By Martha // Posted 1 July, 2013 in: Bikes, Minneapolis 1 comment
One day and nearly 80 miles.
I made my first trip to Stillwater on Saturday with Tom (about 60 miles round trip), who also experienced a new adventure—his first trip to Stillwater by Brompton and his first ride to Stillwater with a riding partner. We were quite the pair in our spandex shorts and jerseys atop 16-inch wheels, very un-Brompton like you might say, given the rules of Brompton Racing. This wasn’t a day for racing, though. There were plenty of hills and lots of road to cover. On his Long Haul Trucker, Tom typically rides to Stillwater and back in under 4 hours, including a stop for a meal. Saturday was a bit different.
We left somewhere around 10 a.m. after grabbing snacks and food for the week at the farmers market and dropping everything at home (that ride also factored into the day’s mileage count, along with another trip in the evening). At some point on the way there I said, “Good morning,” to a woman we were passing. Tom was quick to let me know it was in fact past 1 o’clock.
I didn’t really want to know what time it was or how many miles we’d covered. I just wanted to go at my own pace. Sometimes that meant saying, “Let’s slow it down,” when feeling a bit sluggish. Other times that meant killing it on the hills, climbing out of the saddle and refusing to drop into the granny gears. Thankfully Tom is a great riding partner, matching my pace all the way.
The weather was perfect: not too hot, a little breezy but not overly windy, and the trails provided a mix of sun and shade. Fixing a flat on the trail was another bonus (my previous flats had all been slow leaks IDed at home before heading out). Knowing that I can successfully remove and refit the Brompton’s 3-speed rear wheel with my road tools and patch a damaged tube in the wild was a big confidence builder. You might say I have learned a few things in my year+ at Calhoun Cycle (thanks to many lessons from Luke, Matt, and Hunter!).
Prior to Saturday I’d never been further than 26 miles in one go on my Brompton. I’d never been further than 45 miles in one day, for that matter, and in that case we were riding the tandem.
Part of me wonders what took me so long. And now I can’t wait to do it again.
By Martha // Posted 18 May, 2013 in: Photography 5 comments
There wasn’t much to see at the farmers market just now, but it’s a good thing I took my camera along. Waiting at our front door upon our return was this lovely Scarlet Tanager.
By Martha // Posted 13 May, 2013 in: Minneapolis, Photography 3 comments
I’ve been using a 50mm prime lens since Uncle Don loaned me his D80 for my photography class earlier this year, and I’ve come to love the simplicity of it. Want to see something in more detail? Move closer. Need to see the whole thing? Back up.
Thinking I might enjoy exploring another type of lens (and having just received a new one for his birthday), Uncle Don kindly passed a 55–200mm zoom lens my way this past week. I popped it on for the first time this morning and headed out with a plan to shoot mostly on Auto.
I pointed it at things high up in the trees, at architectural details on rooftops, and down at the ground. Here’s a sampling of what I found.
By Tom // Posted 5 May, 2013 in: Farmers Market, Recipes No comments
In the early season, when trips to the farmers market yield just a few bits of local produce, the pressure’s on. As a cook, you’ve got only one or two chances to enjoy the fruits of the land before it’s back to the winter slog of canned whatever, dairy, starch and meat. So you’d better make that green stuff — the season’s first herbs, a bunch of radishes — shine.
Yesterday’s first trip to the Midtown Farmers Market produced a haul consisting of exactly one small box of pea shoots, courtesy Growing Lots Urban Farm. The delicate sprouts don’t exactly lend themselves to front-and-center, main-course prominence. When more abundant, pea shoots are great in stir-frys, a fresh pea soup, or in a salad, but I worried those options would have blunted the shoots’ flavor or required use of too many additional, non-local vegetables, stealing attention from the shoots.
I settled — eventually — on this pasta with cream, ham and mushrooms — ingredients that would provide rich background flavors that would allow the bright green pea shoots to garner the attention they deserved and drive the tastes of the dish. Plus, with pasta from North Dakota, cream from New Prague, mushrooms from Wisconsin and prosciutto (americano) from Iowa, it felt true to the farmers market eat-local ethos, even if it’s too early for the market to really support it.
Shells with pea shoots and cream
- 1# shells or other pasta
- Olive oil
- 6 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup cream
- 2 oz prosciutto, sliced thin
- 1 cup pea shoots
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until well browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in cream.
- When the cream has reduced significantly and is quite thick, stir in the prosciutto and the pea shoots, reserving a few raw pea shoots to garnish the bowls. Stir until the shoots wilt, just a few seconds.
- Toss cream mixture with cooked pasta until evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping each bowl with a small bunch of raw pea shoots.