just another disgrace in frazer

Christmas 2016 there was a nasty fire adjacent to the Wawa on Planebrook Rd and Lancaster Avenue in Frazer. Here we are the last week of September, 2020 and that ramshackle and what visibly appears to be a structure quite unsafe.

What is going on with this structure? Everyone said that it would come down but it hasn’t so what’s up? We all of course also thought about it again when the human trafficking story broke in East Whiteland.

Anyway, I think the building is continuing to deteriorate, don’t you? Does it also give a whole new je ne sais quois to the term slumlord as well?

lovely life’s patina

One of the things that COVID-19 has done is it has disrupted our every day lives and our routines.

My friend Amy and I have our “Fran days” named after her mom where we put everything aside and do something together and have lunch. A lot of times we schedule those days to support Meg Veno at her lovely Life’s Patina events. Until today, this was one of the things that COVID-19 had interrupted for us around here.

Amy and I have been friends since high school and we even grew up in the same neighborhood, so I feel really blessed to have her in my life all these years later. So when we heard that Life’s Patina was going to open by appointment for their Fall Barn Sale we decided to make our appointment and go. Our slot was today and it was just wonderful!

Sensory overload, so much to look at! Something for everyone! And how lucky were we to also have such a beautiful day to be there…and guests today also received an awesome goody bag!

It was so nice to see friends and acquaintances and to see what Meg and her team had done. I love the Life’s Patina Barn on Willowbrook Farm and actually the very first time I was in it was during it’s renovation that led to Life’s Patina.

Being at Life’s Patina today made this surreal life we have all been living seem a little more normal. I actually liked the feel of a smaller, more intimate shopping experience with less people. Everyone was socially distancing and everyone was wearing masks and there were hand sanitizer stations all over the place. They did a great job!

Enjoy my photos of the day and if you go you need an appointment it’s not just open as normal this year. A lot of the time slots are sold out, so check the calendar and stay tuned for other opportunities to visit Life’s Patina this fall. And you can also shop online!

peter’s peasant soup

Every time around this year and even into the winter my late father would make a soup. It was a pure peasant soup. It would be based around what he found fresh down on 9th street at the Italian market and from the local merchants there.

The soup would have cabbage, potatoes or turnips, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, fresh herbs, beans, and something cured like a small salami – a cured sausage. He liked soppressata. He would cut it into little chunks or rounds.

We were over at a friend’s house the other day and they have this amazing kitchen garden like I dream about but have no room for. So they gave us a bunch of fresh vegetables including Swiss Chard and fresh kale. Today’s vegetable box from Doorstep Dairy had a beautiful purple cabbage. So I knew I was making soup even though it’s somewhat humid out.

My father would often use a beef stock base but a lot of the time it was a chicken stock base. So last night’s roast chicken carcass went into the instant pot this morning to make bone broth. I also tossed in a little salt and pepper and zaatar spice blend.

While bone broth was cooking and cooling I chopped up all the vegetables. I threw them into my big Great Jones “Big Deal” pot. I really love their cookware and I have a few pieces now. I added a few cups of water, maybe four. I added salt and pepper and some fresh herbs. This morning I had picked basil, thyme, sage so that is what I used.

I left the vegetables almost completely covered on low and just let them cook down for probably 60 minutes. The tomatoes I used were a bunch of fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden. Probably about enough to fit in a pint container but I halved them. When the bone broth was finished (I just hit the setting for broth or soup) I fished out all the bones and the gizzards and disposed of them and added the broth to the pot.

Then I added a chopped up a small whole dry salami that I had purchased at the Tasty Table Market & Catering in Berwyn. After that I drained two cans of beans and tossed those in. You can use whatever canned beans you like. Things like cannellini beans, pinto beans, even black-eyed peas.

Now the soup sits on a simmer until some point this afternoon when I will start to cool it down and put into containers. Some I will freeze and some I will use now.

I have to tell you the soup smells really good. And it’s also a smell that I have memories of. Of course I’m a little more about cleaning up the kitchen as I go along then my father was and when he would make one of these soups it would look like a bomb exploded in the kitchen afterwards.

This soup is always best when it sits for a couple of days and then you heat it up because it gives a chance for the flavors to completely meld . All you do is serve it with a little crusty bread for the table and some grated cheese on top. It’s a basic peasant soup and it’s loaded with vegetables and you don’t really need anything else.

I hope you can follow along as to how I made this. There is no formal recipe it’s just some thing that my father made and his mother made and who knows how many other relatives in his family made.

