September 2016: The Month in Tom and Holly

Life in Philly

The month started with Labor Day weekend – I was busy due to the impending start of the semester where I teach, but we did make it out to the Reading Viaduct Park PHS pop-up garden. The beer garden was only aiight but I’m excited for the Reading Viaduct Park to actually happen – we barely got a glimpse.

Viaduct Rail Park Pop Up Garden
Viaduct Rail Park Pop Up Garden

Later in the month we went to the South Street PHS pop-up garden, which was fun but also a bit scene-y (the mayor showed up).

South Street PHS pop-up garden
South Street PHS pop-up garden

The most amazing Philly thing that happened this month was the implementation of PA’s new only very slightly relaxed liquor law that now allows direct shipping from out-of-state wineries. My favorite CA winery, Tablas Creek, was on top of their game and got their license to ship right off the bat. I was thrilled to get my first legal shipment of wine, and all the wines I got from Tablas were exquisite.

The Schuylkill River turned all green mid-month, but it turns out it was just duckweed.


The last weekend of the month, we traveled slightly outside of Philly to attend a wedding in Collegeville, PA.

Right after the wedding, I went straight to the airport to head to Columbus, OH for a conference. I was actually pretty excited about it because while I’ve been to Dublin, OH (a suburb of Columbus) several times, I’d never had a chance to spend much time in downtown Columbus proper. I had an excellent time exploring downtown Columbus and the Short North neighborhood on foot, and I had much tasty, tasty food and drink.

Downtown Columbus
Downtown Columbus
Columbus North Market
Columbus North Market
Short North
Short North
Columbus food highlights
Columbus food highlights

Full photo set:

Short North


Farmers’ Markets

We enjoyed the tail end of summer tomatoes and corn!

Dining In

We continued to try to make the most of tomatoes and other summer vegetables…

tomato frittata
tomato frittata

Including burrata with tomatoes and wine

Pasta with corn and bacon

scallops with orzo, corn, tomatoes…

chicken with tomatoes and red wine vinegar...

mediterranean chicken with summer vegetables…

… and fish in parchment.

Dining Out

We’ve enjoyed the new Iron Hill brewery when we’re up in the Northeast Philly area – it’s nice to have another option since we always go to the same places when we’re up there. Here’s a photo of a gaucho chimichurri steak I got my first time there:

We were fortunate enough to make it to another Tuesday night BYO at Cafe Lutecia. As usual, it was outstanding. This time around we had quail, mini-croque madames with quail eggs, mini cassoulet, vegetable terrine, lamb merguez, and a cheese plate.

We continued to try more of the Mexican pizzas from Rosario’s. This month we had the pizza al pastor:

Pizza al Pastor from Rosario's Pizza
Pizza al Pastor from Rosario’s Pizza

Since we had the day off, we went out for breakfast on Labor Day to Little Spoon Cafe. I had a delightful Monte Cristo that wasn’t too greasy.


I continued making recipes from Ferment Your Vegetables. I tried a fermented tomatillo salsa, which was just OK, and I made another batch of fermented corn salsa since we liked it so much last time.

The biggest hit, though, was (Italian) fermented tomato sauce. This ended up with a beautiful deep red color, even though I used a variety of red, orange, yellow, and green tomatoes. After the tomatoes are fermented with onions and garlic, it’s blended with fresh basil and a bit of oregano and rosemary. It looks like ketchup but tastes so much better. We’ve enjoyed it with pasta, on top of roasted vegetables, and as a dip with crackers and cheese.

Remember when I used to make bitters? There was some lovely looking celery at Z Food Farm (pictured in the Farmers’ Markets section above) so I made my annual batch of celery bitters.


I continued my voyage down Star Wars nerddom with (non-canon) Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy. I finished the second story in the trilogy, which was the Revenge of the Sith novelization. Still one more story to go!

Speaking of Star Wars, now that we’re done with Clone Wars, we started watching Rebels. Wow! It totally evokes the wonder and joy of the first trilogy – I love it. Next up I’ll be reading a (canon) novel that is the lead up to Rebels.


In non Star Wars news, I read Throne of the Crescent Moon. It was quite enjoyable, and I’ll be sure to check out the next book in the series, whenever it is released.

Sadly I don’t think I’ll get a lot of reading done between now and the end of the year, since teaching is keeping me pretty busy. But I am ahead of schedule for meeting my reading goal of 25 books this year, and I may well meet it next month if I finish up what I’m reading now.

Last Month’s Update


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