This weekend, I actually spent a fair amount of time out of the Lehigh Valley, both in NYC and in the Pocono Mountains. I took a vacation day on Friday, so my weekend actually began Thursday night.
Tag Archives: Jumbars
I moved to the Valley from Montpelier, VT in 1996 when I was 10 years old. It was a hard transition for me at that age. I missed Vermont winters and the snow as a kid, but I’ve grown out of that and am now a typical grumpy adult who realizes the inconveniences that come with snow and ice 😛
I love music and I love that we have a plethora of venues and festivals where I have seen a lot of great acts, from Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennet to Ani Difranco or Dar Williams to bands like Girly Man or Small Potatoes (they’re worth Googling!).
The public transportation leaves a lot to be desired.
The Wise Bean has been my favorite coffee shop since it opened 7 years ago. I love walking there on a beautiful day, chatting it up with Joan (the owner) or going in with my laptop to catch up on emails. The new Arts Quest Center has been fun this year and I have seen some great concerts, independent films and I liked their farmer’s market too. Godfrey Daniels is another great place to hear some great musicians and bands play.
Burnside Plantation, Monocacy Park, Sand Island, Jacobsburg Park, and Bethlehem Steel are all special places in the LV (or very nearby).
I view Jumbars as an oasis or watering hole where friends, co-workers and family members can meet and share good conversation and relax over a good meal.
I love being an active member of my community. I love that Jumbars is small enough that I have the ability to build meaningful relationships with my customers and that I get to be a part of their lives.
I have to pick? Our Grilled Salmon Salad or Mary’s Salad are two of my favorites on a regular basis, but when I want to indulge I’d go for Jumbars’ SOS or an Elvis Waffle (an annual January Special we make upon request all year round).
I was humbled and honored and very surprised to receive this award. I just do my very best each and every day. Marketing is one of my favorite aspects of my job and watching Jumbars grow exponentially as a direct result of that has been very rewarding.
I feel that the culture in the LV has been changing and evolving to be more community-oriented and I am excited to see it grow and continue to move forward. In the last couple of years there have been a lot of great community-based events created and cultivated, especially in Bethlehem. Tunes at Twilight, Harvest Fest, VegFest and ArtWalks are all examples of events that bring the community together. I am a proud part of the Bethlehem Food Coop initiative and I feel it would be a great addition to the already great Greater Lehigh Valley.
While moving from VT was difficult as a kid and I wanted to move back there for a long time, now I’m looking forward to settling down with my partner, Jenn, and building our life together here in the Lehigh Valley. I also hope Jumbars will be a successful part of our lives – my family’s and the community’s – for many years to come!
This weekend was supposed to be mostly work with little time to play. BUT, the weather was sooo gorgeous, I couldn’t bear to be inside staring at a computer screen, knowing that the sun was shining, breeze was blowing and spring had sprung outside.
Through the reading we did about Housenick Park and Archibald Johnston, we also learned a lot about a current conflict between Central Moravian Church and local environmentalists and township residents. As it turns out, the downtown Bethlehem church inherited a large stretch of equally beautiful land directly bordering Housenick Park. Instead of preserving or conserving the land they were charged with by a Johnston relative upon her death, they have entered into discussions to develop this land into apartments and business properties. After seeing the land and realizing what development would do to the environment (especially the already stressed Monocacy Creek!), the atmosphere and the dwindling open space in the area, I sincerely hope the church acts as responsible stewards, finding someone else to properly care for the tract if they cannot themselves. I cannot adequately explain the conflict or intricacies here, but I encourage you to learn more about this possible poor decision in the works, and let your voice be heard if you want future generations to enjoy the great natural spaces we have in our town. If you’d like to read more about this conflict, click here for a recent article in the Morning Call.
* stepping off my soap box *
I am so glad to have stepped away from what could have been an glum indoor weekend full of chores and tasks to enjoy the great outdoor areas we have in our back yard. Supposedly, next weekend will be similarly nice out, so I’ll have to make sure to work hard this week to play hard next weekend!
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Surprise, surprise … This weekend was very food-centric. We splurged and ate out/got takeout a few times for two reasons: One, we find out we are actually getting a tax return this year! After owing over a thousand dollars the past couple of years due to my freelance design work, this was certainly cause for celebration. Two, this week begins the start of my training for the Dirty Girl Mud Run. So, while I won’t be subjecting myself to any crazy diet, I’ll be eating out less, cutting sweets and carrying out a running and strength training plan to get ready for this exciting run!
Saturday afternoon was full of more errands, then we met both of our families for dinner at the East Hills Moravian Church Italian Buffet. I forgot to take pictures, but the food was great and the proceeds went to provide camp scholarships for kids. Good stuff!
Ah, a weekend without a single cookie booth sale! Don’t get me wrong, I love everything I do with Girl Scouts, but it felt great to not have any chunk of time this weekend dedicated to standing at a table in the cold. Instead, my weekend revolved around food, graphic design and recreation. A light coating of snow from Friday night into Saturday morning decorated the landscape without making hazards on the road, so I was able to enjoy the winter scenery, too!
