6 min

Our Toledo Area Activities for Sat, Mar 8, 2014

Downtown Toledo
Farmers Market and Library

We started the morning at the downtown Toledo farmers market where we purchased apples, carrots, eggs, greens, coffee beans, yellow onions, a soft pretzel, and either turnips or parsnips.

Then we briefly visited the downtown Main Library to return books that we took out back in January. We renewed two of those books. Obviously, we had to pay a late fee, which totaled $24 for the five late books.

I visited the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op the day before, purchasing milk for our at-home production of yogurt and ricotta cheese, so we did not need to stop at the co-op today.


Favorite Gas Station
Old School Service Station

On our way home, I filled up the car with gasoline at my favorite gas station and one my local businesses that I patronize regularly. It's located at the corner of Sylvania and the road that leads to Blessed Sacrament. This is actually a gas station and not a convenience store that sells fuel.

It's a full-service Sunoco station with a garage for auto work and full-service pumps, including the rubber hose stretched across the ground that dings when driving over it.

It's family-owned by one of the auto mechanics. I think the father started the business in the late 1960s, and the son and current owner bought it from his Dad in the mid 1980s.

They have serviced my car for a couple minor things in the past. This is where I buy gasoline for my and DD's vehicles most of the time.

The inside customer area is tiny with two vending machines: one sells candy and the other is an old soda machine that dispenses canned soda pop for 50 cents a piece.


Birdwatching
Snowy Owl, Sandhill Cranes, and Horned Larks

At home, we unloaded the car and got ready for some birdwatching. We left soon after we arrived home.

For about 90 minutes to 2 hours, we drove the rural roads in southern Michigan, primarily in southeastern Lenawee County and a little in Monroe County, searching for Snowy Owls.

We found one immature Snowy Owl. DD spotted it first. The owl sat on the snow in a corn stubble field. It was fairly close to the road, but as I stopped and backed up, at some point the owl flew further back into the field. We viewed the bird through our binoculars.

The Snowy Owl rested in a field along the west side of Lipp Rd, about a half mile north of Gust Rd.

During our driving around looking for owls, we saw several dozen, probably hundreds of Horned Larks. They would scatter from along the road sides where some ground was exposed. They also foraged in the fields that had exposed ground.

Naturally, a lot of blowing snow occurred this winter in the flat, open farm areas. We saw some large drifts along the west sides of some roads.

The weather was foggy with some light snow. Visibility was low. Light grey day with the fog, snowfall, and the snow cover. It was an interesting landscape in farm country.

It was a good thing that the one Snowy Owl that we did see was located close to the road.

In addition to the one Snowy Howl and numerous Horned Larks, we saw two American Kestrels and 35 Sandhill Cranes, which were an unexpected surprise.

All the cranes flew low. We saw them while we drove on or near roads in the area of Mulberry Rd, Weston Rd, and Lipp Rd.

The firs group of cranes contained 28 that flew in a nice V-formation, heading southeast toward Sylvania/Toledo. They did not call. They flew nearly right over top of us.

Then later, we saw one crane, also fly to the southeast. This bird appeared to lift out of a corn field. While I scanned the field for possibly more birds, a group of six cranes flew south to north, disappearing in the fog. This group also flew right over us. And these birds were calling, which is a great sound.


The Andersons Market
Beer tasting and goat cheese tasting

After driving around in southern Michigan, we visited The Andersons Market in Sylvania. This was the first time that I've visited this small, specialty grocery store. It's very nice. They provide cooking classes.

At The Andersons Market, we partook in a beer tasting. I tried three of the five beers being sampled. DD tried four. I disliked the first one, which, I think, was the Stone Go IPA. I was more interested in the porter and stout, and I liked both, especially after holding the glass in my hand for a while to warm the beer. The beer tastes better, warmed a little. The two beers that I liked included:

  • Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break Natale Pretty Please with a Cherry on Top Imp. Porter
  • Laughing Dog The DogFather Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel Aged).

Also at The Andersons Market, we tasted goat cheese products at a little stand, manned by the local farmer and owner of Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery, located in Wauseon, Ohio.

http://turkeyfootcreek.com

We enjoyed the goat cheese that we purchased a few days earlier at Zingerman's. And this Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery goat cheese is also excellent. We bought two of the plain goat cheese products called Chevre.

I'm not a fan of gouda, but the farmer makes a goat cheese gouda, which I found to be fantastic too. Great products.

Along with some beer and a bottle of wine, we bought some grocery items, and then we headed home.


Homemade Pizza
Cipolla and Pomodoro

The day before, I assembled my pizza dough recipe, which makes enough dough for four pizzas.

This evening, I baked two pizzas. One was a first for us, the onion pizza, that I assembled based upon the recipe in Jim Lahey's book "My Bread." I sliced two yellow onions with the mandolin. I chopped fresh thyme. In a bowl, I mixed the onions, the thyme, fine-grain sea salt, and a 1/4 cup of Calder dairy heavy whipping cream. This became the topping for the pizza. I baked it for 27 minutes. I liked it.

For the second pizza, I used DD's homemade canned pizza/pasta sauce, the goat cheese that we bought, olive oil, and coarse-grain Hawaiian red sea salt. I placed fresh oregano on the pizza after it came out of the oven. The Andersons Market did not have any fresh basil. But this pizza tasted fantastic. I loved the goat cheese. I would prefer basil over the oregano. I definitely prefer either DD's homemade ricotta cheese or the chevre goat cheese over mozzarella.


Wine Preference
We drank wine with our pizzas. For wine, I prefer the simple Bota Box Malbec wine. Yep, wine in a box. A vacuum-sealed plastic liner within the box. It contains a handy little pour spout. It's the equivalent to four bottles of wine, and it only cost $19 at The Andersons store on Talmadge Rd in Toledo.


Weather
The weather on March 8, 2014 was grey, heavy overcast, foggy. It snowed lightly nearly all day with around one inch of snow accumulating. The temps started in the mid 30s but cooled to around 30 degrees by evening. And we still have at least 3 to 5 inches of snow cover. We've had snow cover for every day of 2014.


Conclusion
It was a fine day.

#toledo - #home - #birds - #cheese - #beer - #wine - #pizza - #blog_jr

By JR - 1248 words
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