I used my small Instant Pot to make the bone broth if you are curious about how much chicken broth to add. The small Instant Pot makes 3 quarts of broth. Now the soup condenses and cooks down because I let it simmer on a very low setting for a few hours.

Buon appetito!

who is making weird paths in the corn field?

So who is cutting paths in the tenant farmer’s corn fields at Frazer Road and College Avenue on Immaculata’s property in East Whiteland Township.

This has never been done before and it’s only wide enough for a golf cart. I suspect it’s kids thinking they’re funny except this is money out of the pocket of the tenant farmer who rents the fields and I think that’s wrong.

The path seems to serve no purpose but it is destructive and it has flattened corn that is the profit of the farmer.

Farmers work too hard to put up with stuff like this.

a tasty experience

When I was little one of the things I loved doing with my great aunts who lived in South Philadelphia at 11th and Ritner was go to not only the Italian market, but to the little grocery store on the corner a few blocks away called Alberts.

Albert’s wasn’t a large store, it was literally a little corner grocery store. But because it was in Italian neighborhoods they had many things you couldn’t find a normal grocery stores. And it was so fun to go in and look up down and sideways as a little kid to see everything they had. I kind of had that experience again today as an adult.

My friends have been telling me to go check out George McLoughlin’s Tasty Table Market and Catering at 10 Leopard Road in Berwyn. Now George never knew it until today but back in the day I had been a patron of another business he owned. And back then that business had catered events I went to including Shipley reunions. The food was phenomenal then and truthfully it’s only gotten better!

I went in to pick up some things for dinner and ended up getting myself lunch. I had this chicken sandwich that was transformative. It is the Chicken Pickle Brioche Sandwich. It was a lightly fried yet super moist chicken breast and Swiss on a brioche roll with this fabulous purple slaw with just a little bit of bacon and pickles. I think everybody should try this sandwich!

For dinner I got a steak salad, a salmon, and a chicken entree. I also picked up fresh guacamole and this lovely artichoke dip. But of course because this is also a little market I got some other goodies like a fig balsamic vinegar and fabulous olive oil. And a honey comb and Le Bus bread—-I haven’t purchased bread since March I’ve been making it. Oh and a lovely espresso! I couldn’t pass that up!!

The store is clean and neat and pretty. My friend Lisa who owns Brandywine View Antiques in Chaddsford helped with the interior. And outside there are cheerful red awnings which I love!

And one of the things I liked best about my visit today was speaking with George the owner. It’s been so long since I have spoken with anyone who was excited about anything. George McLoughlin is happy and positive and psyched about the challenge of re-thinking his business. It was so awesome to spend time with him. His positivity is infectious.

And his food is so good. And fresh. And the staff is as nice as George is! And they know the food they are serving. Because what I find very frustrating especially when I visit a new place is you ask a question and they make a face and say “well I don’t know“ and you’re thinking to yourself how can you not know you work here? But there is NONE of that at Tasty Table. You can tell everyone likes being there and that speaks volumes.

Now that I’ve been to the delightful market being created, I will be back. They even carry my favorite sugar cubes for coffee and tea, La Perruche. I haven’t been able to find them locally in a very long time so I am psyched they carry them!

Oh and don’t forget to try the peanut butter cookies and brownies. 😊 And there are gluten free options as well!

Tasty Table Catering and Market 10 Leopard Road, Berwyn, PA 19312

Tel: 610.251.0265 info@tastytablecatering.com

I hope my readers will #ShopLocal and give Tasty Table a try. I had a very tasty 😋 experience. Thanks George!

who are radicals? women who care?

Today is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment or the anniversary of women getting the right to vote.

Think about that. Imagine that day. The suffragettes had worked so hard. They literally were put in jail at times trying to get to August 26, 1920.

Happy Women’s Equality Day, ladies.

The Women’s right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920 but was not certified until August 26, 1920. It had to be certified by a government official. So on August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby at his home at 8 A.M. which is why today is Women’s Equality Day and the 100th Anniversary.

Now these suffragettes, these women, these ordinary extraordinary women of their time were labeled as radicals. Just like the women in the 1960s forward who have tried to get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified and certified. Sadly the Equal Rights Amendment is still a proposed amendment almost 100 years later because did you know that the first version of the ERA was written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman and introduced to Congress in December of 1923? Yes the same Alice Paul who bore witness to Bainbridge Colby certifying the 19th Amendment 100 years ago today.

Radicals. Shrill. Bitches. You name it, people (men and women) will have a offensive descriptive adjective to apply to women who wish to preserve their rights and the rights of others . It’s like being a strong woman is a crime. It’s like being a woman active in your community as well as your home is a crime. Look no further than the pipeline issues in Chester County.