This weekend was spent in an odd space of moping about my cat being sick (she’s still not up to par, and we can’t figure out what is wrong) and trying to keep busy to distract myself from moping about the cat since we can’t do anything about it more than we are. This somewhat moody state of mind put me in the kitchen for much of the weekend and triggered a chocolate craving like you wouldn’t believe (all week!).
First thing on Sunday, I ordered some breakfast from Jumbars, which I scarfed down before I could take a picture.
This weekend was strange, to say the least, and not in the manner one would expect a Halloween weekend to be strange. While it didn’t turn out exactly as planned, it was still a decent weekend, albeit lacking my highly anticipated trip to Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Bethlehem Halloween Parade…
Saturday night, we looked at stars through our telescope since city lights weren’t interfering and watched the ominous green and purple flashes fill the sky as transformers and wires exploded across town.
After 3 days of some heavy duty bundling in blankets and hoodies, reminiscent of our frigid first apartment, we finally got power back late Monday night. Rocky Horror Show was canceled Saturday night, the parade canceled Sunday afternoon, but we had a valuable reminder that convenience is purely a bonus, and our board games got an extra workout!
FALL IS HERE! The sky is bright in contrast with the golden leaves, the air is crisp, yet the sun is warm, and I can smell the occasional whiff of a fireplace as I wander my neighborhood. I love autumn—It is by far my favorite season. The colors, the weather, the food—Ahh! So, being that this was the first weekend that truly seemed to embody fall this year, I relished every moment. I spent the weekend devoting myself to the sights, smells, tastes and feelings of the season.
I also cooked up a big pot of chicken stock Friday night. You should be jealous of how my home smelled that night.
So, all in all, this weekend was a huge dose of autumn. Now, at 12:33AM, with the apartment smelling like spices and a cool breeze coming in the window, I am off to bed to catch up on sleep!
As you probably noticed, posts were a little sparse around here for the last week. (If not for the wonders of technology and auto-posting, there would have been none at all!) The reason behind my absence from the cyber world was that we were on an epic road trip up the east coast to explore three areas in Maine! Instead of buying gifts for our wedding anniversaries, we like to save the money to do something awesome together. So, for our second anniversary (which is actually tomorrow), we packed up the car and headed out of the Valley! Our trip was seriously non-stop filled with activity and adventure, and I took a gazillion pictures, so I’ll be posting about each day separately.
For starters, we set out on the road on 9.24 to make the long drive to Falmouth, ME, near Portland.
Falmouth was our first destination because one of my sisters lives there with her husband and son. We hadn’t yet visited them in Maine, so when they invited us to spend a couple of nights at their home on Casco Bay, we gladly accepted!
To make our travel more interesting, we plotted out a route of geocaches along the way. So, when we stopped to stretch our legs, we could focus on something fun instead of just walking in circles. Our first find was at the Connecticut visitor’s center in Danbury, where we stopped to eat the Jumbars sandwiches we brought along. We also found another just off of I84 on the side of the road.
The third cache was located near Walden Pond in Massachusetts (where Thoreau spent time writing). I saw the sign for the pond, got excited, and exited the highway without knowing where we were going. Well, it turned out the pond was quite a distance from the exit, but we looked at our GPS and found a geocache nearby at this beautiful nature area.
After about a 3/4 mile walk through beautiful meadows, we found the cache hidden in a wooded area. It was a great place to stretch our legs and get a view of a different region’s landscape.
After a quick tick check (there were large signs warning about Lyme disease infected ticks in the area), we jumped back in the car to finish our drive. Just a short distance into Maine, we began seeing fog rising off rivers and inlets and a vivid sunset behind us.
The fog grew thicker as we moved up the coast, but broke just before we arrived in Falmouth. After a quick moment to settle in at my sister’s, we were off to Portland with her family to chow down on 5 Guys and see the nightlife of the town.
True exploration began on Sunday … Day 2 coming soon!!!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s Weekend Hodgepodge, this Saturday was spent enjoying vegetables, plain and simple. I am an omnivore, and a locavore, no longer vegan or vegetarian, but I love vegetables and was happy to be able to see them in the spotlight this weekend.
First of all, let me say that Bethlehem Vegfest was a knock-out success and I hope to see it continue for years to come. Many thanks to the Downtown Bethlehem Association, Jaime K of Save the Kales! and everyone else who contributed for bringing this sort of festival to Bethlehem. I heard rumor that 10,000 people attended the fair, which stretched for several blocks down South Bethlehem’s Greenway. I arrived at 12:10, just ten minutes after the festival began, and a large crowd had already amassed. I had never actually visited the Greenway before and was quite happy to see such a well maintained rail-trail through the heart of the city! I had heard of the trail before, but tended to stay away from the area due to its previous reputation as a skeevy part of town before the tracks were paved.
The festival grounds were divided into several themed areas (think platzes from Musikfest, but without the sausages and obnoxious people) housing about 200 vendors. There was a pet area, a farmers’ market, a food court, a sustainable energy area, a lecture tent, cooking demo area, and music stage, among others. Vendors peddled goods, services and wares while entertainers put children inside huge bubbles, and vegetarians could eat free samples without having to ask “Is there meat in that?”
