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Happy Birthday, Jim!

In scrolling down Facebook this morning, I noticed a posting from Parker’s Historic Cider Mill and Farmer’s Market that today is Jim Parker’s birthday.  The post invited us to come down and wish him well, they would be open till 5:30.  Now, my friend Tracy and I had been to the Farmer’s Market yesterday to purchase cider for the Halloweddinganniversaweenary festivities. However, to wish a nice man a happy birthday is an excellent reason for another quick trip to Ilion, NY.

Jim Parker is a local folk artist of some note.  He draws lovely, detailed pictures of local, historical scenes.  Steven and I both have t-shirts of his prints, I gave Steven a print for Christmas one year, and I periodically purchase cards of his prints for when I need to write a short note.  We love his stuff.  Additionally, Jim is a friendly, interesting man.  Many times when we have gone to the Farmer’s Market we have found ourselves having an absorbing conversation about arts, the Amish, history and other things.

I was happy we were taking a short drive, because there are still a lot of fall colors to enjoy.  We pulled over the wooden bridge to Clapsaddle Farm on Otsego Street and made our way back to the Cider Mill.  I paused to take a picture of the front of the mill, because I had brought with me one of the disposable cameras purchased for last night’s party (yes, I still live in the 20th century; you knew that about me).  A lady came from a nearby woodpile to help us.

“We came to wish Jim a happy birthday,” I said.  “But, of course we’re going to buy something, too.”  We didn’t need any cider.  There was maple syrup, but Steven had purchased some of that on a recent trip to Vermont.  “How about some fresh donuts?  Shall we each get one for $1 or should we do six for $5?”  Steven suggested six for $5.  When the lady helping us noticed there were only seven left in the box, she generously gave us seven for $5.

“We also need cheese,” I reminded Steven.  All our cheese had gotten eaten at the party.  There were several different flavors from Stoltzfus Family Dairy in Vernon Center.  Steven picked garlic and dill.

Jim was out by the woodpile, getting his exercise, he told us.  We wished him a very happy birthday and got a nice picture of the three of us.

We each ate one of the donuts as we drove away.  It was a nice little visit.  I think I’ll eat some of the cheese now.  For more information on Parker’s Historic Cider Mill and Farmer’s Market, you can Like them on Facebook.  Or go visit, and you can like them in person.


The Garlic Pickles

Anyone who knows me knows that garlic is one of the guiding forces of my life. Regular readers of the blog may have noticed that garlic plays a part in nearly all my recipes (after I let it “breathe” for fifteen minutes, of course). Imagine my delight when I found garlic pickles at the Ilion Farmer’s Market last Saturday.

Parker’s Historic Cider Mill and Farmer’s Market on Otsego Street in Ilion, NY is one of Steve’s, Tabby’s and my favorite places to go. Naturally we like any place we can bring our sweet little schnoodle Tabby, and Tabby’s favorite places are those where there are many interesting smells and nice people to pet her.

I know I’ve given many shout-outs to the Ilion Farmer’s Market. It runs year round on Fridays and Saturdays in a barn built in the 1800s. I just never get tired of going there.

On this visit, we particularly noticed works by folk artist Jim Parker, prints, t-shirts, mugs and note cards. I have a t-shirt of a print of Ilion but I’ve had it for a while and I recently noticed some discoloration along the collar. I informed Steven I will be needing a new shirt, perhaps with a different print. Do you suppose he’ll make my wait for my birthday?

Allowing Tabby time to sniff and be petted, we made our way to the shelves at the end of the barn where I always check the canned (jarred?) goods for garlic pickles. A long time ago, I found some garlic pickles there and loved them. I have not seen them since.

Until last Saturday. Eureka! Hot and Sweet Garlic Pickles! I chose hot, telling Steven I would probably return the following week to purchase sweet.

The pickles are crisp, tasty and hot. I think they would be very good in a sandwich or salad. So far I’ve eaten them plain and in a bologna-cheese roll-up. Yum!

My only fear now is that local readers will all dash to the Farmer’s Market and buy up all the garlic pickles, leaving none for me. Oh well, if such a thing happens, at least I will have spread joy and happiness.