Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Thanks to everyone who has called/emailed/texted me today. My Grandpa Clarence W. Strandberg passed away quickly early this morning at the age of 90 after a two week illness. It was certainly his time to go, but of course it still comes as a shock to the rest of us. The funeral will be on Monday morning at 11:00 in New Richmond, and he will be buried at 2:00 at the Hill Side cemetery in Minneapolis. For more information on arrangements, click here.

I will write more later, but it makes me so happy that he was able to be fully present at our wedding just 26 days ago. I know in my heart he was holding on for it, and had a wonderful time with all the family that was present.

His official portrait for this week.

Riding around in my "New" Volvo with Grandpa

One of my favorite portraits of him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grinding apples

Last night D. and I ground up about 50 lbs of apples to produce about 3 gallons of cider. These are very dry, very rich apples!

We then used that cider in a 5 gallon batch of beer that uses roasted barley, toasted oak chips, and French Saison yeast to hopefully make a nice smoky apple beer.

But the fun part is grinding the apples using my garbage disposal method. It chews up the apples in a few seconds and spits out applesauce perfect for pressing. I recorded some video, take a look!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Megan's first publication

A huge congratulations to Megan for being published in the Summer 2009 newsletter for the Society for Vetranary Medical Ethics, or SVME. The issue is 12 pages long, including the address label, and Megan's essay takes up 4 pages of that! I will post a link to the PDF when it is online, but for now here are some photos of the newsletter we got in the mail today.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall food abundance

This fall I have decided to really ratchet up our farmers market buying, since if you can handle the volume the cost hardly increases. For example, to buy 4-5 nice tomatoes costs $3 now. But for $10, you can buy half a peck of tomatoes, which is a completely full shopping bag worth of them. Hundreds! So I bought a 1/2 peck and tonight blanched off all their skins, cut them in half, and froze them in freezer bags. I also made a large pot of fresh tomato sauce that I will freeze as well. Megan also mentioned canning, which would be the ultimate in farmers market preservation. It still scares me somehow, but I would love to try.

The second fun event is Megan's parent's apple tree had another bumper year this year, after taking last year off. Last weekend we went and picked two large boxes full, with 5 times as many still on the tree. Tomorrow D. and I are going to crush and press the apples to make a cider, that we plan on using in our next beer in place of most of the water. There will be lots of cider making this fall I hope!

Finally to make our 19th century lifestyle complete, Megan made a watermelon rind pie in honor of my Grandma's fabulous watermelon rind pickles. It is fantastic, with a very fall-like combination of nuts, spices, and raisins.

Enjoy the slideshow!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mr. and Mrs.

We did it! Many many more photos to come, but for now we're off to the Boundary Waters. Be back in a week!