... on a boat.
Next to a lighthouse.
Handsome Husband: "WHAT IF SHE SLEEP WALKS?!?"
Um... well... she's never sleep walked in her life so can we just hope she doesn't and if so, knows how to swim and can we just throw in a little fairy dust as we toss her into the brink?

In the summer heat, with the H's over, I served Molded Food
Just you wait until I move on to Molded Meat. I'm not kidding. The French even have a word for it- Chaud Froid. I am a huge fan.

For the doubters: I present: My molded food.
My take on aspic molded food, yo.

(Replace icky ingredients like "cherry jello, with 100 artificial ingredients and red dye to boot" with unflavored gelatin + pure juice & a little sugar, fyi, when converting old recipes...)

Molded Aspic:
First layer: In a saucepan make lemonade: lots of lemon, some sugar, water. Simmer and add unflavored gelatin until melted. Cool.  In a mold arrange olives & ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered, in patterns. Carefully spoon the lemonade mixture over, chill in freezer. I was not careful. It shows, lol.
And yes those are vintage Arabia plates...
found in the local thrift shop...

Middle: Mix some of the lemonade/gelatin mix with dill and sour cream. Once the first layer has set, spoon this on top. Chill.
Last layer: Add tomato juice and more unflavored gelatin to the remaining lemonade mix. Even some tabasco or horse radish if you like. Add to the second layer, once set. As usual... I was not careful. So there.

Fruited Floppy Fruit Something:
First layer: Carefully arrange hand picked black berries (the last of the waning berry season!) with pieces of orange, and pour the lemonade mixture over it. I... was not careful.
Second layer: Again, a lemonade / sour cream mixed with the first ripe cantaloupe of the season! And some leftover berries & orange. Carefully spoon in over the first layer, once set. I... yeah, forget that careful layer stuff. I've got guests in two hours.
But seriously, even though it deflated as soon as I unmolded it: It really was refreshing and tasty.

Melanie's NONmolded Peach Bruschetta: 
Slice fresh peaches, wrap in foil, and grill.
Slice french bread. Top with a peach, a slice o' mozzarella, basil, and drizzle with balsamic. Broil. Yum.

Reading Club:
  • Consumption is out. Apparently thanks to the 'giant flea market that is the internet' (Well that makes sense! For myself, it was never fun just going out and buying something when you could restore or recycle!)
    "The concept of shopping has shifted from owning stuff to buying into new ideas. Compared to previous generations, Millennials seem to have some very different habits that have taken both established companies and small businesses by surprise. One of these is that Generation Y doesn't seem to enjoy purchasing things."
  • Urban Planning: Cities are considering the use of analytics to predict traffic jams an hour before they occur.
  • New superbug in (factory farm) chicken: >Backyard, organic is best... 
  • What Climate Change Looks Like: DC Airplane Sinks Into Boiling Runway (I knew someone on that flight!)
Next week? France.
You know, Handsome Husband and I always remark how much these beautiful moments in Virginia remind us of southern France, of far-flung Islands, of Scotland, the foothills of Austria...
Well now? France comes to us. Stay tuned.
WAIT!!!!!! Can I spend the night?!?"
Operation Pass The Kids Off Onto The Sailboat
As They Pass did not work as well as I hoped.
They're wolves, by the way.
"No, we're ocean wolves!"
Oh, ok...! Yes, you are.

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