Sunday, September 21, 2008

New England In September

Its so beautiful here right now. The leaves are starting to change, the days are sunny and mild and the nights are cold. It smells like fall. The farms are harvesting the last of the produce, there are fields that look dead except for bright orange pumpkins. Amherst and Northampton are packed with college students and professors. The fall foliage tourist season is starting...

Heres what Ive been up to....

working hard at my internship planning programs and classes for people with diabetes, herding lessons and flyball practice, finding out that I definitely have Chondromalacia Patella (Patellofemoral Syndrome), hanging out with my parents, roasting my first chicken.

When Ben was here we went to this place called Atkins Country Market that used to just be a farm stand that sold apples and cider, but now its pretty much on steroids. Its massive with lots of fun gourmet, locally made foods. Ben and I had to try the cider donuts that this area is famous for. They were almost as good as mighty-o donuts!

I had another herding lesson with Indy. She is making progress slowly. I know she has potential because she was better 6 months ago than she is now. Hopefully Diane will have some advice for me when we get back to Seattle! I was very entertained by the rough collie getting a lesson after me in duck herding. I love ducks. They had to bring them down to the round pen. I guess the ducks are cool with being held like that.

My parents came to visit this weekend and I dragged them to watch my first sheepdog trial. It was the Northeast Border Collie Association NOVICE FINALS. I couldnt believe it was novice, it seemed really complicated. Most of the dogs were having difficulty getting the sheep to do what they wanted.

Then we drove through the Berskshires and stopped in Stockbridge, MA a cute little town with extremely wealthy looking people strolling around. Its a vacation spot for New Yorkers.

I have been doing some cooking...I roasted a whole chicken. I just added salt and pepper, whole garlic cloves under the skin, and some olive oil. I roasted it at 375 for about 40 minutes, flipping it 1/2 way through cooking. It was super easy and fed me for most of the week.

I though it would be a good idea to make sweet potato bread with chocolate chips. This probably doesnt sound that appetizing, but it was actually really good. Everything tastes good with chocolate chips!
Sweet Potato Bread with Pecans
Recipe courtesy Bill Kelly

2 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups water
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine sugar, water, oil, eggs, and sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add pecans and mix well. Divide between 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pan to room temperature.

This is how Nasdog teaches new dogs a box turn

Flyball Practice with my Massachusetts team and Indy sounding like a hyena in the background

My patella hurts....I need stronger quad muscles. Yeah physical therapy!

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