Should we stay or should we go? Your thoughts, please?

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Why haven’t you received any posts from PennsValleyFamily.com this summer? Well, here’s the honest truth.

Two years ago, when Ryan and I started this website, we aspired to provide an online hub for the Community’s businesses, nonprofits, churches, and neighborhoods. We’ve had a great time designing the website, promoting the directory, providing a community calendar, and writing posts about the Valley’s many treasures. All along, we received such support and cheer from readers like you. However…

We quickly realized that maintaining this site takes lots of time and effort.

This summer, we faced the fact that in order to take this site to the next level (building the business directory, promoting the app, beefing up the calendar, acquiring paid advertising, etc.), I’ll have to create weekly working hours and pay a sitter to watch our four children. These are upfront costs that we’re just not sure we want to make – financially or in lifestyle.

But, we’re still thinking it through (which takes some time when I’m bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived from having a newborn), because we love the community, enjoy the work, and believe that this site has lots of potential…

It’d be helpful to know what you think: has the site been useful for you? Do you see the potential of this online space and our ability to “make it something”?

 Enjoy your home,

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Today’s Lunch With The Garden’s Tomatoes

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The next time you’re bipping down Route 144 (aka Old Fort Road) in Centre Hall, stop by The Garden, a local farm’s produce stand. You’ll be impressed by the orderliness and the quality of the food. Besides fresh produce, they also sell local flowers, honey, and lots of local pickled/ jarred foods.

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This morning, I harvested some basil from our own garden and couldn’t stop thinking about one of my favorite summer lunches…

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So, I loaded the kids up in the van and checked off THREE things from my “To-Do List”

* dropped off recycling in the parking lot next to Snappy’s (it’s now sporting a Salvation Army donation bin)

* picked up several quarts of strawberries from the Amish farmers on the corner (we freeze them and use them for smoothies during the winter)

* stopped by The Garden just as it was opening at 10 a.m. for some perfectly ripe tomatoes.

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When we got home, we paired our produce with slices of mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper.

 

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Several times a month, Ryan has delicious business lunches at places like Kelly’s Steakhouse and The Autoport while I nibble PB&J at home with the kids. When he gets home from work, I ask him where he ate lunch, thinking I’ll be happy for him.  He tries to make it sound like the salmon salad was no big deal. But I know better. Despite my good intentions, every time I just end up feeling very, very jealous. But not this day. This day, I’m eating summer.

 Enjoy your home,

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Calling all Soon-to-Be-7th-Graders!

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Has your 6th grader been longing to be included in the PVYC fun? It’s time to be part of the fun!

Penns Valley Youth Center invites all going-to-be-7th-graders and their families to a Family Picnic on June 11th at 6:30 p.m.!

We will be having a cook-out with amazing food, lots of games, and a time for the parents to learn about what’s going on this summer and fall at the Youth Center. This will be our welcome for the teens who will be in 7th grade next school year so spread the word!

Check out our Community Calendar for information about all of the great things going on in the Valley this week!

 Enjoy your home,

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On The Farm: Grilled Romaine

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When Ryan and I were newly weds and living in a tiny little house with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, my cousin announced that he was driving 3 hours across the state to make dinner for us. Before his arrival, he sent a grocery list for me. I faithfully gathered the salmon, salted butter, fresh garlic, real parmesan cheese, and romaine hearts.

I wasn’t going to cut corners on this shopping trip. After all, this wasn’t just any old cousin or any old grocery list. This was Tim, the family chef. Tim, the chef for the Eagles. He knows what he’s doing.

When he arrived, he rolled up his sleeves, fired up the grill, and chopped the romaine hearts in half. He drizzled olive oil, minced garlic, dashed salt, cracked pepper, and flaked parmesan. Then, he put the hearts on the grill. I stared in amazement, wondering really? Grilled lettuce?? Somehow, I couldn’t imagine the enormous football players gobbling grilled lettuce after a grueling day at training camp. Surely this wasn’t one of Tim’s go-to recipes. As the lettuce sizzled and wilted, I reasoned that perhaps Tim was taking advantage of the opportunity to cook for 120 pound newly weds who lived in a postage stamp and ran 10K’s on the weekends. He must have figured we’d nibble the greens happily, pat our stomachs, and say something about having to retire for the evening.

As it turns out, that lettuce was divine and satisfying. Crunchy + wilted. Spicy + salty. Fresh + savory. It was the perfect complement to the salmon filets, creamy potatoes, fresh bread, chocolate mousse and white wine. (After that, we really did pat our stomachs and settle back in our lawn chairs.)

I think about that meal every summer when the grill loses its veil and the lettuce grows faster than the salads we can make. For us, that’s right about now.

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So yesterday, Kai and I went out to the garden and lobbed off two heads of beautiful romaine. (Ours doesn’t grow in perfect “grocery store hearts”, so I wasn’t sure if it would work.) Nonetheless, I accessed my “inner Tim” and drizzled, dashed, and minced. Then, I piled little bundles of leaves on the grill and used up the last bit of gas from Summer 2013…

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We all enjoyed the delicious leaves from our own land. In fact, our 9-year-old must have eaten an entire head of lettuce – scooping the leaves up and tilting her chin back to catch the delicious drizzles of olive oil and garlic.

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Go on and try some! Here’s a simple recipe for Grilled Romaine Hearts.

Fire up the grill and…

 Enjoy your home,

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4th Annual Pink Day: This Saturday!

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 Enjoy your home,

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School’s Out! Let’s go to the Pool!

Splash Bash 2014Enjoy your home,

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This Weekend: Covalt Gospel Sing

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This weekend, head out to the Grange Fairgrounds to enjoy the annual Covalts Gospel Sing. If you’ve never heard these folks sing… if you’ve never sung along… consider it a Penns Valley Bucket List Item!

June 6 – 8!

For more info, check out the Grange Fair Web Site.

 

 Enjoy your home,

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Don’t Miss It: Last LEGO Club Until September!

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LEGO Club – Lego club is individual play in a group setting. This activity offers children a chance to develop verbal and problem solving skills while having lots of fun. We build projects, either in a team or independently, and then title and display them.

This month, we’ll end with a “sweet” activity, and each child can decorate her own Lego Cookie.  

Last Lego Club until September!

Tomorrow! Wednesday, June 4; 3:15-3:45 p.m. and 3:45-4:15 p.m.

 Enjoy your home,

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This Weekend: Enjoy the Annual Millheim Mayfly Festival!

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Enjoy your home,

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Watch regional artists paint the Valley

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Enjoy your home,

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