I was on a pretty tight budget since Vegfest fell between paydays, but I did indulge in a bottle of yummy organic no-sugar added peach-apricot juice from Smart Juice, a Bethlehem-based company that I first encountered when they donated juice for the Iftar dinner I attended (read about that here). This juice made me feel like I was James in a giant peach, that’s how real it was.
I also found a book that I must purchase, From Asparagus to Zucchini. It is a comprehensive guide to produce, listing nutritional information, storage and cooking techniques and recipes. One of the best parts, though, is in the back, where it lists recipes using seasonal ingredient combinations. SO, when you get your CSA share and wonder what to do with a bunch of eggplants, a tomato, and several ears of corn or something, you can just check the book! Wishing there was a book fairy right now …
Vegfest didn’t carry any hints of the pompous attitude vegetarians are sometimes unfairly labeled with. Instead, it exuded a warm community vibe, inviting people of all sorts to take a look and try something new.
Later that evening, my in-laws came over for a very belated Christmas gift of a dinner & game night at our house. My mother-in-law recently began moving in the vegan direction, so I wanted to prepare a meal that honored that decision. However, my husband and I are fairly opposed to many of the “fake meat” and “dairy” products on the market. A lot of those products are so highly processed and full of genetically modified or laboratory-created ingredients that I cannot justify eating them. So, I made a meal highlighting vegetables, with no meat, dairy or egg substitutes. It’s also very important to me to use local ingredients, so everything in this meal is from this area with the exception of cooking oil, salt, pepper, cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and polenta. Nothing on this menu will require a trip to the health food store or a large amount of money.
Normally, I leave the vegan meals up to Save the Kales!, but I will share this one with you.
A Vegan Feast:
In the interest of avoiding carpal tunnel, I am going to list the vendors I purchased ingredients from once, here, instead of immediately following the ingredient: Heritage Farms CSA, Apple Ridge Farm, Bechdolt’s Orchard, Jett’s Natural Produce, Cardamom & Curry, and Jumbars.
Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic & Herbs
- 5 medium tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- a few sprigs thyme
- 6 or so basil leaves
- a few sprigs oregano
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cut tomatoes into 6-8 wedges each and place in glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Chop garlic cloves and sprinkle over tomatoes.
- Remove thyme leaves and sprinkle over tomatoes.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and begin to turn golden.
- Chop basil and oregano and mix with tomatoes before serving.
Tri-Color Potatoes & Beets
- 5 potatoes of different colors (I used purple, red and white)
- 10 small beets (or 3-4 large ones)
- 1 red onion
- few sprigs thyme
- few sprigs rosemary
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Wash potatoes and cut into 1″ chunks.
- Peel and trim beets, reserving greens for zucchini recipe or to sauté on the side. Cut into 1″ chunks.
- Cut onion into thick slices.
- Combine potatoes, beets and onion in 9×13″ baking dish.
- Sprinkle with thyme leaves, rosemary, salt & pepper.
- Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Polenta & Beet Green Stuffed Zucchini
- 2 big zucchinis
- 1/2 c. coarse ground cornmeal
- 1.5 c water
- 10 small beets’ worth of beet greens (or 3-4 large beets’ worth)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- few sprigs thyme
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cut a v-shaped opening, going the long way, into each zucchini, removing in one piece and setting top aside. Scoop out insides, discarding large seeds but reserving pulp. Scrape pulp from removed top, too.
- Salt hollowed zucchinis and tops and place, cut side down, in greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring water to boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Slowly add cornmeal, stirring with a whisk. Stir until thickened and creamy looking.
- Add thyme leaves to polenta and stir.
- Dice onion and garlic. Sautée in olive oil over medium heat until tender.
- Chop zucchini pulp and add to onion and garlic mixture. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Chop beet greens, removing tough stems, and add to zucchini mixture. Cook until greens are wilted.
- Remove zucchini from oven and spoon thyme polenta into zucchini boats.
- Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over polenta.
- Place cut out tops of zucchini over filling.
- Bake 20 more minutes, or until zucchini are tender.
- Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing to serve.
- 6 medium pears
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground ginger (I ended up using some turmeric tea (with ginger in it) from Cardamom & Curry that I had already steeped a few times instead. It’s a great way to get the most of your tea—Use the leaves to make 2-3 cups of tea, then add them to a dish you are cooking—They still have flavor!)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.5 c. granola (double check that it is vegan)
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. sugar, divided
- 5 T. canola oil (walnut or coconut oil would be even better)
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Peel and slice pears. Place in deep, square baking dish.
- Sprinkle pears with 1/4 c. sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (or tea leaves!).
- Add vanilla extract and 1/3 c. sugar. Stir until evenly mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, remaining 1/4 c. sugar, and granola.
- Add oil and stir until mixture is wet.
- Spread topping evenly over pears in baking dish.
- Bake 40 minutes or until top is golden.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.