Over the past couple of days I have written about the pipeline problems and related political machinations. (See this post and this post). Women I know, like, and respect are being labeled as radicals and also quite unbelievably inferred to be traitors to the Democratic Party of Chester County. And a quite obscure yet hideous Nazi sympathizer descriptive adjective was applied to one who is of Jewish faith.

And all of this was done by a man, I won’t refer to him as a gentleman because he’s certainly not, who works and has a relationship with State Representative Kristine Howard. This man is also from Pittsburgh. And why is it he meddles in our politics? If he wants to be around elected officials, why doesn’t he run for office where he’s from in Pittsburgh? I don’t understand why we need Pittsburgh politics in Chester County Pennsylvania do you?

Why is this man so desperate for Kristine Howard to be reelected? Who else does he work for? Why does State Representative Kristine Howard just sit silently and allow good women and any woman upset by either her lack of performance or who care about issues like pipelines because they either have a brain in their head or because they are directly affected to be maligned and denigrated?

Why does Kristine Howard as a woman and elected official not have her own voice? And if you ask around Harrisburg are you going to be told the people hear her voice with great regularity? Is she either unwilling or unable to have a voice? It’s a great puzzle. Because you have to wonder if she really wants to be a state representative don’t you? Or is this man actually the power behind the throne and he’s running this state representative seat only he wasn’t elected to office and he’s not a resident of Chester County right? And is she either unwilling or unable to have a voice? It’s a great puzzle. Because you have to wonder if she really wants to be a state representative don’t you?

And let’s also wonder about the Chester County Democratic Party. If the Chair, is not acting in the best interest of the women being denigrated and singled out specifically in the emails which have been flying and the nasty Facebook stuff and ads during the primary, is he fit to lead? And are those two women also on the Executive Committee who are essentially trying to say if you’re not a good little Stepford Wife you essentially should be politically shunned? Or if you God forbid talk to someone of another political persuasion who is not a Democrat you should also be shunned and the party shouldn’t back you if you want to run for office and so on and so forth?

*******(The screenshots have to be downloaded and then enlarged so here is the text from them verbatim and any spelling/grammar errors all on them.) ******

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 7:35 PM Marty Marks <martymarks75@gmail.com> wrote:

Please see the attached social media posts made by Ginny Kerslake and Wendy Graham Leland. 

The posts clearly demonstrate that Mrs. Kerslake and Mrs. Graham  Leland are openly colluding to cause harm to Representative Howard’s candidacy and benefit the campaign of her Republican opponent. Let ‘s be clear, Mrs. Kerslake and Mrs. Graham Leland are tagging each other in the posts when there is no reason to do so except to politically denigrate Kristine. 

In my previous email when we called for banning Lani Frank from all Chester Democratic Committee social media platforms for her direct and indirect assistance to Republican Graham Leland, we did not include Mrs. Kerslake or even mention her by name. However, with this clear and present evidence of her collusion with Rep. Howard’s Republican opponent, a ban of Mrs. Kerslake on the party’s social media platforms is also called for.

Simply removing posts is not enough. A clear message must be sent that undermining the Democratic nominees chosen by our voters will not be tolerated. I am under the impression that your bylaws preclude Democrats who support Republicans from holding party offices or seeking the party’s endorsement for a public office for a period of two years. We are requesting the Executive Committee notify Mrs. Kerslake and Ms. Frank that they are in violation of the rules and may be prohibited from holding party office or seeking the Democratic Committee endorsement for a public office in the next two election cycles.

I thank you for your response to my earlier email. However, I disagree with your conclusion to merely take down posts. I believe the most corrective and preventive action is to ban the perpetrators of such betrayals. As you requested, I am sending this to your leadership team and the zone leaders in Kristine’s District first. If the executive committee does not act in a timely and affirmative manner, in the interest of transparency, I will share it with the committee as a whole and encourage them to take appropriate action.

 Thank you,

Marty Marks

The Committee to Elect Kristine
Marty Marks 412.352.0317

***************************************************************************************

From: MaryAnn Piccioni maryannpiccioni@yahoo.com
Date: August 25, 2020 at 12:23:09 AM EDT
To: Marty Marks martymarks75@gmail.com, Charlotte Valyo charlottevalyo@gmail.com
Cc: Dick Bingham chair@chescodems.org,
Subject: Re: Ginny Kerslake openly colluding with Representative Howard’s Republican opponent


Hello,
I add another item to the 2 year restrictions:
The perpetrator will not receive CCDC support of any kind should they become a Primary candidate for public office.

