Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Foodies Travel to Foodie Land

Earlier today the Foodie Girls took

the Foodie Boyfriend on a trip to

Foodie Land, aka Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, Ohio.

Nearly there...

Just a small portion of Jungle Jim's.

And yes, that is a real monorail up there.

"Jungle" Jim Bonamino plans to have it running eventually.

Welcome to Foodie Land!

When we used to live nearby and

the Foodie Daughter was younger,

she loved the jungle "animals".


they are welcoming us!


photography is not allowed inside.

What I can tell you is that Jungle Jim's

is six and a half acres of foodie heaven.

One full acre of that is devoted to the produce department.

Oh, and in 2007 Jungle Jim's won an award

A map of the store is a necessary item for the casual shopper.

It is estimated that 50,000 shoppers

visit the store each week.

If you go, it is best to go during the week,

as perhaps half the shoppers will visit during the weekend.

On this particular trip

we marvelled over the hunk of provolone cheese

weighing over 400 pounds
that was hanging in the cheese shop,

the $5,000 bottle of wine stored under lock and key,

a $200 bottle of balsamic vinegar (also under lock and key),

and the over 1,000 varieties of hot sauce displayed beneath

a 1920's firetruck.

Beyond that, it was a pleasure just wandering around

and seeing food items that are difficult to find anywhere else.

Need a sheep's head? They have it.

Want a calf's head? Check.

A package of duck heads? Got it.

What's that? You wanted a whole rattlesnake?

Sure thing.

How about antelope, elk or boar meat?

Just look over there.

Hard to believe that Jungle Jim's

started out as a roadside produce stand in 1974.

After spending at least two hours exploring the store

and its many departments,

it was time to head home.

But first we had to stop for gas and milk shakes.

And in Cincinnati there is no better place to stop than at UDF,

or United Dairy Farmers.

My chocolate malt was oh so very good.

Why aren't they in B-town?

If you are ever in Cincinnati,
you have to check out Jungle Jim's.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Too Darn Hot,

Ugh, it's 9 pm and it's still a heat index of 93 degrees outside.

No fun at all.

But still I brave the heat and go out to seek out nature's visitors.*

Go figure.

*Obviously, not all seeking was done at this moment in time.

Some was done a few days earlier,

when it was only slightly cooler.

Can anyone tell me what this fine fellow is?

My guess is that it is a moth, as it was supine during the day.

At first glance, it appeared to be leathery.

My reference books yielded no clues as to this beauty's identity.

Zzzadig wrote in a comment that it appears to be
a newly hatched Sphinx moth.
The exact variety is unknown,
but these moths, commonly known as
hawk moths, are among the fastest flying moths.
Hummingbird moths are members of this family.
Thank you, Zzzadig, for taking the time to find
the information for me!

A monarch butterfly graced us with its presence.

A Black Swallowtail.

A Tiger Swallowtail.

Note that there are differences between butterflies

of the same species.

Is that fog?


that's just my camera fogging over because of the

high humidity outside.

The same thing happens to my glasses each time I go outside.

A male goldfinch visits the butterfly bushes now that

they are going to seed.

Goldfinches only eat seeds.

The deer have been remiss this year.

They have let many plants bloom this year that haven't in years.

Another Black Swallowtail.

These butterflies are more difficult to photograph

as they don't like to remain still for long.


Black Swallowtail.

Black Swallowtail.

Butterfly bushes.

Queen Anne's Lace.

This may be considered a weed in this country,

but in England it is often purposely planted in the garden.

I didn't plant it, but it's blooming,

so I guess I'll live with it...

for now.

More Minx

Sorry, but with heat indices in the 100's,

I don't feel like talking about food at the moment.

Instead, I've been snapping shots of things around me.

Minx is a curious cat.

You know what they say about curious cats.

While out in the garden the other evening,

I plucked a few sprigs of lemon catnip.

Our last cat, Midnight, eschewed this treat.

Minx, however, loves lemon catnip.

The Foodie Daughter plays with Minx.

Go, Minx, go.

Minx is happy.

Minx has a busy tail.

I will have to get a video of this sometime for you.

This cat's tail simply cannot stay still.

We often say that Minx should be hung on a wall like a clock.

Lovely, adorable, patient Minx.

He brings much joy to our world.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gypsy Bacon,

AKA Dirty Bread

We now interrupt the butterflies and sunsets for some food.

I do seem to recall something about this site

theoretically being a food blog.

I recently purchased a smoked pork jowl for another dish,

but knew that the Foodie Daughter

would just love it if I also got some rye bread

so we could make Gypsy Bacon.

What's not to love?

First I trimmed off the rind and sliced some of the pork jowl.

A bit of paprika was the only seasoning needed.


I chopped up some Roma tomatoes, fresh from the garden,

some bell pepper, Romaine lettuce and onion.

Cucumber would have been nice,

but I didn't have any on hand.

The pork jowl is cooking up nicely.

The Foodie Daughter blots a piece on a slice of bread

(thus the moniker, Dirty Bread).

Later I sliced the pork jowl into bits so we could each

have some.

This was so good and I think I've figured out

how to quickly and easily make this summer dish.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Natural Progression of a Sunset x 2

Today has been an odd day, with thunder sounding

in the distance for most of the day.

A check of The Weather Channel's web site

confirms that we are surrounded by slow moving storms.


It has only rained for about an hour.

Yet we have listened to the sound of thunder for most of the day.


I was hoping to catch sight of our newest visitors

to the butterfly bushes, the goldfinches,

but caught this sight instead.

Later, yet another camera-worthy view

over our chimney.

These things are worth waiting for.

Total time?

A little more than an hour.


out front my evil doppelganger

was busy with her camera on the front porch.*

*If you believe that,

I have some ocean-front property to sell you in Iowa.

Call me.

I can make you a deal.**

**Deals may or may not benefit the buyer.

The light is beginning to change, ever so slightly.

Keep watching.

It looks like we are going through the color spectrum.

I'm rather partial to this palate.

Lovely, isn't it?

By the way,

the later photos were all taken

using the sunset setting on my camera.

It allows the colors to "pop."