Archive for agates

Late October at Lake Superior

the path to lake superior

view of lake superior from the overlook near deer park ~ michigan’s upper peninsula

Finally we got a chance to head ‘up north’ to the Upper Peninsula — for a very quick and very long overdue couple of days hunting for agates on Lake Superior. The foliage has been late to turn this year — rather than the drab far-past-peak colors we expected, there were surprising bits of color here and there. Sadly my camera couldn’t do it justice…

road to lake superior

color a bit lacking on this road to the lake…

splash of color in the up

this road had seen some heavy logging ~ still a splash of color to be seen

fall color in the up

another splash of color outside our little cabin ~ nestled among the tall pines where myriad nuthatches (red- and white-breasted variety) and chickadees played morning and night…

It was only 36 hours by the clock, but a welcomed eternity for the soul πŸ™‚

calm lake superior

unusual to see the big lake so calm in autumn

lake superior agates

a few of the treasures we brought back… lake superior agates and other interesting stones…

path to the lake

the path my feet will be dreaming of until spring … leading to a little piece of heaven ‘up north’

Happy Monday!


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Fall Frenzy

Another hurricane is busy wreaking havoc — this time on Florida with other states to come — here’s hoping all in Irma’s path are safe tonight.

The week since I returned from Mass. was mostly rainy and cold — so cold we covered the beans in case of frost on Friday night — luckily that didn’t happen. This week should bring better weather. Tomatoes are still trying to ripen outdoors and the squash and cukes have taken on a second life. Peppers are coming on strong and the little chinese broccoli seedlings are growing… kohlrabi too. The lack of heat has meant fewer brinjals and no okra at all. Still there are chard and beets and so on… there’s nothing to complain about with the gardens this year!

squash and long beans

beautiful long beans, summer squash and lebanese zucchini ~ with one lonely brinjal

daisy is dreaming of agates

daisy is dreaming of catnip from the garden

lake superior waves

I am dreaming of Lake Superior …

lake superior agate

and her hidden treasures!

If this nice weather holds, we might be able to escape to the UP for a day’s agate hunting πŸ™‚

pickles and basil dressing

Meanwhile, here is Miss M’s scrumptious basil salad dressing, along with a mess of pickles we put up last night!

Miss M’s Basil Salad Dressing

I messaged Miss M to send me the recipe for the yummy basil dressing we had at her new apartment. Would you believe my baby is 25!??! She and her boyfriend made a salad of home-grown tomatoes (carried in bubble wrap all the way from Michigan!) with burrata — that creamy dreamy cousin of fresh mozzarella — with this fresh dressing drizzled on top.

Here is the recipe precisely as she told it to me πŸ™‚

“Take half a cup of olive oil, two cups packed basil, a bit of lemon juice–calls for 1/4 of a cup but I like less, and 1-2 cloves garlic. Salt and pepper to taste, blend together and enjoy!!

OH, and add three tablespoons pine nuts!!”

I used all the lemon juice and just love this dressing on any salad — but especially with burrata — check out this link!


Happy Monday!



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Up North Rocks

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan rocks — literally and figuratively!

Just back from a glorious mini-break, I am happily faced with two hundred-plus pics to go through (not bad for three days!) and a garden full of produce to preserve.

I promised pickles for dear sra and pickles I shall post soon.

For tonight, just a quick few photos from the lovely autumn days in the UP. The river shots are just for my dear friend ISG — we all know she is a river girl at heart! πŸ™‚

muskallonge lake
muskallonge lake ~ view from the eastern shore

lake superior
lake superior shoreline

a tiny agate
a tiny agate… (lake superior rock!)

tahquamenon river
the tahquamenon river

cut river
the cut river where it flows into Lake Michigan

lake michigan ~ view from US2
looking west from US 2 ~ Lake Michigan in the UP

More UP fun to come — but next up — pickles, chutney and perhaps tomato jam πŸ™‚

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Going “Up North”

beanstalks grow on this huge sunflower...
beans are climbing up this huge sunflower…

Now that I live in the “northern lower”, a trip “up north” to the Upper Peninsula isn’t such an undertaking — all I need is a few days off and a car as opposed to a few weeks off and a plane ticket!

Here is where I am headed…

When I get back I hope to have some great new photos — perhaps even some foodie stuff too! (such as pickles, sra?) πŸ™‚

lake superior ~ yum!
lake superior

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Kohlrabi Sambhar — The Joke’s On Me!

fresh kohlrabi
fresh and tasty kohlrabi bulbs and greens

Before the New Year I promised to post kohlrabi sambhar, inspired by Anita’s delicious haak. Looking back in my archives I saw that the joke was on me —

I’ve already posted the very same, way back in 2009!

Well, it didn’t spoil by keeping — this is still far and away my favorite sambhar, aside from Suganya’s spicy sambhar, or Padma’s udipi sambhar, or roasted eggplant sambhar or oh, yum, jackfruit chips sambhar… ok, I admit it, there is no such thing as favorite sambhar. Happily there are endless varieties to try!