This is a broader restriction compared to “prohibited from … seeking the Democratic Committee Endorsement…”

Examples: CCDC and Zone websites and social media will not post their candidate information. No inclusion in CCDC and Zone mailers (except the sample ballot) and phone bank scripts.

MaryAnn Piccioni

On Monday, August 24, 2020, 07:42:54 PM EDT, Charlotte Valyo charlottevalyo@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,
I have been advocating that these actions result in banning from CCDC social media sites and informing all members of the EC about the action and why it has been taken. So far our tactics of ignoring or a slight slap on the wrist has only emboldened this group. It is time for CCDC to stand up for our candidates and our values. This is not a new problem. The same people have been attacking fellow Democrats since the 2018 primary.

Charlotte

Charlotte

*****************************************************************************

From: Marty Marks <martymarks75@gmail.com>
Date: August 23, 2020 at 10:04:45 AM EDT
Subject:It is time to ban the quislings

Dear members of the Democratic Committee,

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of battle is treason. We are experiencing such betrayals at this very moment undercutting our mission to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November.

For example, see this post on the Chesco Dems Facebook page made by Lani Frank, a former member of the Democratic State Committee and an unsuccessful candidate for Chester County Democratic Chair:

Lani Frank

Nice of you to show concern now. Why don’t you stand up for our values and call for a stop to this nightmare instead of taking money from the very PAC’s that support the continuation of this project. You can’t have it both ways. Take a stand.

6 Edited

Please note that the comment is edited. When it was originally posted it was specifically addressed to Representative Kristine Howard and stated her name. Lani Frank was attacking Kristine for not sharing exactly the most extreme positions Lani Frank and a few others hold regarding the Mariner East Pipeline.

And this is not the first example of her duplicitous behavior. After Kristine won her primary in a most convincing manner against Lani Frank’s client, Ms. Frank publicly questioned the integrity of voting by mail suggesting there was something inherently wrong causing harm to her client. At a time when Democrats in Chester County and throughout the country were pushing voting by mail and championing its efficacy, Ms. Frank was sounding like Donald Trump.

Please don’t get me wrong. Ms. Frank is entitled to freedom of speech and she can avail herself of a multitude of forums to enjoy it. I am suggesting to you, in the midst of an historic election when we have an opportunity to flip the PA House from red to blue, we should not be giving her or anyone else a forum on our Democratic Party social media platforms to denigrate our candidates, and give aid and comfort to their Republican opponents.

I apologize for appearing to be singling out Ms. Frank because she certainly is not alone in this behavior.  Since the Primary Election, Kristine’s primary opponent and a few of her supporters, Kristine’s Republican opponent and Ms. Frank have been interacting on social media platforms. I am merely seeking to make the point that during the General Election campaign we should not be providing a forum for anyone to attack the very candidates that our Democratic primary voters selected as their nominees, and in Kristine’s case by a nearly 60% plurality.

Ms. Frank and her allies seek to re-litigate the Primary Election, ignoring the results and obsessing about the candidate the voters overwhelmingly elected. Ms. Frank would have us believe this is about issues related to the Mariner East Pipeline. Rather, I detect the bitter flavor of sour grapes.

Rep. Howard – who enjoys a 100% lifetime pro-environmental rating on the Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard used by Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Clean Water Action – has taken strong stands demanding transparency and accountability from pipeline operators. When recent violations took place that allowed 8,000 gallons of drilling fluid to flow into Marsh Creek Lake, she immediately called the Governor’s office and requested urgent intervention. The Governor responded by shutting down drilling at the site and launching investigations by the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Kristine supports the conclusions and actions taken by DEP to date and demands there be remediation of any damage the company’s actions may have caused. She supports tough civil and criminal penalties for any and all violations that have been committed including the possibility of revoking the company’s permits to do business in Chester County if the evidence justifies it. Kristine believes in the regulatory processes that the legislature in which she serves has established and she supports having the scientific data and evidence the investigations will reveal before determining what penalties should be levied on the company.

Most informed people understand that the pipeline under construction today was approved by local, state and national leaders long before Rep. Howard became a candidate for the legislature. Furthermore, until we flip the house from red to blue, Democrats can do little more than grandstand on the issue. Those of you who know Kristine know that is not her style. While others organize sit-ins in the Governor’s office, Kristine has worked to have sit-downs at our Democratic Governor’s conference table. (I should mention that the Governor is the leader of our party and enjoys more than a 60% approval rating in Chester County)

On behalf of Democrats who want to flip the PA House from red to blue, I am asking you to ban Lani Frank from your social media platforms and delete comments and block anyone else who persists in undercutting our Democratic nominees.

