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Category Archive for ‘Philadelphia’

2013 Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon Recap

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Tania

Home Brewing Batch #1 – Bavarian Weizen

Bavarian Weizen

I have a long history of baking bread whic makes brewing beer  a natural extension in my mad culinary skills.  This weekend I invested in a brewing kit combined with a light summer bavarian wheat beer ingredient kit. Home brewing beer is a science and an art.  It does take a bit of work to create the fementing mixture, but it is well worth the effort. Also, it is a great opportunity to learn new skills while creating a delicious product.

This is Wort

 

First you need to create a mixture called Wort which starts with adding malt extracts to water. This recipe called for two types of malt extract – a dry and liquid malt extract which adds fermentable sugars for yeast to feast upon.

Adding bitter hops

During the boiling process, hops are added bitterness to balance the sweetness of unfermented malt sugars while adding preservative and clearing properties to the mixture.  Hops are added at different times during the boiling process depending upon the result desired.  This recipe calls for two types of pelleted hops to be added at different intervals during the boil.

The wort is chilling out.

After boiling for like forever,  the wort is chilled and tranfered to a fermenting bucket before adding liquid yeast.  Once the wort reaches the desired temperature it is transferred and filtered into a fermenting bucket and more cool water is added.  After confirming the temperature of the water is at the right temperature, it is time to take a small sample to test the specific gravity before adding the yeast product.   One the yeast is added, give the mixture a good stirring.  Seal the lid, attach airlock and place fermenting bucket in a warm area with little light exposure.  10-14 days later the yeast should have some sweet  Bavarian Weizen beer that is ready to be bottled and aged.

Fermenting Away!

During this process, I kept a strict eye on sanitizing every item that came in contact with the bubbling wort mixture. In addition,  I thorougly cleaned and dusted every inch of the kitchen before creating the wort mixture and banned the dogs as well.

So far, I noted strong bubbling in the airlock today. My fingers are crossed that this brew turns out well as I plan to give away the finished product to friends and family. Oh, okay, I’ll keep a bottle or two.

Tania

Meet Penny

Meet Jewel

Welcome to the family, Penny!

Penny is the newest addition to our family of pets. She is a mix of Chihuahua, Fox Terrier and Yorkie.  Just three years old, she is a bouncy ball of energy as well as a snuggle bunny.  She is quickly becoming my little shadow following me everywhere and snuggling next to me every chance she gets.  The prince of the house, otherwise known as Buster, seems non plussed by this new arrival and tolerates her presence.  I have noticed that Penny’s interest in his chew  toys has made Buster more interested in playing with his toys.  Buster has been far more active than usual and I’m so happy to see him interacting with his toys and with Penny.

So far, Penny has not displayed the same adversion to the camera as every other dog I’ve owned. I’m already behind post processing photos of this cutie-pie and have several snippets of video of her playing with her favorite ball. Here is one made a day or two after I adopted her. She has an exhuberant way to play fetch:

I missed having my little shadow follow me around and Tiny will always have a place in my heart.  Penny has her own personality quirks that are slowly manifesting as she adjusts to her new home; but one thing is clear, this is her forever home.

Welcome Penny!

Tania

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Keeping Cool in a Heat Wave

The next couple of days in Philly are going to be a steamy hot mess. Philadelphia public health has shared a few tips to help keep you safe and cool during this excessive heat wave;

Tips to Keep Cool

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.
  • Slow down—rest in the shade or a cool place every chance you get.
  • Stay in during the hottest part of the day (10 am to 2 pm).
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, visit a senior center, a shopping mall, a public library or a friend who has air conditioning.
  • Use a fan. Keep your windows open.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.

This would be good weekend to take a break from running or any outdoor excersize. Yes, you can afford to stop for a day or two and chill out at home. For me, I’m taking this weekend to set up a home brew kit.

Also, check on your elderly neighbors and friends, if you need help please contact the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Senior helpline – 215-765-9040

Have fun and stay safe this weekend!

Tania

2013 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon

Getting a bit excited about tomorrow’s half marathon in Pennypack Park famously titled 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon. The hottest race in town – literally. Mid June is hot time to run in Philly and so is July, August, September as well.

You can check out my race recap from last year to get a feel for this fun, local race.

Recap:

A beautiful yet humid morning for a half marathon race in Pennypack Park.  This half marathon not meant to be a PR race as the hills on this course and a mile long trail run called Mount Cookoo will slow your pace.  The course has other features that make the event unique and fun.  I know of no other race where runners are serenaded  by “Uberhans”  the toughest accordian player in the U.S.  Oreo cookies at the finish line – yum! Also, who doesn’t like Bavarian food, beer and dancing post race?

2013 Half Sauer Half Kraut Half Marathon

 

The rains over the past few days made the trail extra muddy forcing me to walk carefully through mud puddles.  I am happy to report no falls or broken bones came from running this trail.  However, my running shoes collected a fair amount of mud during this run.  Earlier in the morning the were a pristine white with purple highlights.