This is quite a lame excuse for a post, using all these old links, but it’s fun to delve into the past, and next time I promise something more original. At least I’ve kept my promise to myself — get back here and post *something* before another week flies by. This weekend, perhaps a field trip to the new Wegman’s is in order! Now that would be something to get excited about πŸ™‚

To redeem myself, here are a few belated photos from late summer in Michigan’s glorious Upper Peninsula…

birch trees in late afternoon
birch trees on the shores of a small lake ~ late afternoon in the upper peninsula

lone loon in the upper peninsula of michigan
a lone loon glides along…

great blue heron stalking
in the distance, a great blue heron stalks the shores of that little lake

great blue heron upper peninsula
contemplating supper…

northern lake huron landscape
landscape of northern lake huron shore near les cheneaux islands

northern lake huron fauna
flora of northern lake huron

a small island in northern lake huron
a small island in northern lake huron

a small island in northern lake huron
a closer look

monarch on northern lake huron
monarch on goldenrod ~ north shore of lake huron

monarch on northern lake huron
monarch on goldenrod ~ north shore of lake huron again

SS Herbert Jackson
one of my favorite boats ~ the classic laker Herbert C. Jackson! just managed to catch her upbound to the Soo; here she is in Lake Munuscong, the area where the St. Mary’s River empties into Lake Huron

No trip to the Upper Peninsula would be complete without an agate foray!

unusual green and white agate from lake superior
an unusual agate from lake superior ~ it looks blackish but it’s actually green and white


Is it global warming, or just cyclical oddity? My daffodils are coming up in the backyard; it’s been an unseasonably warm fall and early winter.

Yesterday the weather finally turned cold — not just here but up and down the east coast — strawberry farmers in Florida were setting ice film on their fields to save the fruit, and it was 11 F on my way to work this morning.

Now it feels good to recall those lazy, hazy days of summer, melding into golden autumn.

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I Heart H Mart, Gaji Namul (yummy Korean eggplant), and Of Course, Michigan

a peach colored agate
a peach colored agate from the shores of lake superior

I have discovered H Mart, practically in my backyard. Just down the road,
so to speak; a hop skip and a jump from my favorite Indian grocery haunts.
Oh joy!

ingredients for gaji namul

ingredients for gaji namul ~ check out the one *pound* bottle of roasted, crushed sesame seed ~
on sale at H Mart for the paltry sum of $5

Shopping at H Mart is an experience in itself. To quote one Yelp reviewer
from last year: “There are Zip cars in the parking lot, that should tell you alot.
A trip to H Mart is not an errand, it’s an event”!

A giant produce section with every vegetable imaginable — on Saturday I saw actual fresh jackfruit, whole, as big as two footballs!
Oh, how I wished I had a knife big enough to handle one of those.
Oh, how I wished I had brought my camera!

Fresh bamboo shoots are available halved, sliced, cut into cubes or strips.
A myriad of mushrooms awaits; if you’ve ever wanted to cook with hon shimeji, beech, maitake — here they are.

The world is your king oyster mushroom at H Mart.

Usually they have brinjal, long Asian as well as smaller Indian; ridge gourd, silk squash, ash gourd, pumpkin, etc. Fresh peppers, hot and sweet, every Asian green you can think of, herbs, and tofu — oh, the tofu!

Meat and fish of every variety is sold as well — marinated, sliced in specialty cuts for what I can only assume are some of the hallmarks of Korean cuisine, and there is an entire section of prepared Korean side dishes — bracken, spinach, mushroom, you name it — and of course kimchi of all sorts… I could go on and on. Noodles, frozen dumplings of great quality without MSG, oils and vinegars and sauces, shelf upon shelf of seaweeds, even a small section with dals and various spices — although for dry spices I’ll take my Indian markets any day.

At any rate H Mart is a great place for retail therapy — not to mention lunch, with a food court and bakery right there in the store. Next time, I’m going to bring my camera.

Last weekend I was out hunting agates.

outfitted for the (agate) hunt against the elements at whitefish point ~ yes, it’s always windy and cold up there!

This weekend I was hunting for an authentic Korean recipe — a side dish in which quick-cooked spinach is seasoned simply with fresh garlic, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame. I stumbled upon Maangchi, whose infectious cooking videos — complete with eclectic music — reeled me right in. In addition to the spinach, I was enticed to make this eggplant dish, called gaji namul. I changed it up a little by adding fresh ginger and cilantro, as well as some fresh chopped bamboo shoot; but mostly I followed Maangchi’s recipe. It’s amazing on rice!

gaji namul with bamboo shoot

gaji namul ~ korean seasoned eggplant
it was so late, I had no time for a pretty presentation but trust me, it’s delicious!

Check out the original recipe here and the video here. Thanks Maangchi!

Requisite Michigan pics πŸ™‚

majestic mighty mac
the majestic Mackinac Bridge in waning sun

ice bridge
and a bridge of ice on the old pilings at whitefish point

72 million rocks at lake superior
millions of rocks, with maybe a few agates mixed in ~ storm front passing over lake superior

yellow rumped myrtle warbler
a yellow rumped (myrtle) warbler at paradise

brick red agate
a brick-red agate full of fine banding

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Autumn Agates

Q: What could be better than hunting for agates on Lake Superior?

unusual agates
unusual autumn agates

A: Hunting for agates on Lake Superior for two glorious, warm autumn days!

Lucky me, I got to go.

lake superior in autumn

late afternoon sunshine bathes the landscape…

…with a magical glow

is this an agate?
what am I?

pink agate
a beautiful pale pink agate… looks good enough to eat!

perhaps amethyst agate
unusual, cylindrical agate with… perhaps an amethyst center?

another pale pink agate ~ finely banded

Happy November indeed! But I’m missing it already… πŸ™‚

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