Thank you and can we please put the Primary behind us and get on with the General Election?

Marty Marks
412.352.0317

Today marks a very important day for women in the United States. But I’m also here to remind you that there are still enough dark forces at work that we can lose ground if we are not careful.

I am not going to apologize for being profoundly disturbed by men and even women who want to label other women because of the courage of their convictions. And it’s never become more apparent until this pipeline issue heated up again. It’s why I also think on social media we need a #FacesOfMarinerEast.

The #FacesOfMarinerEast aren’t radicals. They aren’t bitches. They aren’t shrill. They are regular people affected by something that is out of control. The #FacesOfMarinerEast are people you know and are friends with and aren’t even related to possibly.

The #FacesOfMarinerEast are your neighbors, people you see in the supermarket, people you see in the car rider line at school, people you see in church, people you see walking your dog in your neighborhood.

The #FacesOfMarinerEast aren’t a bunch of handmade protest signs, they are people from all walks of life and professions.

The #FacesOfMarinerEast are also people like Chester County‘s children who look longingly at what once was their Little League field in Exton the pipelines took over.

So when questionable political operatives from Pittsburgh want to label as “radicals” women I know, respect, and call friends, it’s time to cry happy horse manure on that. Women fighting to preserve where we call home and who wish for all of us adult and child that we are protected and not just long term victims of pipeline companies are oh hell to the no not radicals, they are our heroines. They our are everyday people who have taken a stand for good over greed.

Do not let the future generations lose ground because people still want to put women down. Especially because standing up for what you believe in is one of the tenets of being an American.

Ladies, again, Happy Women’s Equality Day. Stand up, be heard, be counted and in November….VOTE. And pass along the #FacesOfMarinerEast and let your light shine bright.

Be well and safe today.

not liking pipelines doesn’t make you a radical, or meandering tales of why is a guy from pittsburgh trying to control chester county democrats?

As if the Trumpublican convention wasn’t troubling enough comes an email circulating:

So he’s not meaning to diss Lani Frank and others, but he is? Did I miss some memo or Daily Local or Inquirer article about who his guy is? Does he date State Rep Kristine Howard or does she just pay him for ummm campaign services? Why is some rando-man from Pittsburgh so concerned about people in Chester County?

I mean I don’t really know much about him other than he blocks me on Twitter 🤣

So according to this political pretzel logic, if you are against the Mariner II pipeline and think State Rep. Kristine Howard is doing a crap job and is some kind of odd political puppet with no voice of her own, you are a radical? Is he saying I am a radical? Is he saying moms worried about their kids drinking pipeline tainted well water are also radicals? Is it just me or does this guy actually sound like a Trumpublican???

So the point of this email is what exactly? Attacking people who actually live and vote in Chester County? Attacking anyone who opposes Kristine Howard? Did Kristine Howard have on her magic cloak of invisibility when people like State Rep. Greg Vitali visited Marsh Creek August 14th to see the plume of pollution in the water? So is her “friend” or employee saying people like Vitali or any other elected official who are questioning the pipelines being here are also radicals?

So Chester County Democrat Committee why are you letting some guy from Pittsburgh try and influence your committee people? And why is this guy and by association Kristine Howard so afraid of people like Lani Frank? Because these more independent voices might be right?

I just don’t get it. And it’s all a little sleazy, isn’t it?

pickling peppers…and tomatoes

I just put up some peppers because I’ve been growing a bunch of different chili peppers all summer.

This is the base recipe I used from A Taste of Home.

You know I can never do a recipe straight, so I will let you know that to my brine I added pickling spice and dill. And a little red pepper flakes because I want hot peppers. I processed them in a hot water bath and I had brine left over for five small jars of pickled tomatoes. I just used the same brine but threw in dill and basil into each jar for the tomatoes.

I don’t know how everything will taste when everything is all pickled up, but I can tell you the brine smelled awesome.

Of course I didn’t pay attention while handling my chili peppers and my hands feel slightly as if they are on fire and I won’t be touching my face anytime soon.

Something I did not expect this year is how much canning supplies have gone up in price since COVID-19 came to visit. We have paid a premium for so much for so many months. But I am guessing that a lot of people are almost homesteading because we’re all home so much more.

I may do more pickled tomatoes as it gets in to fall but I have to decide if I am making apple butter or some kind of a jam this year. Ideally I would like to do fig preserves but I don’t know if any of my friends will have extra figs I can buy from them yet, or if I will be able to source them locally at a farmers market.

When you pickle things they look so lovely in the jar. I know that sounds weird but they just look nice.

Happy Sunday all!