 

Untitled

 

This is a local race which raises funds to support Pennypack Park and HCM Foundation. The race course is set entirely within the bounds of Pennypack Park in a lollipop configuration.   You will start and finish at the same place. Those who have decided to run the Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon will repeat this course twice.  I’ll never chose that option. FYI –  I’ve registered for the 2013 Philadelphia Marathon and with fingers crossed hope to get into the 2014 London Marathon.

Overall, this is a wonderfully well organized local race on a course that will challenge your running skills. I would definitely recommend the half marathon to intermediate to advanced runners.

Tania

Diner en Blanc Preview Party

Diner en Blanc preview party

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia (DEBphl) organized a preview party hosted by Williams Sonoma that included food tastings  from Garces CateringDiBruno Brothers and Chef Tod of McCrossen’s Tavern. Guests munched and mingled while admiring several Diner en Blanc inspired tablecapes.

What is Diner en Blanc? Is is a chic picnic invented by François Pasquier and his close friends 25 years ago in Paris. A “friends and word of mouth” event that is invitation only keeping the character and dymamic of the event intimate and friendly. Invited participants are asked to dress in white, organize a high quality picnic meal with tables, chairs, glasses, silver and white linen.  The secret destination for this posh picnic is revealed when the invited guests are escorted there by their hosts.

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Tania

Philly Cycling Classic 2013

Jelly Belly Cyclist

Had a great time spectating the men’s event of the 2013 Philly Cycling Classic in the sweltering heat.  Still learning the fine points of focusing with the 70-200 f/4 L lens while continuing to be blown away by the quality of photos taken with the ‘pancake’ 40mm f/2.8 lens.

Congratulations to Kiel Reijnen and Evelyn Stevens who took first prize in the Men’s and Women’s Philly Cycling Classic events.

More photos can be found at this LINK.

Hmm,  it seems the new version of Flickr has taken away the ability to embed a photo sideshow.

 

Tania

2013 Broad Street Run Recap

IBX 2013 Broad Street Run finisher medal #forboston

Broad Street Run. This is my all time favorite 10 miler race. A straight and mostly downhill 10 mile race that bisects amazing neighborhoods of Philly on the way to the finish at the Navy Yard. The part are the spectators who line the entire 10 miles of this course.  They are out in force cheering on friends, family members and strangers as they run past. I’ve not encountered a similar level of spectator participation in any other race. I love that it is my home town that turns out for this event.

When the running gods smile upon you during this race it feels close to heaven. When they don’t, well, it is better than not running at all.

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Tania

Gosnell Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter, Infanticide

Weeping Woman Memorial

UPDATE: As I predicted, Gosnell was given life albeit behind bars. He will serve three life without parole sentences and an additional 2 1/2 to 5 years for the overdose death of Karnamaya Mongar.

It seems these so-called  ’blobs of cells’ are human after all.  A Philadelphia jury found Kermit Gosnell guilty of infanticide and involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution can seek the death penalty in the three infanticide verdicts though I believe the jury, in the sentencing phase, will give life without the opportunity of parole.

@jdmullane reported this afternoon via Twitter:

Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of Karnamaya Mongar.

In case this trial was not covered in your local news, JD Mullane has been diligently tweeting trial coverage since day 1. The following tweets explain why Baby A, C, D were so charged by the jury.

Baby Boy A:

Baby Girl C:

Baby D:

You can read all the gory details outlined by the grand jury report.

Of all the carnage that went on in this legal and state sanctioned public abortion clinic; the description of Baby D struggle for his or her life then brutal death haunts me the most. At the moment, Planned Parenthood is attempting to set groundwork for the legalization of infanticide of infants born alive after an abortion procedure by blocking life saving care and ignoring Safe Haven laws. Consider the implications of this legislation at a federal level: Kermit Gosnell would have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter only. In an interesting corollary to this story, Democrat congressional representative, Allyson Schwartz CD-13, recently announced her intention to run for Governor of Pennsylvania.  To date, she has not answered numerous questions as to whether as director of a PP abortion clinic she allowed referrals to Gosnell’s clinic.

Whatever your stance on abortion, we can all agree what went on in Kermit Gosnell’s clinic should be held up for scrutiny and accountability. The decades long victimization of women at this abortion clinic needs to be addressed.  Along with identifying community roadblocks that prevented these women from getting the appropriate information at a time when they needed it the most. The conviction of Gosnell is just the beginning of the healing process,  as a community, we have a long road ahead.

Thoughts on the jury verdict? Leave me a comment.

Tania

Post #Nemo Snow Photos

2-3 inches of snow fell overnight in Philly courtesy of Nemo. This morning I gathered Buster for a long walk in Pennypack Park near Fox Chase Farm and snapped a few photos as well.

Enjoy the snowy wonderland goodness of the park.

 

Shelter from #Nemo

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Tania