Pennsylvania Pizza

Peter at Keystone Cider, Q. Cassetti, 2010It was running from pillar to post this weekend. No time for blogs, naps in the car from one place to the next. Friday found us meeting up with some family members from Rob’s family—a treat, a sparkling gem. Things have been hard for them, but time has not visibly aged them…but the wisdom, kindness and joy peek out from the words and ideas and we are sad with them and embrace them in their joy. It was wonderful. We left them to have dinner with Ron and Mary to go have dinner at the Pourhouse—meeting up with people we do not have a chance to chat with…to much happiness and laughter. Then, we dropped into the Rongo for the driving, happy music of Billy Eli and Eric Aceto. Lots of energy, nice crowd dancing and mixing…and not too loud to talk. We had a chance to catch up with Todd on news around town and things that interest him. Local food being a lead. We had to get home as apples awaited the next day.

We got up early and met Peter and the apple crew at the Little Camp House on Searsburg Road. Peter believes in free apples —so he collects, like a mushroom hunter, old apple trees, and where they are. He calls the owners and asks if he can pick up the excess which they grant him. It was a brilliant day—just warm enough, clear blue skies and if I were the determiner of the “colors” we were on the shoulder of the peak colors. So dazzling yellows, gold, orange, purple and red.  So, there are bags and bags of apples ( coal bags) (85 we finally had), of old and new varieties, quince, and other yummies that are piled into trucks after the picking and sorting on Saturday Morning to go to Keystone Cider in Sayre, PA. I raved about it last year and could rave again this year about the belts and chutes and ladders, the hoppers and the tractor drive. I could rave about the filters and goldenPennsylvania Pizza, Q. Cassetti, 2010 juice being forced out of layers and layers of apple which, when its scraped off the filter is lovingly referred to as” Pennsylvania Pizza”—a dried mash of apples, core, and fiber that the ciderists feed to chickens (or so the young boy who I befriended, told me). Smaller group this year ( I am thinking maybe because it was a rough weather day last year)—but all of us knew the drill…so it went smoothly. We had a nice dinner with the same group hosted by Peter and Peggy—with delicious dinner, of course cider and all sorts of ideas, thoughts and sharing going on. We are so grateful to be included in this wonderful progression from fruit to table—and all the exotics, the ingredients, the community and network that spin and overlap with this group I find amazing. Amazing to understand. Amazing to find that I am in some of those circles that keep overlapping. Amazing to find out how many communities are out there…each as interesting as the next…all locally driven and inclusive. So different from living in a big city or corporate town…as these communities just spin like catherine wheels, overlapping mandalas…that grow and morph. I think living in this small environment makes these groups so much more apparent. Curiouser and curiouser.

Amy, Q. Cassetti, 2010Sunday was up and at em with Rob meeting with a really wonderful new friend to talk architecture, stones, masonry, projects, “who do you know”, “what do you know”, “how do you do it”. High energy, high ideas. Ponds and hot tubs, stones and quarries, steps and projects. While all that was going on, I made beet soup, beet salad and a huge beef (not beet) stew for later during the day. It was processing a ton of stuff in the fridge, so there is more room in the top of the refrigerator and tons more to eat. Thankfully, a bit of cooking keeps my Alex happy…and as its been so wild, it makes me happy to know that we have something for the boy to eat (at least for today).

Then I went off to Amy Brill’s Open House.What a shot in the arm! OMG. It was color, fiber, energy, gorgeous display, Amy “doing her thing” and showing us all the things her clothes do when you turn things upsidedown and backwards…the nineteen things to do with her sweaters. I, of course, couldnt resist and found things I have always lusted after in black and or charcoal (my faves)…along with some beautiful shawls and scarves for the holidays. It was great watching a pair of friends taking picture of each other and sending them to “mom” to approve or direct. Their use of the phone was sublime and quite effective as they managed to pick out sweaters and shawls for all of the daughters for the holidays this year. Amy spun magic and energy dressed in this adorable dress with great legs and cute shoes…constantly fluffing and trying on new scarves and accessories to let us see how great they look. Friends offered up that this was their second time to the sale….with full arms and happy hearts. I hope that this was successful enough for Amy to do it again. I know there are ladies I didnt have the sense to call (as not everyone is a Facebooker) who would faint at all the glory of Amy’s clothes, her accessories, and fibers. The riot of color, buttons,, and details invites a welcome step into Amy’s happy world and vision. And, I want to be in that world with Amy…spinning in joy in the fashion stories she tells us. What an absolute treat.

The small group spent the evening at the lake. Late dinner. Late sleeping and now we are back in the cogs of the machine. More later.